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Volume 15 Issue No. 4 Jan. 24-30, 2014

PRESS Photo by Natalia Kozikowska

BANDING TOGETHER

The City EDC is looking into the possibility of forming a new Business Improvement District in Springfield Gardens. By Natalia Kozikowska ‌ Page 3.

Online at www.QueensPress.com


Page 2 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 24-30, 2014

News Briefs

Calling New York’s Finest Restaurants Your Best Cooks for a Good Cause New York restaurants are invited to participate in City Harvest’s Mid- Winter Taste event on February 26th. Thirty restaurants will showcase their best dishes to food enthusiasts, while supporting the fight against hunger.

Mid-Winter Taste f City Harvest

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Jamaica Man Confesses To Killing Wife And Infant Children

On Wednesday, Queens DA Richard Brown announced that Miguel Mejia-Ramos, of Jamaica, has been charged with the murder of his wife and two infant daughters and is presently awaiting extradition to New York from Texas, where he was apprehended Monday night. The charges allege that sometime between Jan. 18 and Jan. 19, Mejia-Ramos repeatedly stabbed his wife, Deisy Garcia, 21, and his two daughters Daniela Mejia, 2, and Yoselin Mejia, 1, thereby causing their deaths. According to the statement, MejiaRamos admitted that after drinking beer at a friend’s house, he returned home on Saturday night at about 11 p.m. and went through the phone and Facebook account of his wife and saw a photo of her with another man and he snapped. He admitted that he grabbed a knife from the butcher block, which was in the room and stood over Deisy and his daughters. He allegedly said that Deisy woke up and screamed and when he stabbed her, she got out of bed and ran to the front of the room. Mejia-Ramos then grabbed another knife and stabbed her again and twisted it in her side and it broke. He went back to the girls and Daniela was awake so he picked her up, gave her a hug and a kiss, asked for forgiveness and put her back on the bed and stabbed her. He then allegedly picked up Yoselin and did the same to her. “The defendant is accused of a particularly horrific and brutal crime – the murder of his own wife and infant daughters. I was at the crime scene Sunday night and as I said at that time ‘I’ve seen a lot in my 23 years as District Attorney but there is nothing that disturbs me more than seeing young children – in this case mere babies – as homicide victims,” Brown said in a statement. Mejia-Ramos is being held on six counts of first-degree murder, three counts of second-degree murder and five counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, he faces life in prison without possibility of parole.

Missing Teen Identified

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The remains found along a beach by College Point have been identified as the missing teen Avonte Oquendo, according to the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner. On Jan. 16, the New York Police Department’s harbor unit discovered an arm and a leg along the East River near Powell Cove Boulevard and Endeavor Place in College Point, by a

14-year-old girl who was at the water’s edge trying to take a photograph. David Perecman, the family’s attorney, said more recently a skull and teeth were also found by the shore. Perecman said the family has had a very difficult time throughout this whole process. “The way it’s coming in, it’s so slow and painful. It’s really quite hard for them to deal with it,” he said. Oquendo, 14, was last seen on Oct. 4, running out of the Center Boulevard School on 51st Street in Long Island City and since then a massive search including hundreds volunteers and police personnel looking for clues has undergo to find the autistic teen. “Apparently, the sneakers on his feet and the socks managed to protect his feet enough that they were able to get a footprint and that will help since his mom was able to provide the baby’s footprint from birth and that doesn’t change,” Perecman said.

Civic Group Seeks To Give South Asians One Voice

A civic leader has recently started a new group to bring a louder voice to the South Asian population in Queens. The South Asians for Empowerment (SAFE) aims to bring people from every country in the South Asian area, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and more, according to its executive director, Jagajit Singh. Singh said that with the new administration taking office, there is more of an opportunity for people of South Asian ethnicity to join together and make their voices heard. He said there is a need for elder South Asian people, who were born elsewhere and immigrated to this country as teenagers or adults. “There has to be some larger umbrella, which acts as a bridge for everybody to come together. That is how I see the role of South Asians for Empowerment,” he said. “In a democracy, the louder the voice, the more you are heard. If everybody gets together and shouts, we will be heard.” Singh came to the United States from India in 2001, just nine days before the Sept. 11 attacks. He was involved politically in his home country, but came stateside to learn about nonprofits and how to run an organization that focuses more on helping people rather than making money. Singh said, unlike the United States, they do not have nonprofit organizations in India. The group will have a town hall meeting on Sunday, Jan. 26, at the Sikh Cultural Center in Richmond Hill. The meeting will begin at 11:30 a.m. The Cultural Center is located at 96-30 118th St.


Jan. 24-30, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 3

Presstime

EDC Pushes For BID In Springfield Gardens Earlier this month, the City Economic Development Corporation announced that it is working with local businesses, property owners and tenants to explore the concept of an industrial Business Improvement District for the off-airport area in Springfield Gardens. According to a spokesperson for the EDC, last year, the City agency joined forces with the Port Authority and conducted a study that determined there was a high demand for a BID near John F. Kennedy Airport. “During our interactions with local businesses, it seemed like some type of business association was needed to promote the area and address the concerns of the business owners in the area,” the rep said. “EDC has been working with a consultant team and a planning committee made up of residential, commercial and industrial property owners, business tenants and other stakeholders to further explore this concept.” To date, the EDC has held three organizational meetings to discuss

