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Volume 12 Issue No. 3 Jan. 21-27, 2011



PRESS Photo by Ira Cohen


The Memorial House of Grace Church in Downtown Jamaica, which faced landmarking, won a battle to NOT have the 99-year-old structure landmarked, citing the church’s financial woes. By Sasha Austrie…Page 3

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Council Nixes Church Landmarking BY SASHA AUSTRIE In a vote of 47-1, the City Council reversed the Landmark Preservation Commission’s vote to landmark Grace Episcopal Church Memorial Hall on Jan. 18, on the heels of the edifice’s 100th birthday next year. “It is unusual to reverse landmark status,” said The Rev. Darryl James of Grace Episcopal Church. Though the Memorial Hall was not landmarked, three other sites in Jamaica were designated: the Jamaica Savings Banks Building, Jamaica Chmaber of Commerce and the Queens General Court House. The LPC unanimously voted to designate the hall as a landmark in October. Opposition by the church soon followed. Simeon Bankoff, Historic Districts Council executive director, said the Commission reached out to Grace and Councilman Jim Gennaro’s (D-Fresh Meadows) office throughout the process, but church officials and Gennaro offered no opposition. James acknowledges the church “dropped the ball.” He said Grace was in a transitory period when the Commission made the initial inquiry. “It fell through the cracks,” he said, adding only after the hall was designated as a landmark did the church express opposition. “I think the point is this is a victory for a church that was going through a transition,” James said. Elisabeth de Bourbon, spokeswoman for the LPC, said though disappointed by

The Memorial Hall of Grace Episcopal had its landmark designation negated by a City Council vote as a result of the Church’s financial worries. the outcome, the Commission would continue to aid the church. “The Landmarks Commission’s unanimous vote to designate the Grace Episcopal Church Memorial Hall as a New York City landmark speaks to its significance not only to Jamaica, but also to the entire City,” she said. “While we would have preferred a different outcome, we will continue to work in partnership with the congregation to help preserve its historic resources, including the already landmarked church and cemetery.

Bankoff said he was not surprised by the City Council’s vote because of a hearing hosted by the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses, where both Councilmen Gennaro and Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) opposed the landmark designation. The committee voted six to one in opposition to the landmarking. “The church came to me and the church well knows what landmark [status] means,” said Gennaro. “This would place a financial hardship on them.” Grace’s sanctuary and cemetery was landmarked in 1967 with a congregation numbering 1,200. Membership has dwindled to 300. James said the landmark designation would impede Grace’s mission. “If we spend [resources] on that, we won’t have time for our real work of ministry,” he said. “We are not in the business of real estate. We are in the business of saving souls.” He said the fourth floor of the Memorial Hall is a mere shell without insulation and the church is looking to renovate it for office space. “With the redevelopment of Jamaica, our property is prime,” he said. Grace is not looking to compromise the architectural structure by building extensively, according to James, but the church wants to be able to modernize and modify the property to fit its needs. “We have maintained our building for 100 years,” he said. Comrie, Land Use Committee chairman, said he testified on the church’s behalf because Grace already is struggling

to maintain the other landmarked entities. “They just felt it was cost prohibitive for them,” he said. “They met with landmarks over the past three years. The church just never felt that they could get what they needed.” Bankoff said James’ concerns are manageable. In terms of the upkeep, there are grants and expertise available to landmarked properties, especially nonprofit and religious institutions. The New York Landmarks Conservancy previously gave Grace two grants to help with repairs to their landmarked property. The first was in 1987 and the latest was in 2001 for $7,000 to repair their blue stone sidewalk. The project cost $30,000. Comrie said the project cost three times more because of its landmarked status. Bankoff said the renovations and repairs that an owner would make to a landmarked property are necessary maintenances. For additional financial support to offset costs, he suggested Grace could sell its air rights, which gives an entity the right to develop the empty space located above a physical property site. The rights could garner millions for the church, according to Bankoff. St. Thomas the Apostle on Fifth Avenue sold 30 feet of air rights and garnered $14 million. He said Grace has 300,000 square feet in air rights available. In terms of enhancing the space to accommodate offices, Bankoff said though the church would have to consult the LPC, interior renovations would be possible. Reach Reporter Sasha Austrie at, or (718) 3577400, Ext. 123.

Pro Soccer League Eyeing Boro Home BY JOSEPH OROVIC

that gave so much to me," Pelé said. "The return of the New York Cosmos will inspire footballers in this country, and embrace people around the world who love this beautiful game as much as I do." The Cosmos, at this point a free radical unaffiliated with any league, announced a partnership with the borough's 60-yearold youth soccer club BW Gottschee, creating The Cosmos Academy. They also acquired the Copa N.Y.C. tournament, which is hosted annually in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Arguably the most difficult step for the Cosmos will be securing a home within the borough. But according to Byrne, the club's Vice Chairman, the Mets' Wilpon family appears willing to help. Rumors of the Wilpons bringing an expansion soccer franchise to the borough have been swirling for years. The Cosmos' resurgence could serve as a means to fulfill that goal. "That's where the partnership is: We'll bring the team and they'll bring the stadium, effectively," Byrne said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. "That's the ideal scenario." He added an ideal stadium size would be between 30,000 and 40,000 seats.

The Cosmos appear to be banking on a heavy dose of star power. But whereas their 1970s incarnation put great players on the field, version 2.0 has them lining the front office. The club has locked in U.S. soccer star Cobi Jones as Associate Director of Soccer, drawing the attention of domestic fans. On Tuesday, it announced the hiring of Manchester United great Eric Cantona as its Director of Soccer. But its biggest star may be waiting in the wings in the form of soccer's most recognizable player and Byrne's friend, David Beckham. The England midfielder has an option to buy into an expansion franchise at the end of his contract with MLS club the L.A. Galaxy. Byrne denied Beckham has expressed interest in the Cosmos franchise. But Chairman and CEO Kemsley has not quieted the rumor mill, with his promises of big announcements coming throughout the year. Given the fledgling club's already hefty soccer pedigree, could the borough possibly stop a two-headed Beckham/Wilpon hydra? Reach Reporter Joseph Orovic at, or (718) 3577400, Ext. 127.

Jan. 21-27, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 3

A perfect fútbol storm appears to be brewing, one which could make Queens the center of the United States' soccer universe. Major League Soccer, the country's leading professional soccer league, has named our borough as the desired location of its next expansion franchise. Alongside the league's overtures to Queens, the storied New York Cosmos soccer club has been rejuvenated and is setting up roots in the borough specifically to meet MLS's desires. "We believe Queens would be an excellent location for a soccer stadium because of several factors: public transportation, demographics, proximity to other sports venues and a geographic balance to our existing team in the New York market, which is west of Manhattan," said MLS spokesman Will Kuhns. Ready to meet the call for the 20th MLS franchise and City's second soccer club, a conglomerate of mostly British soccer gurus bought the rights to the Cosmos franchise for $2 million. They are making a high-profile splash within the soccer universe while also embedding

themselves in Queens. Published reports state the league hopes to have a new franchise up and running by 2013. Kuhns was unwilling to commit to a timeline, as much has to happen first. Namely, should MLS go forward with its intentions, it would first require a familiar discussion for borough residents: a new stadium. But plans are far from fruition; definitive ideas like exact location and size of the stadium are not even on the table, according to Kuhns. Those plans are largely sorted out in the early stages of a club's conception - a stage the Cosmos are currently navigating. Its board and preliminary investors include British soccer club Tottenham Hotspur's former Vice Chairman Paul Kemsley and David Beckham's once-manager Terry Byrne. The Cosmos announced their rebirth on Aug. 1, 2010 in dramatic style, with the appearance of former Cosmo and Brazilian soccer legend Pelé at Flushing Meadows Corona Park during halftime of the local Copa N.Y.C. tournament. "As global ambassador for the game, and as Honorary President of the New York Cosmos, it's a great privilege to be able to give back to the future of the sport

Community Condemns PS 30's End BY SASHA AUSTRIE Southeast Queens’ political elite hosted a town hall meeting on Jan. 13, allowing students, parents and teachers to discuss the possible phase out of PS 30. “PS 30 has the potential to increase overall student achievement,” said Regina Baker, a kindergarten teacher. “PS 30 has been ignored by the DOE. The DOE’s responsibility should not be to abandon a school.”

Jamaica Rezoning Passes BY SASHA AUSTRIE The South Jamaica rezoning has cleared another hurdle. Members of Community Board 12 voted overwhelmingly to adopt City Planning Commission’s recommendation to rezone 538 blocks, the largest rezoning during the Bloomberg administration. The rezoning would introduce 14 zoning changes to the area and would enable the Food Retail Expansion to Support Health Program (FRESH) to enter the rezoned area. Within 30 days, Borough President Helen Marshall will host a public hearing; and City Planning will host a hearing within 60 days; followed by the City Council within 50 days.

PS 30 is one of 26 schools citywide the Dept. of Education has slated for phase out, and one of four in Queens. The proposed phase out of PS 30 would begin next fall. The school currently serves students from Pre-K to fifth grade. If the Panel for Educational Policy adopts the proposal on Feb. 1, PS 30 would not accept kindergarten and first grade students next fall. The DOE public hearing will be held on Thursday, Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. The DOE’s proposal was not the only source of contention. Some parents blamed the school’s failure on Principal Dwayne Crowder. Kenny Williams, a parent and former Community Educational Council member, has been against Crowder’s tenure from the beginning. He questioned the principal’s leadership, and the lack of a functional Parent Teacher Association and School Leadership Team at the school. Crowder did not attend the meeting. A former vice president of the PTA defended Crowder. She said since he took the reins at PS 30, grades have improved, adding Crowder has implemented a host of programs, including Parents as Learning Partners and an open door policy. “The same way this auditorium is packed today, we need to be packed going forward,” said Councilman Ruben Wills (D-South Jamaica). “We are not here to throw stones or be accusatory. We know why we are in this position.” Though Councilman Leroy Comrie (DSt. Albans) called for the community to work

together to enhance and salvage PS 30, he said the school needs new leadership. Tempers flared at the lone DOE official, Lenny Speiller, executive director of Public Affairs, who revealed the DOE’s reasoning for the school’s slot on the chopping block. He read from a DOE factsheet, which stated 27 percent of students were proficient in English and only 31 percent in math. The school earned an overall D grade on its progress report last year, an F for School Performance and C’s on both the Student Progress and School Environment sub-sections. “Those statistics are pretty telling,” Speiller said. “This school has struggled for a while.” Even faced with the DOE’s stats, the audience requested that PS 30 be given another chance. “If there is money for a new school, why can’t that money go to PS 30?” asked a parent. “Why are you so confident that the new school would succeed and this can’t turn around?” Speiller said the DOE has supported and provided resources to aid the school’s turn around, to no avail. He said the money given to new schools was nontransferable. “We have a very good track record of reopening schools,” he said, adding the DOE has phased out 91 schools and created 471, with a 70 percent high school graduation rate. Previously, the high schools had a 40 percent graduation rate. Tareeka Kelly, parent teacher association president, questioned the validity of

slowly phasing out a “failing school.” She said the DOE’s proposal would create a “caste system” with students in grades K2 getting a better school. “I feel like the DOE has failed PS 30,” she said. Kelly pointed her finger at Speiller and bellowed, “You get the failing grade.” Speiller conceded that the DOE failed the school, but assured the audience that the department would continue to support the school. “Just because we are phasing this school out, it does not mean we are going to abandon students here,” he said. State Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica) implored parents to get involved, “step up their game.” She said the centralization of the public school system reduced parent rights and involvement. “Parents need to know that they have no rights until they come out,” Huntley said. “If you don’t come out, you will be left behind. You want to save it? You have to know what to do.” Assemblywoman Vivian Cook (DSouth Jamaica) vowed to support the school community. Andrea Artist, United Federation of Teachers representative, said the staff had an action plan to turn the school around. “[The teachers] know what is needed so our school will [be] the best that [it] can be,” she said. Reach Reporter Sasha Austrie at, or (718) 3577400, Ext. 123.