Photo by Natalia Kozikowska

BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA

Ozone Park) said he is excited at the prospect of bringing a BID to Springfield Gardens. “I think that we have a real opportunity here. We have a very large industrial area that exists around the airport,” Sanders said. “This gives us the opportunity to do The City Economic Development Corporation is ex- some sector-organizploring the concept of bringing a BID into Springfield ing rather than leaving it ad-hoc.” Gardens. Because of its close the concept with local residents, proximity to JFK Airport, Sanders members of Community Board 13 said he believes a BID in Springfield and various local organizations – Gardens will help boost economic most of which appear to be on board conditions in his district by netting with the project. jobs for residents. “So far the community has been “The largest employers in Queens very interested and engaged in the are the airports. The airports are cureffort,” the spokesperson said. “Busi- rently undergoing a boom in employness owners acknowledge the diffi- ment,” he said. “There is no reason culty of not having a unified voice why, with the proper aid from the that works on their issues and con- City, that we cannot create many cerns.” more jobs to take advantage of the Although still in its early stages, booms in these airports.” State Sen. James Sanders (D-South In addition to creating employ-

ment opportunities, BIDs provide supplemental funds for the area to spend on things like enhanced security, signage and snow removal. A BID also provides the local business community with an advocate to represent their needs and concerns. Currently, there is only one industrial BID in Queens, located on 180th Street in Jamaica. There is also one BID in the planning process for Long Island City. The BID formation process is overseen by the Dept. of Small Business Services. Right now, the EDC is working to form a planning committee that will conduct a needs assessment, draw the proposed boundaries of the district and will recommend a budget and property tax assessment level. The EDC’s proposal will later be presented to the area businesses, property owners and residents and if the community is supportive, it will be reviewed by the City Planning Commission and City Council for approval. Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or nkozikowska@queenspress.com or @nkozikowska.

Avery Seeks To Replace An Embattled State Sen. Smith BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA Forest Hills attorney and Queens Village native Munir Avery announced that he has thrown his hat in the race to replace embattled State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis), who is still awaiting trial on corruption charges. Avery joins challenger Clyde Vanel, a Cambria Heights attorney who finished second to Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) in last year’s race to replace a term-limited Leroy Comrie. Despite facing up to 25 years in prison on charges that he tried to rig the mayoral election, Smith also announced that he will be running for reelection. As a long-time Southeast Queens resident, Avery, a Democrat, said he always knew he wanted to run for office, representing the district he calls home. “I’m running because I was born and raised in the district. I love Southeast Queens and the people here,” he said. “When I visit the churches, the mosques, the synagogues and the temples, they all tell me we need a person with integrity who will provide honest,

respectful representation. I am that person.” Though this is the first time Avery is running for office, he is no stranger to the political landscape. He currently serves as counsel to Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (DFlushing) and is vice president of the Adlai Stevenson Regular Democratic Club. Avery has also worked as director of constituent affairs for former councilwoman Diana Reyna and served as a representative for the 103rd Precinct under Queens DA Richard Brown – experiences he said he believes make him qualified to fill the seat. “I have worked in legislative offices doing constituent services for quite some time and know how to help our constituents navigate the system to make sure they get the services they need,” he said. In running for the District 14 Senate seat, Avery said he hopes that Democrats will regain control of the chamber. Although he did not mention the Senator by name, in August, Smith joined forces with the Independent Democratic Conference – a coalition designed to prevent

the Senate Democratic caucus from are getting their fair share of funding. taking power, even after winning the We need to end co-locations and the majority of Senate seats in last year’s focus on testing. We need to start focusing on creating well-rounded, producelections. “I would love to see the Demo- tive members of society and empowercrats take over the chamber,” Avery ing young men and women to achieve their dream,” he said. said. “I would love to “We need our children to see the Democrats have have universal pre-k edutheir chairmanships and cation. Our young people have their seats so we need jobs. We need more can start pushing a proservices for our young gressive agenda.” people and we need to get When asked about them involved.” his thoughts on Smith’s Citing his experience decision to run for reas an elder law attorelection in light of his ney, Avery said he also scandal, Avery refrained believes there are not from criticism. enough resources avail“I believe that all Munir Avery able for senior citizens in people are innocent until proven guilty. He is still a public the district. “There are many seniors who are servant,” he said. “He has served for many years and all Americans should being abused and neglected, so I get involved and run and be a part of would like to see more funding for the system. That’s what makes Amer- case workers, social workers and ica great and that’s what makes our home health aides so that we could be more proactive about going out democracy strong.” If elected, Avery said that he will and finding the seniors that need asbe primarily focused on bringing sistance,” he said. Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska more resources into his community at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or nkozikows– especially for the youth. “We need to make sure our schools ka@queenspress.com or @nkozikowska.


Page 4 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 24-30, 2014

BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA On Jan. 20, dozens of parents and their children gathered at the St. Albans Presbyterian Church to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy at the fourth annual Dream to R.E.A.D. event. The celebration, hosted by the Queens Community Parent-Teacher Student Association, sought to stress the importance of parental involvement and encourage children to read and write – all while learning about King and his historic relevance in the Civil Rights Movement. Students from a variety of neighborhood schools celebrated the day by reading together and hearing a few words of encouragement from three authors, Guishyloh Boursiquot, DaeQuan Morrison and Tina Anderson Crayton – all of whom were published before they even entered junior high school. Parents, like James Tatum, took advantage of the day off from work to spend the day with their children and show their support. “This is all about making sure she continues reading and increasing her vocabulary. I think it’s extremely important,” said Tatum, who attended the event with his daughter Janilla. “I

am the PTA president at her school, PS 37. I am also president of the father’s club. Parental involvement in a child’s education is most important thing that you can do because they need that guidance and enlightenment.” In his experience as PTA president, Tatum said, far too many fathers are not involved with their children’s education. This is why he believes it is especially important for dads to attend events like these in the community. “The most important thing is that we as males need to have more of an influence on our children,” he said. “I’m sad to say that there are a lot of males that are not involved with their families and a lot of women need to be mom and dad.” In addition to encouraging his daughter to continue reading, Tatum said he was looking forward to sharing King’s legacy with his daughter. “He was a man that was for all the people, but he loved children. Children are our legacy and he stressed that,” he said. “I heard a lot of speeches growing up, when I was her [Janilla’s] age and I love telling her the stories.” Following a musical performance by the Angels of Harmony, author and

NEWLY CONSTRUCTED APARTMENTS FOR RENT Rufus King Court Apartments is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for 46 affordable housing rental apartments now under construction at 148-19 90th Avenue in the Jamaica section of Queens. This building is being constructed through the Low Income Housing Credit Program (LIHC) and the NYS Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (SLIHC) of the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and the Inclusionary Housing Program of New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). The size, rent and targeted income distribution for the 46 apartments are as follows: # Apts. Available

Apartment Size

Household Size*

Monthly Rent**

Total Annual Income Range*** Minimum - Maximum

1

Studio

1

$659

$24,515 - $30,100

2

1 Bedroom

1 2

$709

$26,298 - $30,100 $26,298 - $34,400

3

Studio

1

$802

$29,418 - $36,120

12

1 Bedroom

1 2

$863

$31,578 - $36,120 $31,578 - $41,280

23

2 Bedrooms

5

3 Bedrooms

2 3 4 3 4 5 6

$1,044

$1,199

$37,852 $37,852 $37,852 $43,749 $43,749 $43,749 $43,749

-

$41,280 $46,440 $51,540 $46,440 $51,540 $55,680 $59,820

* Subject to occupancy criteria ** Includes gas for cooking *** Income guidelines subject to change Qualified Applicants will be required to meet income guidelines and additional selection criteria. Households may elect to submit an application by one of two methods: EITHER online OR by mail. To submit your application online now, please visit NYC Housing Connect at www.nyc.gov/housingconnect and select “Apply for Housing.” All online applications must be submitted by March 6, 2014. To request an application by mail, please mail a self-addressed envelope to: Rufus King Court Apartments, P.O. Box 390, Floral Park, New York 11002. All mailed applications must be returned by regular mail only (no priority, certified, registered, express, overnight or oversized mail will be accepted) to a post office box number that will be listed on the application, and must be postmarked by March 6, 2014. Applications will be selected by lottery; applicants who submit more than one application will be disqualified. Disqualified applications will not be accepted. A general preference will be given to New York City residents. Eligible households that include persons with mobility impairments will receive preference for 5% of the units; eligible persons that include persons with visual and/or hearing impairments will receive preference for 2% of the units. Current and eligible residents of Queens Community Board 12 will receive preference for 50% of the units. Eligible City of New York Municipal Employees will receive a 5% preference of the units.

THIS IS A 100% SMOKE FREE BUILDING No Broker’s Fee. No Application Fee. ANDREW M. CUOMO, Governor BILL DE BLASIO, Mayor The City of New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development RUTHANNE VISNAUSKAS, Commissioner New York State Homes and Community Renewal DARRYL C. TOWNS, Commissioner/CEO www.nyc.gov/housingconnect

Photo by Natalia Kozikowska

Parents And Students Embrace MLK’s Legacy

The Angels of Harmony kick off St. Albans Presbyterian Church’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration with vocal performances. The event was hosted by the Queens Community Parent-Teacher Student Association and was meant to encourage parental involvement and reading and writing for students. curator for History MEETS Hip Hop, Syreeta Gates, gave her keynote address in which she shared her success story, encouraging students to pursue their dreams much like she did. “It feels amazing to be able to share my story,” she said. “My grandmother always said, to whom much is given, much is required. If I have the opportunity to share what I’ve learned in my 25 short years with a host of young people, that’s always phenomenal.”

“It’s necessary to bring things like this in the community, especially when people from the community put on the event,” Gates added. “It’s necessary that young people use platforms like this to demonstrate their talents. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.” Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or nkozikowska@queenspress.com or @ nkozikowska


Jan. 24-30, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 5

Queens Wins With Committee Chairs By Steven J. Ferrari The most strident supporters of Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito were rewarded on Wednesday with key committee chair positions, with several Queens council members coming up as big winners. Members of the Council’s Progressive Caucus publicly backed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s choice for Council Speaker, with Queens members breaking away from the Queens County Democratic organization, who supported Dan Garodnik (D-Manhattan). The biggest winner from Queens is likely Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who was named Majority Leader for the City Council, while also serving as chair of the Council’s Cultural Affairs Committee. “It has always been my goal to play a meaningful leadership role in this new, Progressive Council,” Van Bramer said. “The opportunity to serve in the second highest position in the Council is one I relish and am truly humbled by.” Van Bramer was also appointed to co-chair a newly-created budget negotiating team, which is meant to ensure that critical City programs, projects and organizations are funded in the budget process.

“I look forward to working who cut a deal to support with all my colleagues to enMark-Viverito, was named sure the adoption of budgets the chair of the Veterans that reflect our progressive Committee. agenda,” he said. One committee that Two other vocal supporters of will not see any repreMark-Viverito, Julissa Ferreras sentation from Queens is (D-East Elmhurst) and Daniel the Rules, Privileges and Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), Elections committee. The were named to key chair posi- the Queens delegation was given prominent leadership committee, headed by tions. Ferreras will head the Fi- positions in the City Council, including Councilman Jim- Councilman Brad Lander nance Committee while Dromm my van Bramer (left) as Majority Leader, Julissa Fer- (D-Brooklyn), is charged will lead Education. reras (middle) as the Finance Chair and Daniel Dromm with setting committee Ferreras, who noted that (right) as the education Chair. assignments and council she will be the first woman member privileges. Markand the first minority to chair Viverito is also a member the Finance Committee, said she was suring universal pre-kindergarten for of the committee. humbled by the opportunity. all preschoolers, reducing class size, While Mark-Viverito’s supporters “This momentous appointment improving teacher morale, ensuring were given vital positions, Queens marks an exciting milestone not only teachers have a role in the decision council members who sided with for myself and my colleagues in govern- making process and fighting to cre- the Queens County leader, U.S. Rep. ment, but for all New Yorkers, all people ate a safe and supportive environ- Joseph Crowley, spoke graciously of of color and all young girls who never ment for all students but especially the roles they are set to play in the before thought that they can grow up for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgen- new Council. and shatter glass ceilings,” she said. der and questioning students.” Mark Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows), Dromm, a former teacher, said he Other Queens Council members himself a candidate for speaker, was looked forward to addressing educa- to receive prominent committee re-appointed chair of the subcommittion issues Citywide. chair positions include Donovan tee on zoning and franchises. “Education has always been my Richards (D-Laurelton), who will Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Vilpassion and is what got me involved chair the Environmental Protection lage) was named chair of the Fire in politics in the first place,” Dromm committee. I. Daneek Miller (D-St. and Criminal Justice Committee, said. “I look forward to working with Albans), a former labor leader, will while Karen Koslowitz was named Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to head the Civil Service & Labor Com- head of the State and Federal Legisaddress education issues such as en- mittee. Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), lation Committee.