Page 4 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 21-27, 2011

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Brown Is Asked For Buyback Repeat BY SASHA AUSTRIE On Martin Luther King Day, community leaders took a stand against gun violence and implored Queens DA Richard Brown to implement a gun buyback program. “King was slain by a gun,” said Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton). “In the shadow of the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), we need another gun buyback program in Queens Sanders implored Brown to reinstitute the program, which netted 926 guns in 2009. “I think we should try to double it,” Sanders said. “We need to remove the ways our children are dying in the street.” Donovan Richards, Sanders’ chief of staff, he met the councilman eight years ago at a gun violence summit. This was the turning point in Richards’ life. A close friend was killed. “It is no reason that we allow our young people to walk around with weapons,” he said. “It is no reason why so many mothers are calling us crying because their children have died.” The Rev. Charles Norris said there are churches in five Southeast Queens police precincts that are willing to open their doors for the program. Sanders said the constant mantra from the DA’s office is the lack of funds. “There is no price we can get with a life,” Sanders said. “People will pay mil-

lions to get their loved ones back.” According to the DA’s office, the gun buyback program cost $86,370, which included $70,330 for the guns and overtime for detectives. “Getting guns off the street and reducing crime has always been a top priority of my office,” Brown said in a statement. “I applaud Councilman Sanders and his fellow civic leaders for their efforts in wanting to help to curb gun violence, and would welcome their assistance in helping to secure the necessary funding to finance another gun buyback program.” Though there is not another guy buyback program in the works, Brown said individuals can turn in a gun at any precinct and receive a $100 voucher. Norris contends that the money does not come from the district attorney’s budget, but from confiscated drugs. “I’m sick and tired of people [using a lack of funds as an excuse] when our black children are dying in the street,” he said. “Our kids are killing our kids and we want to stop it by taking their guns.” U.S. Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica) joined the voices calling for a gun buyback program and legislation to curtail gun ownership. He said though James Earl Ray and Jared Loughner committed their crimes decades apart, they both purchased deadly weapons with the same ease. “Together we will get those guns off the street and save hundreds of lives,” he said. Meeks said U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is

Councilman James Sanders is calling on DA Richard Brown to reinstate his gun buyback program. drafting legislation which would limit the number of clips an individual can buy and revisit the assault rifle ban, which expired in 2004. Lois Merriweather, State Sen. Shirley Huntley’s (D-Jamaica) representative, said the laws needed to be changed to get guns off the street. She also implored parents to talk to their children. Though Sanders championed legislation to staunch the flow of guns, he said he believed in the right to bear arms. “The problem is who is getting these

arms,” he said. “You don’t need a machine gun to shoot deer.” Sanders also acknowledged the majority of guns flowing into the community are not illegal weapons or even from states that have lax gun laws. “The No. 1 way that criminals get guns is not from down South,” he said. “It’s by breaking into the homes of people who have guns.” Reach Reporter Sasha Austrie at, or (718) 3577400, Ext. 123.

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Editorial Priority No. 1 The Department of Education has known for at least a year - if not much longer than that - that hundreds of schools across the City have aging infrastructure that, given the right circumstances, can create a toxic environment for school children. And what have they done? They've worked with the EPA to get the federal agency to say that light ballasts that date prior to 1979, that are located in schools, need to be replaced. The EPA says that if the ballasts that contain PCBs are not leaking, they can simply be removed or replaced - at a cost. If they are leaking, they could be exposing our kids to toxins and must be destroyed in special incinerators or placed in specific landfills that can handle the poison that leaks out. And of course, all of this costs money. The DOE has made expansion of classrooms its No. 1 capital cost, unwilling in many cases to fix up a lunchroom or add a gym unless the project involved adding classroom seats. With some of the most crowded schools in the City, we've been thankful for that focus. Now they need to focus on this. This risk of exposure must be eliminated immediately. The solitary incidents in Staten Island are just the beginning. A full inspection of school facilities is underway, and the results could be frightening. We need to be sure our kids are safe. This must be the DOE's top priority.

Letters Albany Reform To The Editor: In describing New York State as "A Troubled Ship Of State," Michael Schenkler is right on the mark, echoing The Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law which has rated the New York State Legislature as the worst in the nation, and justifiably so. (Cuomo Takes The Helm Of A Troubled Ship Of State, Jan. 6-12). If Gov. Cuomo is serious about Albany reform, a good beginning is to recognize the people of this state have for too long been disenfranchised from any meaningful representation in Albany. It is true we elect state sena-

tors and assembly persons from our respective districts, but for whatever the reasons the majority have defaulted on their obligations to their constituents and act as feudal serfs to the Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker, with the result the state is run by just three people, the Governor, Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the Assembly, in what passes as a charade of public service. A case in point is Sheldon Silver, the Speaker of the New York State Assembly, who has held that position ad infinitum and ad nauseam courtesy of his subservient democratic colleagues. In addition to his "full

Letters time" job as Assembly Speaker, Silver is also a member of a well known personal injury law firm doing what is unknown and at what salary is also unknown. If Cuomo really wants reform, I challenge him to begin by addressing the following: 1. Rules should be enacted that limit an Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader to two four-year terms. 2. After serving two terms as a state senator, recently indicted Pedro Espada will receive about a $9,000 annual pension for life, apart from whether he is or is not guilty of the crimes charged. A pension based upon such limited service is outrageous and legislation should be enacted that no state elected person should receive a taxpayer pension or any other benefits unless he or she has served a minimum of 10 years in office and benefits should take into account such limited service. 3. State legislators should be considered a full time job, and members should be prohibited from engaging in any other forpay activities. I am sure they are currently well paid, but if not, increase their pay, but with no other jobs permitted. 4. In the absence of prohibiting other for-pay activities, state legislators - like United States Senators - should be required each year to list all outside paid

for activities, the amounts paid and by whom. Benjamin M. Haber, Flushing

School Counselors To The Editor: As a candidate for a masters in School Counseling at Lehman College at the City University of New York, I find it encouraging that the article "Inequality Reigns on Gothic Drive," in the Jan. 7 edition of the PRESS makes the observation that it would be difficult to boost graduation rates at Jamaica High School while cutting the number of guidance counselors. School counselors play an important position in school reform, closing of achievement gaps and students' lives that are often overlooked by school leaders, civic leaders, and parents. Unfortunately, as the article points out, counseling departments have been slashed and ratios of counselors to students grow large to the point where it is difficult for the counselor to be effective. The American School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of 250 students to every counselor. Parents and civic leaders should be informed of the contribution of professional school counselors and what cuts to that department will mean. Arik Rub, Forest Hills


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New School’s Chancellor Needs Attitude Adjustment A Personal Perspective By MARCIA MOXAM COMRIE What do you get when you throw an education novice into the throes of an overcrowded school system in hard economic times and send her off to her first public meeting? A dumb, insensitive remark, of course! Just two weeks into her tenure and new School’s Chancellor Cathie Black made the off-thecuff remark that in order to control overcrowding in our public school system we ought to try birth control. Really? Ms. Black, who comes from the cutthroat, politically incorrect world of publishing, thought she was being funny but no one is laughing. The culture of publishing is less inhibited a place; so I think she’s now saying, “I have a feeling we’re not in publishing anymore.”

Welcome to the reality of your new gig, Chancellor. The schools are overcrowded and overburdened and it’s your job to fix it – not “fix” the population. Still want it? Ok, good. So let’s get down to business. Most people did not want Ms. Black, who comes across as an elitist. On the face of it, she does not seem to be a good fit for the job. She has never taught, never attended public school here and is able to afford expensive private schools for her own children. I say hooray for parents like her who have the wherewithal to send their children to private boarding schools. I don’t begrudge them that. But for most of us, public education paid for by our tax dollars is the realistic option. Anyone hired to run that body has to adjust their thinking and attitude. We expect that Chancellor Black will make an honest at-

tempt to succeed in this job as she has in the public sector. Our kids, our parents and our city deserve no less and one can bet she will want to excel in her job. No one takes these jobs to fail. Black made the remark while attending a meeting of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s school overcrowding task force in lower Manhattan. “Could we just have some birth control?” she quipped. “It would really help us out a lot.” It might’ve been cute said at the Mayor’s dining table; but that sort of thing does not translate well in the light of day. However, people make mistakes and we’ll give her this one. At first, the Mayor was dismissive about the matter; but felt pressured to revisit his response, coming back a few days later with a qualified follow-up. “You know, Cathie Black made a joke,” he said. “Some people took it the wrong way. She apolo-

gized, I think she’ll learn slowly over time, as I did, that you can do some things in the private sector that you can’t do in public sector.” I’d say if she wants to engender and keep the people’s goodwill, she will learn that lesson in a hurry. People will have children and have as many as they wish, so birth control is not the answer for school overcrowding. Most of us want to see her succeed in the academic enterprise. It is to all our advantage, but she has to respect us as well. As the mayor reiterated in his State of the City address earlier this week, these are hard economic times and everyone has to do more with less. There are jobs and pensions on the line. People are in no mood for insensitive jokes from a fledgling educrat right now. I hope Ms. Black will sit with an expert and learn the protocol of working for a wary public.

Looking Back, Looking Ahead & Just Plain Looking By MICHAEL SCHENKLER One reader criticized me, not for the message of last week’s column targeting Sarah Palin’s Political Action Commit tee webpage, which took down the graphic with rifle crosshairs aimed at Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ district. The reader suggested leaving up the names of the other targeted Member s of Congre ss showed poor judgment on my part. I never gave it a thought. In the crazy world, I still have not trained myself to think of the potential dangers that the crazies and extremists of the world pose for us all. I apologize if I added to the danger for anyone. However, I have a hard time making that connect. And for that I do not apologize. Sure we all should be aware of what is around us. “See something, say something!” And yes the horrors of September 11, 2001 should have made us all realize that our small world is not a safe one and each of us is not immune to the horrors of terrorism or violent insanity. The “cold war” world that my parents gave to me was a lot more peaceful and sane than the world I

tion has achieved, for me the biggest disappointment is our failure to provide children a world more peaceful than we found it. I think that is something to which my critic can relate.

From my generation, a pop poster of the the 60’s and an award winner -“Some Toys Hate War” -- from silversmith/designer Georg Jensen am handing off to my children. And isn’t it a shame that mankind’s advances in science, technology, psychology do not equate w it h advance s towar ds peace and safety? We continue to arm ourselves. We have an out-of-control defense budget (when did they decide to call it defense?). The more advanced our weapons, the more advanced the weapons on the other side — be it terrorists or crazies. This is not a comment to our reader who criticized our column

or a comment on the column itself. It is a stark reality that my generation of peace children must live with. The “Flower Power” generation did not make the world safer. Our protests and left-leaning belief in all of humanity may have made us all feel better. But sadly, when the history books (or the ebook version) are finally written, it will not be a term of love and humanity that will describe the era that replaced the cold war. And of everything my genera-

A LESSON TO BE LEARNED Ford will add more than 7,000 new workers in 2011 and 2012 in the United States. Ford passed Toyota as the No. 2 seller in the United States in 2010 – second behind General Motors. General Motors reported the first three quarters of 2010 as profitable – to a tune of $4.2 billion – and is back trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Last April, the auto industry bailout has repaid to the Federal Government. It appears that the U.S. auto industry is back . . . and successful. Now, this is far from my area of expertise, but American hard work, belt tightening and ingenuity are not a thing of the past. If the American auto industry can do it, so can the rest of the economy. The struggling stores on Main St., the small businesses throughout our borough and the big businesses in the cit y can find their way back to profitabi lit y. T he

American economy – once an example for the world – may not be a thing of the past.

American hard work and ingenuity can, and I believe will prevail. We as a people grew fat and lazy. And our national industry and economy suffered as our personal bad habits grew during times of abundance. The past several years have caused us to refocus. Austerity and motivation has replaced abundance and lazy. From Main Street, Queens to each and ever y Main Street across the nation, people have become aware that it no longer comes easy. And when it’s not-so-easy, Americans can be damned good. Tomorrow can be a new beginning – get to work.

Arizona Shooting: People Who We Believe Are Insane to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” We believe that the right to bear arms should be subject to reasonable regulation, and we prefer the New York stanStern dard to the Arizona standard, which reflects the views of owners of widely separated homes, some near the border with Mexico, and all a few generations from the Wild West. We approve of what over 500 American mayors are doing to promote arms control, and respect but regret the fact that tens of millions of Americans feel differently, based on their culture, their at titude and their perception of danger. The most important lesson we draw from the Tucson tragedy is relatively simple: There are hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of mentally ill people in this country who are not institutionalized and not taking proper medication. Occasionally, these people do terrible things. The first mass killer, and possibly the role model for the others, was Charles W hitman, who killed 16 people, shooting from a tower at the University of Texas in Austin on Aug. 1, 1966. He was shot by the police. The Virginia Tech murder of 32 students and faculty in April

2007, less than four years ago, was the most deadly instance of this kind. The killer was 23 years old and commit ted suicide after the shootings. The slaughter which caused the most intense reaction took place at Columbine High School on April 20 (Hitler’s bir thday), 1999, where two high school seniors murdered 12 other students and one teacher before shooting themselves. Other similar episodes have received lesser at tention, but the issue of mental health is a factor in all these killings. The question arise s: W hat do you do w it h people who are reasonably believed to be mentally ill, but have not yet done any harm to themselve s or other s? Can t he y, or should they, be locked up because the y pre sent risk factor s? Who measures the risk, and what are the standards for any determination? If we believe that nothing can be done until the ill person acts out his fantasies, we may be condemning innocent strangers or bystanders to death. Should we call those murders the price of living in a free society? These are the questions that should receive the most attention after the tragedy in Arizona. If we are able to find answers, we may save the lives of other people: Congressmembers, judges, children, ordinary Americans who may be doomed by

societ y’s refusal to re spond to strong clues that some people are mentally ill. We believe there are no ready answers, but cer tainly there are things that can be done that are not being done today. For example: Are there any standards of conduct that should be applied to non-criminal behavior where the person involved might, or might not, endanger others? Can people be deprived of their liberty because of a mental defect or tendency that either is, or is not, treatable? Who, if anyone, has an obligation to report

behavior which indicates mental illness? To what authorities should concerned citizens address their observations of the subject’s words, threats or actions? Would they be subject to lawsuits by a person whose conduct they felt was potentially dangerous? You can see why the policy in this area is often to do nothing. Perhaps, with insight, we can do something to protect our citizens from the tragedy we have so recently endured, and from others that are likely to occur in the years ahead.

Not 4 by Dom Nunziato

Jan. 21-27, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 7

By HENRY STERN So much has been writ ten about the tragic shootings in Arizona that we are reluctant to add to the paper flow. The terrible event has given people the opportunity to expre ss t heir vie ws on hatred (a word which is Henry variously defined), guns (including Glocks with extra ammunition clips), the right (near, far and in bet ween) and mental illne ss (schizophrenia, paranoia, et al.). We believe that the murders in Tucson were more than 90 percent the consequence of the shooter’s insanity, and less than 10 percent due to the political climate. We know he was crazy, but he did fix on this Congresswoman as the object of his twisted rage. We cannot measure the precise components of his delusions, but those who say the crime was primarily the result of Arizona’s loose gun laws and political climate are less accurate, in our judgment, than those who attribute it mainly to the shooter’s schizophrenia The same Founding Fathers who gave us the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments in the Bill of Rights gave us the Second Amendment, and it is hard to conclude from the text that it refers only to orga nized mi lit ias. Perhaps it should, but that is not the way it reads. This is the full text: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary

School Health Crisis?

Toxic PCBs In Hundreds Of Sites, Dept. Of Ed. Says Risk Not Urgent BY JESSICA ABLAMSKY Faced with alarming results from a pilot study that showed elevated levels of a toxic chemical in three New York City public schools, the Dept. of Education has downplayed what some experts have called a public health emergency. At least 740 of the 1,600 public school buildings in New York City may contain PCBs, which were commonly used in a variety of products worldwide between 1950 and 1979. In Queens, nearly 130 schools could still have PCB-laden lighting ballasts and caulking that could potentially expose students and staff to unacceptable amounts of PCBs. On a list submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of schools constructed during that time period are some of the borough’s largest high schools, including Beach Channel, Hillcrest, Flushing and Newtown. “I think there’s every reason for parents to be concerned,” said Professor David Carpenter. “In my judgment, the situation is worse than most of the reports have made it out to be.” The director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany, Carpenter has studied the effects of PCBs for 20 years. He recommends every older building be tested immediately because one third could be contaminated with PCBs.

What Are PCBs? Polychlorinated Biphenyls, or PCBs, were used in the middle of the 20th century for a variety of purposes, most com-

monly as a cooling agent added to oil in power equipment. In the 1980s, transformers laden with PCB oil were phased out due to new federal standards. Some were not upgraded, and fires that were started in locations where PCB oil was used caused entire buildings to become contaminated and uninhabitable. General Electric is in the middle of a multi-billion-dollar clean-up project of the Hudson River, where fishing in parts has been banned entirely due to PCB contamination. PCB use was prevalent in the power supplies of ballasts for fluorescent lighting fixtures up until 1979. The drums that hold the oil were only intended to last for as long as 15 years. Some of those lighting fixtures are still in use today, more than 30 years later, in New York City schools. If they leak, as they are prone to do over time, they could be exposing City children to high levels of this cancer-causing toxin.

What’s Happening Here? As part of an agreement with the EPA, the City must eventually put into place a citywide management plan for decontaminating schools. The plan will include a public hearing and comment period, but the DOE has not indicated when the citywide management plan will be put into place. Multiple attempts to get the DOE to respond to questions about their PCB plan were fruitless. An email sent to all principals last week by Kathleen Grimm, the DOE’s deputy chancellor of finance and administration, instructed principals to consult with other administrators instead of immediately

Page 8 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 21-27, 2011

PCBs & Health Concerns The DOE’s information on PCBs, that there are no immediate health concerns, is extremely misleading, said Miranda Massie, director of litigation and training for New York Lawyers for Public Health. “What they are saying now is technically true but immediately confusing,” Massie said. “Smoking a cigarette doesn’t pose an immediate threat to a child. Exposure to PCBs is the same thing. It is probably not going to make a child sick next week, but the long term risk to a kid’s health is very, very severe. The city has not been candid with people about this question.” EPA officials say that their regulations are set low enough that even lifetime exposure would not cause negative health effects. Some experts disagree. After 20 years of studying the effect of PCBs on human health, David Carpenter, the director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany, is one of them. “The most likely way that people may become exposed to PCBs from light ballasts is through breathing PCB-con-

taminated air or touching PCB oil or PCB-contaminated materials after a ballast leak or fire,” according to the EPA. One well documented effect of PCB exposure is of immune system dysfunction, he said. “When you get a cold, it’s more serious,” he said. “That contributes to absenteeism, and that reduces the ability of children to learn.” Exposure to PCBs also increases the risk of chronic health problems later in life, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. In addition to being a cancer-causing agent, the developmental effects of PCBs are even more troubling, according to Harvard School for Public Health professor Robert Herrick. More recent research has shown that high levels of PCBs can interrupt fetal development and reduce IQ. “If there is anything you do not want to have happen in a school, it is exposure to any chemical that reduces IQ,” Carpenter said. “The question is, how much of a problem is it when a child’s IQ is reduced by three or four points?”

evacuating rooms or replacing lights, said Ellie Engler, UVT Director of Staff. “We are writing to you to let you know that we have asked our custodial engineers to report instances of leaking ballasts based upon visual inspections,” Grimm said in the email. “Should a report regarding a leaking ballast be received for your school, we ask that you review this matter with your Deputy Director of Facilities and your Network Leader before taking any action in regard to rooms or other spaces in your school. Many factors go into this type of decision and sometimes consultations are required with other parties like the School Construction Authority and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.” Any leaking ballasts must be immediately replaced, said Bonnie Bellow, a spokeswoman for the EPA. Often the only way to tell if a ballast is leaking is to take it apart. Grimm’s intention was to have custodians locate only visibly leaking ballasts, instead of taking comprehensive action, Engler said. “I am certainly not advising that parents pull their kids out of school,” Carpenter said. “That is disruptive for the children and would probably do more harm than good. But I think that parents have the right to demand that they have a safe place for their children to be educated. No matter how high they have to go, if parents scream loud enough, then the Mayor will get the message.” It took two years for the Dept. of Education to get the message. After being threatened with a lawsuit by the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, the New York City School Construction Authority agreed in September 2009 to test schools for PCBs. As part of an agreement with the EPA, the SCA conducted a still-ongoing pilot study of five schools in the City, one in each borough. Results from schools in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan showed elevated levels of PCBs in the air in various classrooms and common areas in all three schools. PS 183 in Queens will be tested later in the year. Air sampling at PS 309 in Brooklyn indicated levels up to 16 times higher than EPA regulatory limits for classrooms used by children 6-12 years old. Separate from this study, two schools in Staten Island had classrooms shut down two weeks ago as remediation work was done to clear classrooms of what were considered to be high PCB volume. The pilot study was originally intended to identify the presence of PCBs in caulk, but lighting ballasts from aging florescent lights were also found to be a source. “The finding of the PCB in caulk is a fairly new thing, but people have known about the light ballast since the 1980s,” said Harvard School for Public Health professor Robert Herrick. “It isn’t just an anomaly that is found in New York or New England. They were used extensively

throughout the world.”