Page 6 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 24-30, 2014

Editorial OF SOUTHEAST QUEENS 150-50 14th Road Whitestone, NY 11357 (voice) (718) 357-7400 fax (718) 357-9417 email news@queenspress.com The PRESS of Southeast Queens Editor-in-Chief:

Steven J. Ferrari Contributing Editor:

Marcia Moxam Comrie Production Manager:

Shiek Mohamed Queens Today Editor

Regina Vogel Photo Editor: Ira Cohen

Reporters: Natalia Kozikowska Joe Marvilli Luis Gronda Trisha Sakhuja

BID A Good Idea Southeast Queens has had a renaissance over the years, as the area has seen a great deal of development. But there is always work that can be done. For each revitalization we see, like in downtown Jamaica, there are areas that still need help. The news that the City Economic Development Corp. is looking to create a Business Improvement District in Springfield Gardens is wonderful for businesses that may be struggling in the area. An organized BID for the area off of John F. Kennedy International Airport should give those businesses that have been in need of assistance the help they have been looking for. Too often, we criticize the City for ignoring Queens in general, and certainly Southeast Queens is often overlooked by City government at large. Hopefully, this is a sign that the times are in fact changing, and Southeast Queens can continue its revitalization in the coming years.

Letters District Manager Should Stay On

To The Editor: Recent articles have described the ill-treatment of Mary Ann Carey, District Manager for Community Board 9. She has given many years of dedicated service to the Community. Great numbers of community members have benefited

Maureen Coppola Advertising Director Alan Goldsher Director of Marketing Advertising Executives Merlene Carnegie Shari Strongin Brenda Jones

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Michael Nussbaum Publisher Ria McPherson Comptroller

from her leadership. Despite her effectiveness, she is obviously being forced out of her position. When our community was faced with problems, be it small or huge, she was always available to hear our concerns and help us resolve issues. Her assistance has been invaluable on numerous occasions. No matter if it was a speeding problem

on our residential street, or inappropriate development, or graffiti, we could count on her able assist. No person with such a long record of community service should be treated in such an insulting manner. I hope that she will be spared the political hatchet. William Herbert, Kew Gardens

Catholic Schools Week Celebrated

To The Editor: National Catholic School week is being celebrated from Sunday, Jan. 26 through Feb. 1 all across the country. The theme this year is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” I would like to say that I applaud what Catholic Schools do for the youth of our country. These schools produce students strongly dedicated to their faith, families and communities by providing an intellectually stimulating environment rich in spirituality, character and moral development. The teachers in these schools

Op-Ed

Art Dept:

Rhonda Leefoon Lianne Procanyn Barbara Townsend

Letters

Property Tax Assistance Available For Homeowners By ASSEMBlyWOMAN NIly ROzIC For too many New Yorkers, the economic recovery is an abstraction. Even with recent declarations that the great recession is long gone, I find that Queens homeowners are facing many financial hardships. Property taxes remain a huge burden for many families. We must support all struggling to support their families as our economy recovers. Last year, I partnered with City and State agencies to bring much-needed tax relief to local homeowners. Through the STAR (School Tax Relief) exemption program, many were able to save on average $700 each year on their property taxes. To register for the program or see if

you qualify for STAR, please contact my office. Property taxes are calculated by a perplexing formula. We must ensure that property owners are not overcharged in their tax assessment. To explain, property taxes are calculated by determining the property’s market value, its assessed value, its transitional values, and then applying exemptions--resulting in the annual property tax. Sounds complicated, right? This process often leaves neighbors confused and frustrated. There is a solution: I am partnering with the Department of Finance to assist homeowners who disagree with their assessed property value and would like to challenge the calculation with the New York City Tax Commission. My office will be hosting a special tax assessment

workshop in February. Please contact my office if you would like to participate. All homeowners are welcome. I am committed to making sure that government supports the community as we overcome economic challenges together. Although the deadline is not until March 2014, I urge homeowners to file as soon as possible. My office is available to help! If you have any questions, please contact me and my dedicated staff at (718) 8200241 or rozicn@assembly. state.ny.us. Assemblywoman Nily Rozic represents the 25th Assembly District, encompassing the neighborhoods of Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows, Oakland Gardens, Bayside Hills and Douglaston.

I am told are dedicated to their profession and see this not just a job but an opportunity to enlighten the minds of children and seek to make them the very best they can be. You see these children are the leaders of tomorrow and need what Catholic Schools offer. In closing let me say that I hope God helps us to continue to keep our fine Catholic Schools vibrant and thriving for these schools need to stay open for these children are our nation’s future. Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Glen Oaks Village

Driving True Education

To The Editor: The Independent Budget Office revealed recently that 80 percent of special-needs kindergar teners in New York City’s charter schools leave those schools before they reach third grade. Why? Because the charter schools throw them out. Those publicly-funded private schools don’t want to take a chance with data that might make their businesses a harder sell to potential customers. Where do these kids end up? In public schools, where they contribute positively as members of the school family and where the responsibility for nurturing all kids without exception is cheerfully accepted. No kid is viewed as a liability there. People who live the life of educators know that. Public schools have double the percentage of special-needs kids that charter schools have and this does nobody any harm. It is a pleasure and a challenge to serve. That’s what drives true educators, not entrepreneurs masquerading as them. Ron Isaac, Fresh Meadows

WRITE ON: The PRESS of Southeast Queens, 150-50 14th Rd. Whitestone, NY 11357 email news@queenspress.com fax: (718) 357-9417