Hearings Planned Calling himself “very concerned,” Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) said that the City Council will hold hearings on PCBs in city schools “to make sure the buildings are safe and the children are protected.” Decaying caulk should be replaced immediately, said State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside). “DOE seems to be stonewalling this issue,” Avella said. “I guess they’re afraid of the financial issues, but we can’t put money ahead of children’s safety.” Rectifying PCB exposure in schools could require financial assistance from the Federal government, or it could have “devastating consequences” on the education budget, said Natalie Ravitz, a spokeswoman from the DOE, who addressed the schools that have been studied, where PCB levels were too high. “The Department of Education is working with the EPA, the UFT, the Health Department and our school communities to address any potential issues at these two schools and to determine the best path forward,” she said. “We take seriously the issue of PCBs in our schools and understand that parents have concerns, but we should not rush decisions about remediation or the wholesale replacement of thousands and thousands of light fixtures when there is no immediate health risk to students and staff.” Both PCB laden caulk and light ballasts must be addressed, Carpenter said. “You can replace all the lights in the building and still have elevated levels of PCB if you don’t deal with the caulk issue,” Herrick said. Reach Reporter Jessica Ablamsky at or (718) 3577400, Ext. 124.

PCB Info • As old caulk degrades over time, PCBs are released into the environment. “If you look at the caulking, it’s cracking,” said Professor David Carpenter. “It’s breaking down. In some cases, it’s even falling down.” • Decontamination can be an expensive prospect. “In many of these old buildings, the PCBs have migrated into the masonry,” he said. “It sometimes is not just a matter of the caulk.” • Instead of gradual degradation, lighting ballasts are probably the result of a “catastrophic disaster,” where the ballast starts suddenly leaking oil, allowing PCBs to escape into the environment. • EPA recommends that leaking ballasts should be removed in a well-ventilated area with the aid of protective clothing, including chemically resistant gloves, boots and disposable overalls.

Police Blotter Compiled By DOMENICK RAFTER

107th Precinct Held In The Trunk Police are looking for a group of suspects wanted in connection with three armed robberies that occurred in Holliswood and Jamaica Estates. On Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 10:45 p.m., in the vicinity of Grand Central Parkway and Avon Road in Jamaica Estates, three black men approached a 63-yearold white woman as she entered her vehicle. They dragged her into the trunk of another vehicle, removed her personal property and held her in the vehicle while a black female accomplice used her ATM card to withdraw cash from her account. The victim was later released unharmed. On Wednesday, Dec. 22, at around 7:30 p.m., in the vicinity of Kendrick Place and Mayfield Road in Jamaica Estates, two black men approached a 58-year-old Hispanic woman as she exited her vehicle. They forced her back into her vehicle, removed her personal property, and held her in the vehicle while a black woman accomplice used her ATM card to withdraw cash from her account. The victim was later left in her vehicle unharmed. On Friday, Jan. 14, at around 11:20 a.m. in the vicinity of Marengo Street and McLaughlin Avenue in Holliswood, two black men approached a 68-year-old white woman and pushed her into her vehicle, at which time she screamed and the two black men fled in a dark-colored

sedan. No serious injuries were reported. In all the incidents a firearm was either displayed or threatened. Some of the robbery suspects wore masks. The suspects are in their 20s. A sketch of one of the suspects shows a black man in his 20s, 5-foot-8, of thin build and with a clear complexion. The female suspect is a black woman in her 20s, 5-foot-3 to 5-foot-6, 120-140 lbs, with long black curly hair. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers’ Web site at or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then entering TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

108th Precinct & 114th Precincts

located at 24-29 Jackson Ave. in Long Island City, approached a teller, pulled out a handgun and demanded cash. The suspect then fled the bank with an undetermined amount of money. The suspect is also wanted in connection with a third bank robbery in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The suspect is identified as Marat G. Mikhaylich, 35, and is described as 6-foot3 to 6-foot-5, and 200 lbs. Anyone with information in regards to the whereabouts of Mikhaylich is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers’ Web site at or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then entering TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Across Queens

Bank Robber

String Of Robberies

The NYPD is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a man wanted for three bank robberies, two of which occurred in Queens. On Thursday, Dec. 9, at around 9:40 a.m., the man entered the Sovereign Bank located at 37-10 Broadway in Astoria, approached a teller and said that he had a gun. He demanded cash and fled the bank with an undetermined amount of money. No firearm was displayed. On Thursday, Dec. 30, at around 3:23 p.m., a man entered the Sovereign Bank

The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspects wanted for a string of robberies around Queens between Dec. 22 and Jan. 8. The robberies took place Wednesday, Dec. 22, at 2 a.m. at a gas station located at 111-26 Van Wyck Expressway in South Richmond Hill and a 2.05 a.m. at a La Quinta Hotel adjacent to the gas station; Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 11:30 p.m. at the Lucky Food Mart located at 248-27 Union Tpke, Bellerose; Friday, Jan. 7 at 2:20 a.m., at the Bellerose Farm Deli/Grocery located

Police are looking for this man, one of up to five suspects wanted in connection with a string of robbers borowide. at 253-01 Union Tpke in Bellerose; 3:45 a.m. at the Courtyard Marriot Hotel located at 145-11 North Conduit Ave, South Ozone Park; 5:30 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel located at 138-05 Jamaica Ave in Jamaica; and Saturday, Jan. 8, at 2:55 a.m. at a bodega located at 224-01 Union Tpke, in Hollis Hills and at 3:12 a.m., at a Dunkin Donuts located at the Mobil station in the median of the Grand Central Parkway near Exit 20 in Cunningham Park. The suspects are three to five black men, 5-foot-7 to 6-feet, and often wearing black ski masks and black clothing. Anyone with information in regards to these robberies is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers’ Web site at or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then entering TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Jan. 21-27, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 9

Photo by Ira Cohen


Up In Smoke

Southeast Queens Photos Edited By Harley Benson

Day Of Service

A fast-moving eight-alarm fire destroyed an ironworks at 150th Street and 95th Avenue in Jamaica this week.

Page 10 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 21-27, 2011

Photos by Ira Cohen

Blood Drive Councilmen Leroy Comrie and Ruben Wills helped distribute coats for the needy at a special Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service event held at Comrie’s district office. The New York Mets recently hosted a blood drive at the Caesar’s Club at Citi Field. Each donor, in addition to helping save a life, was given a pair of tickets for a spring Mets home game.

Borough Beat

Finding A CURE For Train Pollution Western Queens residents suffering from smelly, polluting freight train engines may finally be getting a reprieve. Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES), a Glendale-based organization, announced this week that two grant applications have been submitted by New York City Department of Small Business Services, which oversees the Economic Development Corporations, requesting $1 million each in EPA money to buy two state-of-theart locomotive engines for waste trains that would decrease carbon emission and reduce idling. Pollution, noxious fumes and idling noises have been a major problem along the freight rail line that runs through Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth, especially along the coupling of the line in Middle Village where freight trains couple during overnight and early The trains that haul trash through Western morning hours. Queens may soon become just a little more envi“It’s a small step, but in the right ronmentally friendly. direction,” said Mary Parisen, co-chair of CURES. Parisen said the new engines – a Tier 3 cations also included letters of commitGenset and Tier 4 Mother Slug – will ment from private corporations contracted reduce emissions and will not idle, like with New York City’s waste that are procurrent engines do, reducing pollution viding matching funding and support, inand noise during coupling. She noted cluding Waste Management, CSX and though that the grant applications have New York & Atlantic Railway. New York & Atlantic, uses LIRR yards been submitted and are not a done deal – it will be a few more months before the city in Glendale and uses LIRR engines, which Parisen said also need to be upgraded. hears back from the EPA. “Hopefully the LIRR and the MTA get “It’s not something in the bag yet,” Parisen said. “It’ll be decided around mid-March.” on board,” she said, citing the need to The applications were accompanied upgrade the 1978-era engines. Parisen also called for further federal by letters of support signed by U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan), U.S. Sen. regulations on pollution and emissions. “We wouldn’t be able to drive a 1970s Charles Schumer (D-New York), Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Council Speaker Chris- car on the road; it wouldn’t pass the emistine Quinn, Councilman Jimmy Vacca (D- sions test. They’re operating 1970s era Bronx), chair of the Transportation Com- locomotives,” she said. Reach Reporter Domenick Rafter at mittee and Councilman Jim Gennaro (DFresh Meadows), chair of the Environ- or (718) 357mental Protection Committee. The appli- 7400, Ext. 125.

Photo courtesy CURES


Jan. 21-27, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 11


New Dem Group Forms In SE Queens BY JASON BANREY Young adults, concerned parents and pragmatic politicians filled the Black Spectrum Theatre in Roy Wilkins Park to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday, and to complete a dream which began almost four centuries ago. Discussing the political and civic future of the borough's youth, members of the South East Queens County Young Democrats (SEQCYD) celebrated their newly-formed organization. Founded by a group of young political activists, many of whom work with Southeast Queens elected officials, the organization aims to attract youth throughout the area with the intention of inspiring a movement. Speakers evoked the words of Dr. King, in hopes of inspiring a young generation to become involved in civic and social issues in their community. "It starts with us," said Donovan Richards, an executive board member of the SEQCYD and acting Chief of Staff to Councilman James Sanders (DLaurelton). "We can relate to the young people more than our elders." At the age of 26, Richards already seems like a seasoned politician and community organizer with a distinct ability to

detect the potential of youth and provide them with an opportunity to participate in changing their environment. "We need to change the paradigm in Southeast Queens," said Richards, as he worked his way through the theater's crowd, asking the youth in attendance if they saw themselves becoming active within their districts. "It's important you are involved in the democratic process. This is for you." Richards immediately became involved in his community when his friend, Darnell Paterson, was fatally shot in South Jamaica in 2003. The life-changing experience was the catalyst for becoming a community activist, serving under Sanders as an intern within a year of seeing his friend in a casket. Since then Richards has worked behind the scenes, eventually emerging as an outspoken challenger before running against Assemblywoman Michele Titus (D-Far Rockaway) in 2008. Although his first attempt to become an elected official failed, he has since held his head high, directing his inspirational rhetoric towards young individuals looking to make a difference. As a branch of the Queens County Young Democrats, the SEQCYD'S mission is to educate, inform and engage a younger generation in the democratic

Donovan Richards (2nd from r.) joins with fellow members of the South East Queens County Young Democrats. process, with the purpose of supporting the Democratic Party's candidates and ideals. Tai White, press secretary for Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Jamaica), attended the event. White said she believes this organization will have the ability to orga-

nize and get the young people of Queens engaged. "Nothing is going to change unless we get them involved," she said. Reach Intern Jason Banrey at or (718) 3577400, Ext. 128.

Page 12 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 21-27, 2011

People Acclaimed children’s and young adult novelist Rita Williams-Garcia was honored with the Coretta Scott King Award for her 2010 middle grade book, “One Crazy Summer,” which was also named a John Newbery Honor Book. Earlier this month, Williams-Garcia received the Scott O’Dell award for historical young adult fiction, and in November, was named a National Book Award finalist for “One Crazy Summer.” It has also been cited as a 2010 Best Book by The Boston Globe, The Horn Book, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal, and is a 2010 Texas Tayshas selection. “As much as children are the future, they also witness and have had a hand in the past,” she said upon winning the award. “We never connect children with the Black Panther Movement, but they were there, either participating or being served. Why not see this movement through a child’s eyes?” The story follows three sisters from Brooklyn who are sent off to live with their estranged mother in Oakland, Calif. during the tumultuous summer of 1968. Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern learn about their mother, Cecile, make new friends, and experience the electricity of the Black Power movement firsthand under the guidance and care of a day camp run by the Black Panthers. Williams-Garcia is the author of seven young adult novels and one pic-

ture book, as well as several essays and short stories. Known for her realistic portrayal of teens of color, WilliamsGarcia’s previous works have been recognized by the Coretta Scott King Award Committee, PEN Norma Klein, American Library Association, and Parents’ Choice, among others. She served on the National Book Award Committee for Young People’s Literature and is on faculty at Vermont College MFA Writing for Children and Young People. The New York Lottery recently announced the names of area Lottery players who claimed a winning instant game ticket Jan. 2-8, and received a cash prize valued at $10,000 or more. The past week’s winners include: Noriel Deuz of Jackson Heights who won $10,000 on the Cashword Doubler instant game. Deuz’s winning ticket was purchased at the Jackson Heights Stationery at 75-23 31st Ave in Jackson Heights. You-Sun Liu of Flushing who won $50,000 on the Set For Life instant game. Liu’s winning ticket was purchased at the United Fashion Gift Shop NY at 41-17 Kissena Blvd in Flushing. Noel Mcleod of Springfield Gardens who won $21,000 on the 7-11-21 instant game. Mcleod’s winning ticket was purchased at the LR Liquor Store at 131-18 Merrick Blvd in Jamaica. Manuel Pastuizaca-Yauri of Corona who won $10,000 on the Loose Change

Doubler instant game. Pastuizaca-Yauri’s winning ticket was purchased at the Franklin Grocery at 40 Nostrand Ave. in Brooklyn. Hyon Baek of Flushing who won $10,000 on the Cashword Doubler instant game. Baek’s winning ticket was purchased at the Pramukh 162 at 162-20 Northern Blvd. in Flushing. Major General Patrick A. Murphy, The Adjutant General for the State of New York, announces the promotion of members of the New York Army National Guard in recognition of their capabilities for additional responsibility and leadership. Denzel Castro from Long Island City,and serving with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 369th Sustainment Brigade is promoted to the rank of Specialist. Brandon Dejesus from Astoria, and serving with the Company B, 642d Support Battalion is promoted to the rank of Specialist. Alan Roberts from Astoria, and serving with the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1-258th Field Artillery is promoted to the rank of Captain. Bryce Padrone from Astoria, and serving with the 442d Military Police Company is promoted to the rank of Specialist. Santiago Mejiasepulveda from College Point, and serving with the Company B, 642d Support Battalion is promoted to the rank of Specialist.

Jeffrey Hansen from Jackson Heights, and serving with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-69th Infantry is promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant. Joanna Brady from St Albans, and serving with the 133rd Quartermaster Supply Company is promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Leonardo Diaz from Richmond Hill, and serving with the Company C, 642d Support Battalion is promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Daneshwar Sukhra from Jamaica, and serving with the 442d Military Police Company is promoted to the rank of Specialist. Celeste Brevard from Bellerose, and serving with the Headquarters, 27th Finance Management Company is promoted to the rank of Sergeant 1st Class. John Powell from Jamaica, and serving with the Company B, 642d Support Battalion is promoted to the rank of Private 1st Class. Bryant Palmer from Jamaica, and serving with the Early Entry Element, 369 Sustainment Brigade is promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant. Chantel Tyrell from Jamaica, and serving with the Company B, 642d Support Battalion is promoted to the rank of Private. Godfrey Leigh from Jamaica, and serving with the Early Entry Element, 369 Sustainment Brigade is promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant.


Celebrate Arts With Bayside Historic


“A Celebration of the Arts,” an art show at the Officers Club at Fort Totten, opened Jan. 16 with a gala wine and cheese reception. First, second and third place awards were presented, as well as two for honorary mention, and everyone was entertained by the sweet singing of internationally-acclaimed vocalist Veronica Nunn, accompanied by pianist Charles Blenzig and bass player Sean Conly. The 42 artists whose work will be on display until the end of January include two pairs of mothers and daughters and a husband and wife. Mina Rabbani’s entries (each artist has two) include a large painting of an exuberant child riding a black carousel horse, while Homa Rabbani entered one with cute white Persian kittens. Irene Vandian’s emotional portrait “A Grandmother’s Anguish” contrasts with Christina Vandian’s female nude, which features an attached twig and real scattered petals, symbolizing the nakedness of trees in winter. “York, England,” which won first prize, includes attached dried flowers to represent tree blossoms, as well as buildings and people carefully cut from paper. It was created by Adam Hardy, who was born and raised in England but is now a resident of Queens. The artwork of

Charles and Rosetta Bentz, who share a studio, includes Charles’ fine depiction of two men at a beach. The inspiration of nature plays a prominent role at the show. Hyekyung Han’s work of art “Spring” features beautifully rendered delicate white blossoms, while Isobel Kaufman’s two painted views of Peconic Bay nicely evoke the great outdoors. Carol Bruder Clarke entered an award-winning painting of Monet-like water lilies titled “Clarke Gardens.” “Pink Blossoms and Green Leaves” is a pretty photo of a tree and is available in the gift shop on a postcard or card. Ronnie Zamir’s “Capri” is a colorful, cheerful painting of that isle, and Greta Jaklitsch’s photo of boats in a harbor shows expert composition. Charlene McLaughlin-Eisenkraft’s clever photo “Kiss” looks like two tulips reaching out to smooch, while Rita Valenti’s photo of fireworks captures the moment when a “chrysanthemum burst” lives up to its name. The portraits include Joseph Liotta’s expert drawing of Golda Meir, while his other entry is an expertly rendered, digitally created portrait of a geisha. Hernani DeSilva’s artistic achievement, “All American,” includes a realistically painted baseball bat, hat, flag and bag of peanuts. Joseph LoGuirato intricately penciled the girders and cables of the Williamsburg Bridge and Manhattan

Bridge on gesso wood panels. One unusual entry includes all the lyrics of “Lydia the Tattooed Lady” as well as a depiction of the lady herself. The Officers Club is the home of the Bayside Historical Society and is located

at 208 Totten Ave., where the art will be displayed until the end of January. It is a historic building worth visiting anytime. For more information, contact the Bayside Historical Society at (718) 3521548 or go to

Dante Brings All-Stars To Queensboro PAC Celebrated producer, singer, songwriter and author Ron Dante will be among three powerhouse talents to lightup the stage when the curtain rises on Back to the 60’s!, at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. Ron Dante is renowned for creating and managing many of the biggest pop stars in the music industry, including Cher, Barry Manilow and Ray Charles, to name just a few. He was also the lead vocalist for such iconic tunes as “Sugar, Sugar,” voted “Song of the Year” in 1969. Appearing with Ron are Sonny Geraci of “The Outsiders” (and “Climax”) who turned-out four Top 40 hits and is best known for “Time Won’t Let Me,” “Precious & Few” and “Bend Me, Shape Me.” Dennis Tufano of The Buckinghams also had many hits, including the chart-topping “Kind of a Drag” in 1967, as well as “Don’t You Care,” “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song),” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” and “Susan.” Join-

ing this exclusive group is the band Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods, who will bring down the house with their gold disc record, “Billy Don’t Be A Hero,” as well as “Who Do You Think You Are,” “The Heartbreak Kid” and more. These timeless songs will be featured along with tributes to Elvis, Buddy Holly and the Beatles. “It is impossible to overestimate the profound influence that Ron Dante has had on the music and entertainment world, whether it’s Grammy-award winning singles, Broadway productions or famous commercial jingles,” said Susan Agin, Artistic Director of QPAC, which is celebrating its 45th Anniversary this year. “We are thrilled and honored to bring all of these fantastic performers to Queensborough – it promises to be an unforgettable evening!” For more information about this event and other upcoming shows, call the QPAC Box Office at (718) 631-6311; tickets are available online at

Restaurant Review

Get Your Kosher Fix BUDDY’S KOSHER DELI 215-01 73rd Ave., Bayside PHONE: (718) 631-2110 CUISINE: Traditional Kosher Favorites HOURS: Open seven days 9:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. CREDIT CARDS: All major DELIVERY: Yes (Minimum order $15)

Jan. 21-27, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 13

It takes as many as four Hebrew words to describe something that is amazing or great: chaval al ha zman. In English, it just takes one word: Buddy’s. Buddy’s Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant has been delighting Queens residents with hearty Jewish staples since 1950. While the front of the establishment resembles an ordinary deli, the back dining room is a love letter to a bygone era, with colorful murals that feature vintage advertisements for honest lawyers, $5 hot knishes, $4 used suits and a tribute to the New York Giants (the baseball team, of course). It was difficult to choose just one soup from the extensive list that includes Chicken Soup with Matzoball, Split Pea, Cabbage Soup and traditional Chicken Noodle. I ordered a Mushroom Barley Soup and was struck by how many sizable, meaty mushrooms I found in the thick and tasty homemade brew, a rare

treat in a city where so many delis favor a can opener to fresh ingredients. My next dish, Stuffed Cabbage, was the most surprisingly delicious entrée I sampled. For years, my Irish relatives have been unsuccessfully trying to breathe life into this wallf lower vegetable. Buddy’s does it by wrapping tender cabbage slices around a beef and rice filling and serving it with a light, sweet raisin sauce and French Fries that are so void of oil they’re practically weightless. A trip to a Kosher deli is incomplete without trying the hot Corned Beef and Pastrami sandwich. I ordered mine on rye bread, which balanced the tender and perfectly salted meat, but you can also have it served in a knish. And though I haven’t enjoyed a knish in years, Buddy’s Spinach Knish, with its thin dough wrap, shared little in common with the overly-fried, oily knishes of my childhood flea market trips. I ended my lunch with a slice of Sweet Potato Pie, a thick pudding-like dessert with just a hint of cinnamon and brown sugar. And for anyone who doesn’t appreciate the culinary skill it takes to produce a perfectly tangy, crisp-as-ice pickle, head over to Buddy’s and see what you’ve been missing.


Send typed announcements for your club or organization’s events at least TWO weeks in advance to “Queens Today� Editor, Queens Tribune, 174-15 Horace Harding Expressway, Fresh Meadows, NY 11365. Send faxes to 357-9417, c/o Regina. IF YOUR ORGANIZATION MEETS ON A REGULAR BASIS, SEND ALL DATES FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR.

DANCE COUNTRY WESTERN Saturday, January 22 San Antones perform. Saturday, February 12 Mary Lamont performs at the Valentine’s Day Dance. The NY Metropolitan Country Music Association. $12. Glendale Memorial Building, 72-02 Myrtle Avenue at 7:30. 763-4328. ISRAELI FOLK Mondays 7:30-10:00 at Hillcrest Jewish Center, 18202 Union Turnpike. $10 session. 380-4145. LINE DANCING Mondays 6:30-9:30 at Kowalinski Post 4, 61-57 Maspeth Avenue. $7. Cake and coffee. 565-2259.