Jan. 24-30, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 7


Page 8 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 24-30, 2014

By TriSha Sakhuja Thirty-two federal, State and City elected leaders, clergy and airport workers were arrested on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, after protesting to bring dignity, fairness and economic justice to the contracted employees. One thousand people marched in unison towards the bridge to LaGuardia Airport with banners that read “MLK: Our Day.” Together they chanted, “The workers united will never be defeated,” and “We want change and we don’t mean pennies.” The march, organized by 32BJ Service Employees International Union, which represents building service employees, blocked traffic at 94th Street and Ditmars Boulevard, after the workers asked the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in December to make the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Day a paid holiday for contracted passenger service workers at LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark International airports. According to the union, the airlines have repeatedly refused to correct the situation. 32BJ SEIU is asking the Port Authority to step in and put systematic solutions in place. The protesters are among the 12,000 workers at New York Cityarea airports who are employed by contractors and earn poverty wages without affordable health care benefits or paid sick days. Included among the many elected officials who were arrested after participating in civil disobedience, the few to represent Queens were Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) and Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica). “In New York City, it is impossible to raise a family, put food on the table and send your child to college on a minimum wage salary,” Van Bramer later said in a written statement. “My act of civil disobedience on the 94th Street Bridge outside of LaGuardia airport was out of solidar-

ity with airport workers who are being treated unfairly.” U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Manhattan) was also one of the elected officials to participate in the civil disobedience and was later arrested by the police. “What we have to do is make certain that there is a livable wage for people to be able to send their kids to a decent school,” he said. “No one should be one paycheck away to homelessness. It’s not how we treat each other; it’s how we treat our lesser brothers and sisters.” Before Rangel was arrested, he said, “I am ready to be put in jail today so that everyone will know that we are going to fight for decent wages [and] we are going to fight for sick days and pensions.” Andrew Lloyd, a cabin cleaner contracted by Airway Cleaners, said he makes $8 per hour only because of the New York State’s minimum wage. “I find it nonsense that I have a full time job, but I have to seek public assistance,” he said. “I have to work overtime just to support my family. I have no sick days. I have no paid vacation days.” Derick Swaby, an employee for PrimeFlight Airline Services at Newark Airport, said he started working for the company for merely $7.25 per hour, but this year he said he makes $8.25 per hour, which is solely due to the State’s increase in minimum wage and not his company. “It’s 46 years after the passing of Dr. Martin Luther King; we are still struggling to get decent wages,” he said. “Today is an important day in a workers’ life and we don’t even get paid for today.” Public Advocate Letita James stepped up to the podium loudly chanting, “No Justice, No Peace.” “Dr. King would have been out here demanding fair wages,” she said. “Dr. King would have been here today demanding that we have a paid holiday. Dr. King was against income

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was one of several council members to rally to make MLk day a paid holiday for airport workers in the new york City-area.

Photos by Trisha Sakhuja

Workers arrested after rallying For Paid holiday

Thousands of people marched chanting “We want change and we don’t mean pennies” on Martin Luther king jr. day.

inequality. Dr. King died marching for sanitation workers. Dr. King died because he believed that we should not have a country where people are living with poverty wages.” She said they urge the Port Authority to do what is right because too many airport workers are living on food stamps and public assistance. SEIU’s president, Hector Figueroa, who started the march after speaking, said the work of Dr.

King is not finished 50 years later because workers in the airport living in this economy are still earning poverty wages. “We stand together to say enough is enough,” he said. “We are living people and we deserve better.” The Port Authority was unable to comment in time for press. Reach Reporter Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, tsakhuja@ queenstribune.com, or @Tsakhuja13.

Queens republicans Protest Gov. Cuomo’s Comments By LuiS Gronda A group of Queens Republicans gathered on Tuesday to condemn comments by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which they called “hate speech.” The Queens Village Republican Club called on Gov. Cuomo to apologize and retract statements he made earlier this week about Republicans not belonging in New York. The Governor has come under fire for saying during a radio interview that “extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault weapon and anti-gay” do not belong in New York because “that’s not who New Yorkers are.” A group of Queens Republicans said, at a press conference at Queens Borough Hall on Tuesday, the Governor should apologize for the comments. Phil Orenstein, a member of the Queens Village Republican Club, was among the ones to express their disapproval of the comments. “We say no to Governor Cuomo. We will not leave New York State. We were born here, we raised our family here and we’ll continue to live in New York State with our opinions and freely express them,” he said. Joe Concannon echoed Orenstein’s sentiment, saying he represents all citizens of New York. “We don’t need a Governor going out and being derisive and using

language which just doesn’t belong in the public lexicon,” Concannon said. “This isn’t something that he should be doing as the Governor of our state.” The Queens GOP also sent out a statement, expressing their disapproval over the controversial comments. “It’s shocking, to say the least, that the Governor thinks he can tell New Yorkers how they should think. That he would actually outline a litmus test for what beliefs he finds acceptable for people in New York to hold,” GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa said. Following several published reports about his comments, the Governor’s office issued a statement saying Cuomo’s words were misconstrued and he was not saying that Republicans should leave New York. “It is clear that the Governor was making the observation that an extreme right candidate cannot win statewide because this is a politically moderate state (either moderate Republican or moderate Democratic),” the statement read in part. When asked to respond to the statement, Orenstein said they are just trying to save face in light of the backlash and they will push for an apology from the Governor. He added that they plan on taking a trip to Albany in the near future to protest the comments further. Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@ queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.


Jan. 24-30, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 9

James Milliken Named As CUNY Chancellor BY JOE MARVILLI

The CUNY trustee board was unanimous in its selection, with MilA new year, a new chancellor. liken getting all 14 votes. More than The City University of New York 50 candidates were considered, with has named James Milliken, a New a shortlist of about a dozen making York lawyer and it to the interview long-serving college process. administrator, as its Milliken will renext chancellor. He ceive a salary of is the successor to $670,000, not inMatthew Goldstein, cluding the use of a who announced his car and residence. resignation in April The new chan2013. Milliken is due cellor was raised in to start his new job Fremont, Neb. and in June. graduated from the -James Milliken University of NeMilliken previously served as the braska. In 1983, Milpresident of the Uniliken received a law versity of Nebraska, a position he has degree from New York University, held since 2004. From that system, which he used while working for the he will move to the larger challenges City’s Legal Aid Society. Soon after, of CUNY’s 24 institutions and its he became a litigator specializing in 540,000 students. securities and commodities.

“CUNY today has a world class faculty, an outstanding reputation and the most diverse student body in the nation.”