EDUCATION/GAMES/CRAFTS AWARENESS One-on-one discussion on Awareness Building (Get Back to Work ASAP) with the C Network in Forest Hills. 263-3501. DEFENSIVE DRIVING Saturday, January 22 at Wesley United Methodist Church in Franklin Square. 516-872-8062. POETS Saturday, January 22 the Fresh Meadows Poets meet to discuss and critique their work at 10 at the Forest Hills library. US CITIZENSHIP Saturdays, January 22, 29, February 5, 12 Pathway to US Citizenship at 2:30 at the Jackson Heights library. SCRABBLE CLUB Saturdays at 10 at Count Basie Jr. HS, 132 nd Street and Guy R. Brewer Blvd. 8865236. PET OWNERS Sundays (not on holidays) from 1-4 free workshops on pet behavior at Crocheron Park in Bayside (weather permitting). 454-5800. KNIT & CROCHET Mondays at the Douglaston/ Little Neck library at 4. ADULT CHESS Mondays and Thursdays at the Queens Village library at 5:30. INTRO EMAIL Tuesday, Januar y 25 at the

Queens Village library. Register. COMPUTER: EMAIL Monday, January 24 at the Fresh Meadows library at 10:30. ENGLISH CONVERSATION Monday, January 24 English Conversation Group at 5 at the Bellerose library. CRAFT CLUB Mondays, January 24 and February 28 Craft Club at the LIC library at 6. INTRO EXCEL Monday, January 24 at the Maspeth library at 6. BALLROOM DANCE Mondays, January 24, 31, February 7, 14 S t a n d a r d Ballroom Dance and Waltz Class at the Flushing library. Register. BALLROOM DANCE Mondays, January 24, 31, February 7, 14, 28 Ballroom Dancing with Jing Chen at the Forest Hills library at 6:30. COMPUTER CLASS Tuesdays, Januar y 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22 at the Arverne library at 10. COMPUTER CLASS Tuesdays at the Sunnyside library. Register. KNIT & CROCHET Tuesdays at the Windsor Park library at 2. SCRABBLE CLUB Tuesdays at the East Flushing library at 3:30.

ENTERTAINMENT CON BRIO ENSEMBLE Saturday, January 22 at 2 at the Langston Hughes library. CONCERTI Sunday, January 23 young virtuosi take the stage to perform a program of concerti with orchestra. All ages. 9973888. MOVIE & TALK Mondays the Friends of Pomonok present a movie and discussion. Bring lunch. 1 at the Pomonok library. POETRY CLUB Monday, January 24 at 2 at the Auburndale library. NEW YEAR Monday, January 24 celebrate the new year with actor David Mills and author Andrew Jackson at the East Elmhurst library at 7. BINGO Tuesdays at 7:15 at American Mart yrs Church, church basement, 216-01 Union Turnpike, Bayside. 464-4582. Tuesdays at 7:15 (doors open 6) at the Rego Park Jewish Center, 97-30 Queens Blvd. 459-1000.$3 admission includes 12 games. OPEN MIC Thursday, January 27 at 6 at the East Elmhurst library. GOLDILOCKS Saturday, January 29 Goldilocks and the Three Bears at Queens Theatre in the Park. 760-0064.

PEKING OPERA Saturday, January 29 at the Flushing library at 2. JOHNNY MERCER Saturday, January 29 tribute to Johnny Mercer featuring Diane Hoffman at 3 at the Bayside library. BACK TO THE 60S Saturday, January 29 Ron Dante, Sonny Geraci and Dennis Tu fano per form at Queensborough Communit y College. 631-6311. STAMP SHOW Sundays, January 30, February 27, March 27 at the Ramada Inn, 220-33 Northern Blvd., Bayside. Free. 104:30. BOWLING Sunday, January 30 Clergy United for Communit y Empowerment, Inc. sponsors a

Family That “Playsâ€? To get her‌Bowling Extravaganza at JIB Lanes in Flushing. 297-0720. FOLK INFLUENCES Sunday, January 30 musical cultures from around the world at Church in the Gardens, 50 Ascan Avenue, Forest Hills at 5. $20. COFFEEHOUSE Saturday, February 5 at the Forest Hills Jewish Center. 263-7000. MARACATU NY Sunday, February 6 concert at the Central library at 3. OLDIES DANCE-ORLEANS Saturday, February 12 St. Francis Prep Fathers’ Guild presents the 70s band Orleans (“Still the Oneâ€?) with contests, dj, food and more. $35. 423-8810, ext. 324.

HEALTH CAREGIVER SUPPORT Queens Communit y House at 268-5960, ext. 226. Counseling, support groups, education, respite services, referral services, more. NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS 7 days a week. 932-6244. WAITANKUNG Sundays at 2. Waitankung is a great total-body workout. Join these ancient Chi-

nese exercise classes in the Flushing Hospital/Medical Center auditorium on 45 th Avenue between Parsons and Burling. Free. Jimmy 710pm 347-2156 information. CANCER Sunday, January 23 Hope, Health and Prevention: Cancer and Our Communit y at 4 at the Jackson Heights library.

The path to your first home. Page 14 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 21-27, 2011


For more information, call

1-800-382-HOME (4663) or visit


Queens Today

Mount Moriah Filled With Plenty To Do BY SASHA AUSTRIE Just a few weeks into the New Year and Mount Moriah AME Church’s calendar is already chock full of events. On Saturday, Jan. 22, a Men’s Fellowship sponsored an outing to St. Luke’s Theater to watch “Black Angels,” the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. On Friday Jan. 28, the church is hosting two events, one for young people and their parents and the other for married couples. They both start at 7:30 p.m. at the church, located at 116-20 Francis Lewis Blvd. For a more family-oriented event,


“That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular.” – Abraham Lincoln

Moriah will host a Super Bowl party. Six days later there will be an event for children aged 6 to 11 dubbed “Created in God’s Image: A Youth Intreat.” The church will also host a Valentine’s Extravaganza along with a women’s event sponsored by the Women of Worship Ministries. Moriah also has a host of ongoing weekly activities, such as noon time worship, programs for teens, Bible study and their usual Sunday service. Beside the bevy of programs, the church is adding an expansion, which will be finished this year. From its humble beginnings in 1959, the church has grown to 5,000 members. The church has a wide array of ministries enabling it to flourish and save souls. “We’ve taken our God-given talents that we have used in the secular world and brought them back into faith-based ministries to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ,” states Moriah’s Web site. “These ministries foster collaboration, cohesiveness and motivation by building networks and cultivating internal and external relationships.” Reach Reporter Sasha Austrie at, or (718) 3577400, Ext. 123.

Notebook Martin Van Buren HS

Cadet’s Packed Schedule BY BOB HARRIS

Techna Cadet

COMMUNITY CAFÉ Saturday, January 22 the Eastern Queens Alliance, Inc. will hold a Communit y Café, a neighborhood conversation about Life in Southeast Queens from 9-noon at the Deliverance Baptist Church, 227-11 Linden Blvd., Cambria Heights. RSVP required 347-824-2301. START A BUSINESS Saturday, January 22 Inform a t i o n o n St a r t i n g Yo u r Own Business at 3 at the Sunnyside librar y. FOREST HILLS Monday, January 24 “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pe e l S o c i e t y ” w i l l b e d i s cussed at the Forest Hills library at 3. ELIZABETH MORA MASS Monday, January 24 author talk at the Jackson Heights library at 6. PHILOSOPHY CLUB Monday, January 24 at the Seaside library at 6:30. EAST FLUSHING Thursday, January 27 book talk at the East Flushing library at 10:30.

MEETINGS BEREAVEMENT New bereavement group forming at the Forest Hills Jewish Center. 263-7000, ext. 223 for information. ST. ALBANS CIVIC Sundays, January 23, February 27, March 27 St. Albans Civic Improvement Association meets at St. Albans Lutheran Church, 200 th Street and 199 th Avenue in the undercroft at 1:30. JEWISH VETS Sundays, January 23, February 27, March 27 Jewish Wa r Ve te ra n s o f t h e U SA Lipsky/Blum Post meet at the Garden Jewish Center. 4634742. VFW 4787 Mondays, January 24, February 14, 28, March 14, 28 Whitestone VFW Community Post meets. 746-0540. FRESH MEADOW CAMERA Tuesdays the Fresh Meadows Camera Club meets. 917-612-3463. WOMANSPACE Wednesdays Womanspace, a discussion group devoted to issues concerning women, meets 1-3 at the Great Neck Senior Center, 80 Grace Avenue. New members welcome. LA LECHE LEAGUE Thursday, January 27 and Thursday, February 24 at the Forest Hills library at 5:30. ADVANCED TOASTMASTER Thursdays, January 27, February 24, March 17, 31 learn the art and science of public speaking in Queens. 5256830. QUEENS CENTRAL ROTARY Thursdays 6:30-8:30 Come learn if Rotary is for you. 465-2914. WOMAN’S GROUP Fridays the Woman’s Group of Jamaica Estates meets at noon. Call 461-3193 for information.


FRESH MEADOWS Thursday, January 27 “The Stormchasers” will be discussed at the Fresh Meadows library at 2:30.

KILLING KOMPANY Friday, February 4 “Murder by Marriage” at Riccardo’s in Astoria. 1-888-SHOOTEM for information.

TEENS CHESS CLUB Saturdays at the Flushing library at 2. TEEN TUTORING Saturdays, January 22, 29, February 5, 12, 19, 26 at the Bayside library at 10. KNIT & CROCHET Mondays at the Douglaston/ Little Neck library at 4. TEEN TUTORING Mondays, January 24, 31, February 7, 14, 28 at the Bayside library at 3:30. COLLEGE BOUND Monday, January 24 at the Central library at 4. Topics include f inancial aid, SAT, etc. TEEN MANGA CLUB Mondays, January 24, 31 at the Peninsula library at 4. LAPTOPS Mondays, January 24, 31, February 7, 14 at the Hollis library at 4:30. TEEN CHESS CLUB Mondays, January 24, 31, February 7, 14, 28 at the Bayside library at 6. BOOK BUDDIES Tuesdays, Januar y 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22 at the Hillcrest library at 3:30. CHESS & CHECKERS Tuesday, January 25 at 4 at the LIC library DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Tuesdays, Januar y 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22 at the Baisley Park library. Register. LAPTOPS Tuesdays, Januar y 25, February 1, 8, 15 learn how to use a laptop at 4:30 at the Hollis library. TEEN TUESDAYS Tuesday, Januar y 25 at the Hillcrest library at 4. TEEN KARAOKE Tuesday, Januar y 25 at the Seaside library at 4:30. LAPTOPS Wednesdays, January 26, February 2, 9, 16 learn how to use a laptop at 4:30 at the Hollis library. CHESS Wednesdays at 3:30 at the Queens Village library. TEEN GAMES Wednesday, January 26 at the Central library at 4. GAME DAY Wednesday, January 26 at the St. Albans library at 4. TEEN GAME DAY Wednesday, January 26 at the Kew Gardens Hills library at 4:30. DRAMA POSSE Thursdays, January 27, February 3, 10, 17, 24 at the Hillcrest library at 3. LAPTOPS Thursdays, January 27, February 3, 10, 17, 24 learn how to use a laptop at 4:30 at the Hollis library. ANNE FRANK Thursday, January 27 Anne Frank Remembered at the Steinway library at 4:30. TAROT Thursday, January 27 at the Seaside library at 6:30.