Assembly Passes Religious Garb Bill BY JOE MARVILLI A piece of legislation meant to protect the rights of religious individuals is on its way to becoming law. On Jan. 14, the New York State Assembly passed the Religious Garb bill, which would prohibit workplace discrimination against attire worn for a religious purpose. The legislation is being sponsored by Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows) and co-sponsored by William Scarborough (D-Jamaica). Weprin put together the bill in response to complaints from religious communities that feel their religious garb or facial grooming has led to discriminatory practices. The memo for the bill listed the case of a Sikh MTA worker as an example. The employee objected to being told to remove his turban and wear the MTA hat. When the MTA responded that he could wear the turban if he attached an MTA badge to the front of it, he said this was unacceptable as it would not be religiously proper. The bill would seek to prevent these incidents from occurring. Besides protecting the rights of uniformed employees by amending the civil-rights law, executive law and labor law, the bill would apply to all New Yorkers, protecting them from discrimination for wearing any sort of religiously motivated or mandated garb as long as it does not

pose a hazard to that person or to the public. The legislation received wide support in the Assembly, passing by a vote of 133-1. The sole vote against the act was by Assemblyman Al Graf (R-Holbrook). The bill is being sponsored by State Sen. James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park) in the Senate, although it has not yet come to a vote. Weprin’s communications director, Celia Dosamantes, said that the bill does have bi-partisan support and that Gov. Andrew Cuomo would like to sign the bill, so it has a good chance of becoming law by late February. “It is an unacceptable that workers have faced discrimination for wearing their religious attire or facial hair because it is an infringement on their civil liberties,” Weprin said. “Let us be a state that continues to promote diversity, leadership and service in our communities and businesses.” Religious leaders throughout the City backed the potential law. “We urge all of our state law makers to support the Religious Garb bill so that New York State can continue to lead the way for religious and racial tolerance,” Gurdev Kang, president of the Sikh Cultural Society, said. Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstribune.com, or @Joey788.

Joining the faculty of the University of Nebraska in 1988, Milliken established research and education programs in China, India and Brazil as well as an institute that addressed the challenges of clean food and water. Milliken said he was “honored” by his selection and he plans to build on the school system’s achievements. “CUNY today has a world class faculty, talented students, an outstanding reputation, rising enrollments, increased academic standards and the most diverse student body in the nation,” he said. Although the vote was undisputed, the Professional Staff Congress, a union representing 25,000 CUNY faculty and staff, was frustrated that it was left out of the decision-making process. However, it did also welcome Milliken and said it hopes to have positive interactions with him. “We hope that the new chancellor will be an aggressive advocate for the entire University, and will rededicate CUNY to its bold mission of providing top-quality college education to all New Yorkers,”

James Milliken President Dr. Barbara Bowen said. “We call on the new chancellor to listen to the faculty and respect our knowledge and our experience in the classroom.” Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstribune.com, or @Joey788.


Page 10 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 24-30, 2014

Photos by Joe Marvilli

pix

Building Award Winners

Honoring Dr. King

Top: On Jan. 16, the Queens Chamber of Commerce honored a number of developers and local organizations at the annual Building Awards and Reception, held at the LaGuardia Marriott Hotel. Queens Chamber President Al Pennisi presents representatives from City Rib in Jamaica with an award.

Convention Wisdom Photo by Luis Gronda

Councilman Daniel Dromm, center, was the keynote speaker at Elmhurst Hospital’s annual event honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Also pictured are Atiya Butler, EHC director of external affairs, left; Regina Green, EHC labor caucus; Wayne Zimmermann, EHC chief operating officer; Olivia Crum, EHC joint labor management co-chair; Priscilla Carrow, EHC joint labor management assistant co-chair; Barbara Jackson, Democratic District Leader; Carlos Cortes, EHC community advisor board chairman; and Deborah Diggs, dancer.

Right: Emily Lin of Lin and Associates Architects with Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie. Lin was one of six of the architects honored with lifetime achievement awards.

The first Queens Baseball Convention took place over the weekend at McFadden’s at CitiField. The event included panels, signings and Q&A sessions. Above, former Met Ron Darling signs an autograph for a fan.


Jan. 24-30, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 11

Police Blotter 103rd Precinct

Triple Homicide

At 7:07 p.m. on Jan. 19, police responded to a 911 call of three unconscious females inside of an apartment at 90-20 Sutphin Blvd., Jamaica. Upon arrival, officers discovered three female victims in a bedroom, each with multiple stab wounds. The first victim, identified as Deisy Garcia, 21, was stabbed multiple times in the torso. The second victim, identified as Daniela Mejia, 2, was also stabbed multiple times in the torso. The third victim, Yaslin Mejia, 1, was stabbed multiple times in the chest. EMS also responded to the location and pronounced all three victims dead at the scene. There have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.

104th Precinct

Fatal Collision

At 11:20 a.m. on Jan. 18, police with aggravated unlicensed operation. responded to a report of a pedestrian HOMICIdE – At 2:10 a.m. on struck in the vicinity of Grand Av- Jan. 18, police responded to a call of enue and 69th Place. a male stabbed in front of Upon arrival, police ob81-07 Cypress Hills St., in served the victim, identiRidgewood. Upon arrival, fied as Angela Hurtado, 68, police observed Emilliano of Elmhurst, lying on the Llames, 26, of Brooklyn, ground with head and body unconscious and unretrauma. EMS also respondsponsive with multiple stab ed and transported Hurwounds to the chest. EMS tado to Elmhurst Hospital, responded and transported where she was pronounced the victim to Jamaica Hosdead. This suspect is pital, where he was proA further investigation wanted for a forc- nounced dead. determined that the victim ible touching inciThere are no arrests at was crossing Grand Avenue dent within the con- this time and the investigawhen she was allegedly fines of the 115th tion is ongoing. struck by a black 2002 Mit- Precinct. subishi Montero, operated by Abel Tinoco, 28, of Richmond Hill, who was making a left turn onto Forcible Touching Grand Avenue. The NYPD is asking the public’s The driver of the vehicle stayed on assistance identifying and locating the scene and was taken into custody the following suspect wanted for a without incident. He was later charged forcible touching incident that oc-

115th Precinct

curred within the confines of the 115th Precinct. At 8:05 a.m. Jan. 16 on a Manhattan-bound 7 train at the 74th Street Roosevelt Avenue station, a male touched a 16-year-old female over her clothing in her groin and buttocks area, then fled on foot. The victim did not sustain any physical injuries as a result of the incident. The suspect is described as an Hispanic male, between 30-35 years, approximately 5-foot-9, last seen wearing a tan baseball cap, black hooded sweatshirt, a red turtleneck and sunglasses. Anyone with information should call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 577-TIPS, visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577.

CALL CRIME STOPPERS 1-800-577-TIPS

Borough Beat

Mayor Announces Vision Zero Initiative BY JOE MARVILLI When it comes to traffic fatalities in the City, there is only one number that Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to see: zero. On Jan. 15, de Blasio outlined his plan for the Vision Zero Initiative, a strategy with a goal of reducing traffic fatalities in the City to zero within 10 years. He announced the interagency group that would be charged with fulfilling that goal. The NYPD, the Dept. of Transportation, the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Taxi and Limousine Commission are responsible for developing a comprehensive traffic safety plan. Although 2014 is less than a month old, 11 New Yorkers have been killed in traffic incidents, seven of them pedestrians. According to the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, being struck by a car is the leading cause of injury-related death for children younger than 14, and the second leading cause of injury-related death for senior citizens. De Blasio made the announcement in Woodside near the intersection of Northern Boulevard and 61st Street, where eight-year-old Noshat Nahian was hit and killed by a truck on Dec. 20. “We aren’t going to wait and lose a son, a daughter, a parent or a

State Sen. Michael Gianaris speaks at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero Initiative press conference. The initiative’s goal is to reduce traffic fatalities in the City to zero within 10 years. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and other Queens elected officials also showed up in support of the policy. grandparent in another senseless and painful tragedy. Our top responsibility is protecting the health and safety of our people,” de Blasio said. The interagency group will report to de Blasio by Feb. 15 with tangible strategies to improve at least 50 dangerous corridors and intersections annually, to expand the number of 20 miles per hour zones, to pursue a traffic safety legislative agenda and to dedicate sufficient police resources and personnel to deter dangerous behavior, like speeding and failing to

yield to pedestrians. While these ideas are still being formulated, de Blasio also announced some immediate measures the City is taking to curb dangerous driving. Speed cameras recently installed on New York City streets will now issue tickets to enforce the law on dangerous roads. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced that the NYPD is increasing the number of highway officers. He has already increased it by 10 percent, with the eventual goal of increasing the staff by 50 percent

to a total of 270 personnel. Steve Scofield, the Queens Activist Committee co-chair at Transportation Alternatives, praised the Vision Zero Initiative for its thoroughness and its effort to transform traffic safety in the City. He added though that he would like to see engineering solutions to dangerous streets, lower speed limits and a greater focus on publicity and educational campaigns. “As long as Mayor de Blasio follows through on his initial concentration on Vision Zero, I think he will be successful,” he said. “There exists an overwhelming consensus among New Yorkers that our street culture is in need of transformation, especially in light of the recent spate of tragic fatalities. If our elected officials and residents can successfully rally around Vision Zero, our city at large stands to become a safer, more vibrant place to live, work and commute.” State Sen. Michael Gianaris (DAstoria), who was also at the press conference, called for the passage of his legislation that would make it a felony for individuals who drive with a suspended licenses and kill or injure someone in the process. Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@ queenstribune.com, or @Joey788.


Page 12 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 24-30, 2014

A&E

J. Cole To Perform At Queens College BY JOE MARVILLI Although Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are the official performers for Super Bowl XLVIII, Queens College will get its own musical guest as J. Cole will hold a concert at the school. With the divisional playoffs decided, the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos are gearing up to visit MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Home to the New York Giants and Jets, the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 has New York abuzz, with celebrations and events being held at bars and venues across the City. In Queens, rapper and St. John’s University graduate J. Cole will appear at Queens College on Jan. 27 as part of the VH1 Super Bowl Blitz. One of six events to be held and broadcast live by VH1, the concert will take place in Colden Auditorium from 11 p.m. to midnight. The doors will open at 9:30 p.m. Besides the

headliner, attendees will also hear for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration from the show’s hosts, Nick Canfor “Power Trip” this year. non and Stacy Keibler. The VH1 Super Bowl Blitz will “VH1’s Super Bowl Blitz with also hold concerts in every other borJ. Cole is going to be a fun night ough in the City, as well as one show with a Grammy nominated artin New Jersey. R&B and soul musiist, nationally televised on VH1,” cian Janelle Monáe will play in The Ninell Silberberg, associate direcBronx on Jan. 28, rock band Fall Out tor of marketing at the Kupferberg Boy will perform in Brooklyn on Jan. Center, said. “It will give students 29, TLC will appear in Manhattan another reason to be proud to be on Jan. 30, the Goo Goo Dolls will part of the QC community.” play in Staten Island on Jan. 31 and Raised in Fayetteville, North singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw will Carolina, J. Cole first received rec- hip hop artist J. Cole, a graduate of st. John’s perform in New Jersey on Feb. 1. ognition as a hip hop artist with university, will perform at Queens College on The concerts will also be his mixtape “The Come Up.” Soon Jan. 27 as part of Vh1’s super Bowl Blitz con- streamed live in the VH1 App, after, he got in touch with Jay-Z, cert series. made available on-demand in the who signed him to his Roc Nation app and at SuperBowl.VH1.com music label. From there, he released Songs chart. The record itself went the day after each live concert. his debut album, “Cole World: The to the top of the Billboard 200 and Tickets for the concert cost $37.50. has been certified gold since then. In To purchase tickets, visit http://kupSideline Story,” in Sept. 2011. The album’s release was part of a June 2013, Cole released his second ferbergcenter.org/events/vh1-supersuccessful year for J. Cole. Its lead album, “Born Sinner.” bowl-blitz or call (718) 793-8080. When it comes to awards, J. Cole single, “Work Out,” peaked at 13 on Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) the Billboard Hot 100 chart and hit was nominated for Best New Artist 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queennumber three on the U.S. Hot Rap in 2012, losing to Bon Iver and is up stribune.com, or @Joey788.