HAPPY HOUR Fridays, January 28, February 4, 11, 18, 25 at the Flushing library at 3. GAME PLAYERS Fridays at the Hillcrest library at 2. BOOK BUDDIES Fridays, January 28, February 4, 11, 18 at the Bayside library at 4. WII SPORTS CHALLENGE Friday, January 28 at the Lefrak Cit y library at 4:30. PLANT PROJECT Fridays, January 28, February 4, 11 Intergenerational Plant Project at the Hollis librar y. Register.

SINGLES SINGLES SOCIAL & DANCE Sundays, January 30, February 13, 27 singles social and dance from 2-6. $10. Over 45. Rego Park Jewish Center, 97-30 Queens Blvd., Rego Park. 459-1000.

PARENTS REPORT CARDS Saturday, January 22 Avoid Report Card Surprise, a parenting workshop from Sylvan Learning Center at the Bayside library at 2:30.

ONGOING AUXILIARY OFF. The 105 th Precinct Community Council invites all interested in becoming an Auxiliary Police Officer to contact 776-9268. BARBERSHOP Wednesdays the Que e n s chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Societ y meets at the school hall, 175-20 74 th Avenue, Flushing. 381-8689. COMMUNITY SINGERS Mondays through May the Communit y Singers of Queens, Inc. rehearses at Messiah Lutheran Church, 42-15 165 th Street, Flushing. New members welcome. 658-1021. FOOD PANTRY Fridays Grace Episcopal Church, 14-15 Clintonville Street, Whitestone, from 1011. 767-6305. FH VAC The Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps needs volunteers. They will sponsor you for a NYS EMT course at no cost to you once you qualif y. 793-2055. Monetary donations also needed PO Box 750617, Forest Hills 11375. FH SYMPHONY Wednesdays the Forest Hills Symphony Orchestra will rehearse at the Forest Hills Jewish Center. 374-1627.

Jan. 21-27, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 15

Techna Cadet is a senior at Martin Van Buren HS, who lives in Queens Village. Like her sister Kechna, who graduated last year, she is a member of the MVB Student Organization and is serving as its vice president. She has also volunteered to be the public relations liaison to the local newspapers, which print stories about her school. Cadet is a member of Arista, the debate team, mock trial team, Key Club, the school chorus, Tri-M. and Music Honor Society. As a member of the Chorus she has already sung at a hospital for AIDS patients on Long Is-

land. The Music Honor Society plans to sing at nursing homes and hospitals about which she will be writing stories.


Queens Today YOUTH QUEENS LIBRARIES Many branches of the Queensborough Library offer toddler and pre-school programs. Contact your local branch for dates. SNOW MOBILES Saturday, January 22 for those 8-12 at Alley Pond Environmental Center. 2294000 to register. YOUNG CHEFS Saturday, January 22 for those 7-11 at Alley Pond Environmental Center. 2294000 to register. FOOTPRINTS IN SNOW Saturday, January 22 for those 5-6 at Alley Pond Environmental Center. 229-4000 to register. TEEN TUTORING Saturdays, January 22, 29, February 5, 12, 19, 26 at the Bayside library at 10. MATH HELP Saturdays at the Flushing library at 10. SCIENCE LAB Saturdays, January 22, 29, February 5, 12, 19, 26 at the Central library at 11. CHESS CLUB Saturdays at the Flushing library at 2. S TORY TIMES Saturdays at 11 and Tuesdays at 10:30 weekly story times at 7 at Barnes & Noble, 1 7 6 - 6 0 Un i o n Tu r n p i k e , Fresh Meadows. ANIMAL CARE


Sunday, January 23 for those 8-12 at Alley Pond Environmental Center. 2294000 to register. KNIT & CROCHET Mondays at 4 at the Douglaston/Little Neck lib ra r y. B r i n g n e e d l e s a n d yarn. AFTERSCHOOL TIME Mondays, January 24, 31, February 7, 28 at the Arverne library for those 7 and over. CRAFT KIDS Mondays, January 24, 31 at the Flushing library at 3. TEEN TUTORING Mondays, January 24, 31, February 7, 14, 28 at the Bayside library at 3:30. SEASONAL CRAFT Monday, January 24 at the Fresh Meadows library at 3:30. COMPOSTING HEROES Monday, January 24 author Reba Linker will conduct a special composting workshop at 4 at the Forest Hills library. LITTLE TOT TIME Mondays, January 24, 31 at the Hillcrest library at 4. READ TO A DOG Monday, January 24 at the Sunnyside library at 4. BOOK CLUB Monday, January 24 Harold and the Purple Crayon at 5 at the Far Rockaway library. HOMEWORK HELP

Weekdays at the Lefrak Cit y library at 3. Call 592-7677 to confirm. BOOK BUDDIES Tuesdays, Januar y 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22 at 3:30 at the Hillcrest library. CHESS & CHECKERS Tuesday, Januar y 25 at the LIC library at 4. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Tuesdays, Januar y 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22 at the Baisley Park library. Register. CHINESE NEW YEAR Tuesday, Januar y 25 at the Queensboro Hill library at 3:30. BOOK TALK Tuesday, Januar y 25 at the Queens Village library at 4. BOOK CLUB Tuesday, Januar y 25 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Tr u t h a t 4 : 3 0 a t t h e F a r Rockaway library. CHESS Wednesdays at the Queens Village library at 3:30. WII TOURNAMENT Wednesday, January 26 at t h e W i n d s o r Pa r k l i b ra r y. Register. AFTERSCHOOL TIME Thursday, January 27 at the Arverne library at 3. ARTS & CRAFTS Thursdays, January 27, February 3, 10, 17, 24 at the Auburndale library. JIGSAW PUZZLE Thursday, January 27 at the

Cambria Heights library for those in grades 1-3 at 3:30. WINTER CRAFT Thursday, January 27 for those 3-12 at the Pomonok library at 3:30. SOCK DOLL WORKSHOP Thursday, January 27 at the Queens Village library. Register. CRAFT TIME Friday, January 28 at the Maspeth library at 3:30. CHESS CLUB Fridays at the Poppen-husen library at 3:30. GAME DAY Fridays at 3:30 at the Queens Village library. ARTS & CRAFTS Friday, January 28 at the East Flushing library. Register. GAME PLAYERS CLUB Fridays at the Hillcrest library at 4. PLANT PROJECT Fridays, January 28, February 4, 11 Intergenerational Plant Project at the Hollis library. Register. GAME TIME Fridays at the Windsor Park library at 4. ARTS & CRAFTS Friday, January 28 at the Peninsula library at 4. CHESS CLUB Fridays at the Douglaston/ Little Neck library. Register. BOOK BUDDIES Fridays, January 28, February 4, 11, 18 at the Bayside library at 4.

AARP 1405 Monday, January 24 Flushing AARP Chapter 1405 meets at the Bowne Street Communit y Church, 143-11 Roosevelt Avenue at 1. New members welcome. STARS Wednesdays, January 26, February 2, 9, 16, 23 a t 10:30 at the Hollis library and Fridays, January 28, February 4, 11, 18, 25 at 10:30 at the Queens Village library. Senior Theater Acting Repertory meets. WOMANSPACE Wednesdays Womanspace, a discussion group devoted to issues concerning women, meets 1-3 at the Great Neck Senior Center, 80 Grace Avenue. New members welcome. CLEARVIEW Friday, January 28 “The Bucket List” movie at 12:45. Clearview Senior Center, 208-11 26 th Avenue, Bayside. 224-7888. FREE LUNCH Saturdays, January 29, February 26, March 26 at Church of the Resurrection in Kew Gardens. 847-2649 reservations. AARP 29 Thursdays, February 10, March 10 AARP Chapter 29 meets at Grace House, 155-02 90 th Avenue, Jamaica at noon. AARP 4977

Wednesdays, February 16, March 16 the Corona/E. Elmhurst AARP 4977 meets at 1:30 at Corona Congregational Church hall, 102-18 34 th avenue. 458-7429. ALLEN COMMUNITY Keyboard lessons, Spanish, crocheting and knitting, art lessons, computer classes for beginners and advanced, Allen Singers, Drama Club, Hair Care, Aerobic, Beginners Bridge, Advanced Bridge, Creative Design, storytelling and rap sessions. Allen Communit y Senior Center, 166-01 Linden Blvd., Jamaica. 658-0980. ALZHEIMERS SUPPORT Every other Wednesday Alzheimer Support Group meets at the Elmhurst Senior Center. 478-7171, ext. 27 ART CLASSES Thursdays free craft classes, general arts and crafts, at the Middle Village Adult Center. Call 969-1128. BAYSIDE CENTER Tuesdays line dancing 9:30 and Thursdays 10:00. Fridays ballroom instruction at 10:15, ballroom and social dancing 1-3. Bayside Center for classes in movie, ping pong, bridge instruction, healthy lifest yle, card games, Wii bowling, painting, ESL, computer, exercise, dance, wellness workshops, etc. Lunch at 11:30. 225-1144.


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Jan. 21-27, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 17


Train To Nowhere The MTA may feel a bit of a chill soon, as a Manhattan lawyer is suing the agency on behalf of riders who spent the better part of Dec. 26’s blizzard stuck on the infamous A train to nowhere. The attorney, Aymen Aboushi, claims the agency An image of the stuck passengers taken created a hostile and unby a rider’s cell phone. sanitary environment. “The MTA, once they were stuck, didn’t afford them any water, any supplies, any food,” he told WCBS. “There was no heating and you have to keep in mind that this train was above ground. It’s not like they had to dig deep in the tunnel to get to it.” Hopefully the suit will at least give the riders enough to buy blankets.

Now Boarding: Pressed Suits Airports used to only have small concession stands, now they have liquor stores, restaurants – and even dry cleaners. Taeyoung Kim of Elmhurst opened JFK’s first dry cleaners, in the middle of the arrivals hall of Terminal 4. Kim says JFK isn’t the only place with a dry cleaner. They also exist in Zurich and South Korea. He expects 80 percent of his customers to be workers at the airport. The other 20 percent, passengers who decided to have a cup of coffee while flying through turbulence, or need to freshen up their business suits after an overzealous pat down from an unkempt TSA agent.

Models Of Queens

Snow Job

You fail to plow our streets during a snowstorm, you end up the butt of a joke on Saturday Night Live. Both Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the Dept. of Sanitation were roasted in the opening segment of SNL two weeks ago. Hizzoner, played by Fred Armisten, reminded New Yorkers that Sanitation workers have other responsibilities before plowing the roads, including playing cards, napping, downloading internet porn and lunch. SNL even poked fun on how our Fred Armisen as Mayor Mike own borough is seemingly forgotten by the Manhattan-centric city government. “However long it takes. However much it costs,” Armisen’s Bloomberg promised, “we’ll clean New York City of snow…Then, God willing, we’ll start on Queens.”

For the last four years, this gal from China has called Flushing home. An international traveler, Lise Liu has been to France, Canada and other countries, but enjoys her life settled in the heart of our borough. She has been modeling for about two years. “I was at a party where I met a guy, he’s a male model,” she said. “He introduced me to a photo workshop,” and she’s been working in front of the camera ever since. Though Lise is an English student putting herself through college, and works at a hotel in Flushing, she sees a future for herself either as a fulltime model or perhaps working as a translator or tour guide. Remember, this gal loves to travel. But for now, she’s quite happy where she is. “I like Queens,” she said. “It’s a really cool place. Where I live is Chinatown; it’s familiar and it’s easy to get all the stuff I miss like Chinese TV and Chinese food and supermarkets.” Lise sees herself sticking with the modeling for a while. “I really enjoy taking a photo,” she said. “I like to see the different sides of me.” In her downtime, which doesn’t come often, Lise might swing by DIY Karaoke on Prince Street or just chill out at home watching a movie. She admitted an odd collection – though she’ll be the first to say that it’s not really a hobby. If she gets mail from somebody and it has a nice stamp, she’ll save the stamp. Her collection is slowly growing - as is our interest in her. You can check her out on Model Mayhem:

A Novel Solution

Lise Liu Home: Flushing Age: 28 Height: 5’ 6" Weight: 110 lbs Stats: 34-26-35

Lovely Lise

Confidentially, New York . . .

Are creditors harassing you? Are you looking for debt relief? A Queens man may have a solution for you. Syed Omair Ali, 25, first e-mailed the FBI in May about a terrorist plot aimed at Times Square. After a team of agents followed dead end leads and the government expended $1 million officials began to ask the tough questions. Ali broke down and told officials he was trying to get out of paying a debt owed to his acquaintances. He pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI. He faces up to five years in prison and maybe made to pay restitution. We assume he still owes the debt. Page 18 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 21-27, 2011

Syed Omair Ali leaves the courthouse.

Dissing Our Gal

She can annoy us for another 20 years, Piers.

British comedian Piers Morgan has yet to debut his new show on CNN, Piers Morgan Tonight, but he’s already making headlines by banning our borough’s beloved Madonna. Apparently, Morgan has yet to recover from a mid-90s “bread throwing incident.” “Lady Gaga is half her age, twice as good-looking, twice as talented, and twice as hot. I mean, why would I bother with Madonna, seriously?” he asked on Access Hollywood. Calling the Material Girl a 20year irritant, he will only consider lifting the ban after an on-air apology. Don’t count on it, Piers.

QConfidential: Who We Are QConfidential, a selection of local celebrity, politics and gossip edited by Michael Schenkler. Contributors: Jessica Ablamsky, Sasha Austrie, Marcia Moxom Comrie, Mike Nussbaum, Joe Orovic, Brian Rafferty, Domenick Rafter.

You can reach us by email at

What’s Up SATURDAY, JAN. 22 Youth & Tennis The Youth and Tennis group meets every Saturday morning at Roy Wilkins Park Saturday. To learn more, call Bill Briggs at (718) 658-6728.

Alliance Cafe The Eastern Queens Alliance invites you to participate in its Community Cafe – a neighborhood conversation about life in Southeast Queens. Here’s the big question: What would make Southeast Queens an ideal community in which to live? Come out and make a real difference by sharing your ideas, knowledge and creativity to tackle some of the difficult challenges that we face in Southeast Queens. Be sure to attend. You must RSVP. Breakfast will be served. For additional information, and to RSVP, send an e-mail to or call (347) 824-2301. This free event will be held at the Deliverance Baptist Church, 227-11 Linden Blvd. from 9 a.m. to noon.

Internet job searching; job search assessment; job sites and resumes; applying for jobs and a practice session. This free event will be held at the Queensborough Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., at 6:30 p.m.

Trial ZUMBA Class With ZUMBA, all adult shapes and sizes can try the fused hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy to follow moves of merengue, salsa, cumbia, reggaeton, belly dance, flamenco, tango,and samba – which create a mind-blowing, one-of-akind fitness program. Participants must be over 18 years old, be a first time visitor of the Jamaica Y, must have valid picture ID, and have a lock to secure their belongings. For additional information, visit, or contact Sheila Clark-Hawkins at (718) 739-6600 or This free event will be held at the Jamaica YMCA, 89-25 Parsons Blvd. at 7:40 p.m.

TUESDAY, JAN. 25 Job Club

York College is pleased to present a Money Fair/Economic Forum. The day’s activities will include workshops in tax preparation (bring your W-2, 1099s, etc.), financial planning, mortgages/modifications, purchasing foreclosures, and career coaching. For additional information, contact Larese Miller at or (718) 262-3866. This free event will be held at the York College Academic Core Building, 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Every Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Jamaica Neighborhood Center offers a free service to assist people from Southeast Queens with job-readiness skill sets in writing a professional resume and cover letter; interviewing practices and techniques; applying on-line procedures; elevator pitch and Microsoft Suite 2007. For additional information, contact Lenin Gross, Job Coach, at (718) 739-2060, Ext. 18 or This free event will be held at the Jamaica Neighborhood Center - 161-06 89th Ave.

SUNDAY, JAN. 23 Economic Forum

Camera Club

Money Fair/Economic Forum

MONDAY, JAN. 24 Adult Chess Club

The Southeast Queens Camera Club welcomes photographers, beginners to advanced. Meetings are held the second, third and fourth Tuesday every month at 7:30 p.m. at Roy Wilkins Family Life Center, 177-01 Baisley Blvd.

Intro to Computers In this single-session workshop, customers will learn the basics of using the computer; how to log on and off; use the keyboard and mouse; open and close “windows”; use toolbars, and scroll bars. Preregistration is required in person at the Cyber Center desk. This free event will be held at the Queensborough Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., at 6 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 26 Lunch In Church

Practice your chess skills weekly, on Monday and Thursday evenings. The event is held at 6 p.m. every Monday at Queens Village Library, 94-11 217 St., (718) 776-6800.

Join us for lunch and get refueled, renewed and refilled. This free event is held every Wednesday at noon at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, 89-60 164th St. For more information, call (718) 526-4775, Ext. 10. Come just as you are.

Search the Internet For Jobs

Intro to Computers

The Job Information Center, in collaboration with New York Cares, will help you find the most useful websites when job hunting. You must have basic computer skills. Seating is limited; preregistration is required. Topics include: introduction to

In this single-session workshop, customers will learn the basics of using the computer; how to log on and off; use the keyboard and mouse; open and close “windows”; use toolbars, and scroll bars. Preregistration is required in person at the

THURSDAY, JAN. 27 Adult Chess Club Practice your chess skills weekly, on Monday and Thursday evenings. The event is held at 6 p.m. every Thursday at Queens Village Library, 94-11 217 St., (718) 776-6800.

Word En Espanol Three computer classes in Spanish will be held. Preregistration in person will be held at the Cyber Center Reference Desk on Jan. 6 starting at 10 a.m. On Jan. 13, the class will focus be an introduction to Microsoft Word. On Jan. 20 – Creating and Saving Documents. On Jan. 27 – Working with Tables and Printing. Attendees should have basic computer skills, such as being able to use the keyboard and the mouse, and to open and close applications. This free event will be held at the Queensborough Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., at 6:30 p.m.

FRIDAY, JAN. 28 Senior Theatre Acting Repertory Calling all older adults: Join our galaxy of STARs to perform theatrical works at the library with a great group of people while brightening your life. Rehearsals are held at 10:30 a.m. Fridays at Queens Village Library, 94-11 217 St., (718) 776-6800.

ONGOING CPR Training The FDNY Mobile CPR Training Unit will hold regularly scheduled free CPR classes in all five boroughs. The first Tuesday through the fourth Tuesday and the fourth Thursday of every month there will be Borough CPR training sessions in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and Queens. Training is free to anyone over the age of 14. The goal of this program is increase the number of people in New York City trained in bystander CPR Each class lasts 1 hour and participants in the class learn basic CPR skills from a member of the FDNY Emergency Medical Service. Volunteers for the class follow along using the CPR Anytime Personal Learning Kit, which features an instructional DVD and an inflatable mannequin. All participants are able take home the kit at the end of class and asked to pledge to use the kit to show five of their family members and friends how to perform CPR. This class teaches basic CPR technique and is not a certification course. In Queens, the classes will be held the fourth Thursday of every month at EMS Station 54, 222-15 Merrick Blvd. In addition, please visit for New York Sports Club locations offering free CPR classes starting in January. Please visit or call (718) 999-2413 for more information.

Group Sessions Clergy United for Community Empow-

erment, Inc. Group Sessions are located at 89-31 161st St., 10th Floor, Jamaica, for the community on various topics such as Domestic Violence, Mental Health, Substance Abuse intervention, Decision Making, Condom Use, High Risk Behaviors leading to HIV, and self – esteem awareness. All group sessions offer light snacks and beverages. Group sessions are open to the public. Round-Trip Metro Card reimbursement is available at the end of each completed session. For further information call (718) 297-0720. All services are free. Please call for next group date.

Infant Mortality Clergy United for Community Empowerment’s Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative program provides the following services free of charge: case management services, parent skills building, crib care, breast feeding education, health education, nutritional information/education, referral for HIV testing, confidential one-on-one counseling, workshops, and women support groups. IMRI provides referrals for Food stamps, GED, GYN, Emergency Baby Formula (qualifications required) and more. Call (718) 297-0720. Located at 89-31 161 St., 10th floor, Jamaica. Services are available Tue.-Thurs. 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

HIV Awareness Clergy United for Community Empowerment provides intervention and curriculum-based prevention education sessions on HIV/AIDS, to reduce risk behaviors that lead to HIV transmission. Services are located at 89-31 161st St., Jamaica. Call (718) 297-0720 ask about our presentation to adolescents and men/women of color. Services are available Tue.-Thurs., 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Laurelton Flea Market A flea market has opened at 221-02 Merrick Blvd. On sale are a wide range of items, including household items, jewelry and clothing. The market is open every Thursday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

CPR Class Learn to protect yourself and others at Heron Care Inc. For more information, please call (718) 291-8788. Heron is located at 168-30 89th Ave., Jamaica.

PAL Volunteers The Police Athletic League (PAL) is looking for volunteers to continue its mission of serving New York City’s young people by donating their time and talents to help serve Queens youngsters at PAL’s Redfern Cornerstone and Far Rockaway Beacon in Arverne-Far Rockaway, PAL’s Edward Byrne Center in South Jamaica and PS 214 in Flushing. To become a volunteer with the Police Athletic League or to learn more about volunteer opportunities, please visit Volunteers will go through an application process that includes an interview, screening and an orientation. For more information, please contact PAL’s Volunteer Coordinator, Alexandria Sumpter-Delves, at (212) 477-9450, Ext. 390 or

Jan. 21-27, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 19

The York College Office of Administrative Affairs is hosting an economic workshop to help you make simple but solid decisions as you continue to navigate through these challenging times. The workshops, open to the public, are intended to provide information to assist constituents in financial decision making. Workshops will include how to’s on tax preparation, credit reporting, financial planning, mortgages, stress management, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) and interview success. For more information, visit, send an email to, or call 718262-3866. This free event will be held at the York College Academic Core Building, 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cyber Center desk. This free event will be held at the Queensborough Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., at 10 a.m.

Queens Press Epaper  

Queens Press Epaper 012111

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