LaGCC students Explore homelessness Through Theater BY TRIshA sAkhuJA Eight students from LaGuardia Community College who volunteered for six weeks at several of the City’s homeless shelters will display their experience through theater. The students experienced homelessness on a first-hand basis, which resulted in a theater project titled, “Unpacking Home.” The play, which is comprised of poetry, scenes, song and dance, will take place on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. at the

Mainstage Theater. Admission to the play is free of charge. The students from the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center have collaborated with LaGuardia’s Humanities Department, Kingsborough Community College’s theater program and the Artists Strive to End Poverty organization to put on this theatrical experience. Stefanie Sertich, a theater professor for the Humanities Department, said the students who have written and acted in the play realize that they

Work From Grover Cleveland To Be Featured At MoMA Student work from a Ridgewood high school will be featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kids from Grover Cleveland High School are working on a database that will be placed in the American wing at the popular art museum in Manhattan. The project is part of the school’s academy of information technology, which prepares students for tech-related careers like programming, database administration and digital networking. Andrew Woodbridge, a teacher at Grover Cleveland and coordinator of the program, said the students will improve on a number of areas as

a result of the project, including their interviewing and interaction skills. “The end result is these students are going to be proficient at building databases, making presentations, interviewing and eventually working with clients once they go into the business world,” he said. The students have interviewed with officials and toured the museum itself to help them plan for the database and determine what should go into it. “They worked on the project in groups and it taught them how to depend on one another to develop what is really a very sophisticated project,” Woodbridge said.

can make a change through their voices, bodies and stories. Sertich said the students started the process with a full 24-hour immersion process where they stayed together in lower Manhattan and witnessed what it is like to sit outside on the street and panhandle for half-an-hour. It is there Sertich said they asked themselves “what does ‘home’ mean and what happens if you lose that ‘home’?” “We decided that the topic would be homelessness because it is becoming more prevalent and the focus is on homeless youth, and little did we know that some of our students have been homeless themselves,” Sertich said. She said the play can be categorized as non-traditional theater because at times, the audience will come on the stage with the students. “The audience has a reaction to our work, it’s interactive,” Sertich said. She said she has seen the students change through the play’s planning process because they feel validated through their work on stage. “They seem more passionate towards everybody,” she said. “It’s unique because what they are learning is that theater is not just a form of entertainment, it can promote change in the world.” Mone’t Fuentes, 24, a second-year theater student at LaGCC, who has personally experienced homelessness before, said feeling invisible and having no voice during their 24-hour immer-

sion on the streets of Manhattan helped her peers embody their characters. “We were able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and it was an unbelievable experience,” she said. From a facilitator and director’s point of view, Sertich said homelessness is not the sole issue; it is a symptom of larger issues in American society. “It comes from financial crisis, or drug addiction or gay youth or mental illness,” she said. She said the play also touches upon the stereotypes of homelessness, while also bringing visibility to homeless people. “It’s more about how we as a community see these invisible people,” she said. “It’s so easy to just assume that they are drunk and that they chose this. And really what we have come to find is that it’s so much more complicated than that.” Sertich said the students have been invited to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts during the America College Theater Festival on Jan. 30 in Massachusetts. To continue their project and to bring their show to other schools and festivals, the students have started an Indiegogo.com campaign, called “Unpacking Home.” To make a donation, visit www.indiegogo.com/ projects/unpacking-home. Reach Reporter Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, tsakhuja@ queenstribune.com, or @Tsakhuja13.


Jan. 24-30, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 13

Queens today

FRIDay 1/24

ALEx BLAkE QuArtEt

Bass virtuoso Alex Blake will perform at Flushing Town Hall at 8 p.m. A master of the classical upright bass and the electric bass, Blake’s classical fingerpicking and strumming of melodic patterns are a must-see for any music fan. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and members. For more information, call (718) 463-7700.

A FuLLish DECk

The Secret Theatre & Queens Secret Improv Club presents “A Fullish Deck.” It’s a fun night with a roster of house-formed and veteran indie improv teams from all over the subway map! Six improv comedy sets featuring two shows every hour between 7:30-10:30. Tickets are just $7 for the whole night, one show or all six! Current teams are: Butter High, Monster Monster, Perfect Stranglers, Petting Zoo (musical improv), Sister Sex Wolf, Funkle Todd, Mercury, and Goose.

same time and Sunday, Jan. 26, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20. For more information, call (718) 760-0064.

DAtE niGht tErrArium CLAss At LuLuDi

Looking for a fun date night? Come enjoy soft music, wine and nibbles while you and your date together create a one-ofa-kind living world. Luludi Frames, located at 23-07 24th Ave., Astoria, will supply one large terrarium, soil, plants, sand, moss, crystals/ pebbles/rocks, instructions, care cards and a gift box. You supply your imagination. The class is limited to eight people. Tickets are $80 per couple.

Queens Theatre will present “La Ratonera,” AKA “The Mousetrap,” in Spanish at 8 p.m. This Agatha Christie play takes place in a guest house where eight characters are trapped because of the snow storm outside. All of those individuals were involved in a recent London crime, meaning that each of them can be a suspect or a victim. The show will also occur on Saturday, Jan. 25, at the

MONDay 1/27 J. CoLE

As part of VH1’s Super Bowl Blitz, Grammynominated rapper J. Cole will perform at Colden Auditorium. Hosted by Nick Cannon and Stacy Keibler, the hiphop star’s appearance is one of six events the channel is broadcasting live throughout the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area. The doors open at 9:30 p.m. with the show kicking of f at 11 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (718) 793-8080.

York CoLLEGE niGht

CityRib, a restaurant in Jamaica, will host York College night at the establishment. The York College music department will provide live music for the event. It will begin at 9 p.m. Ten percent off on food with a valid college ID. CityRib is located at 89-04 Parsons Blvd.

FunDrAisEr For CoLin FLooD Connolly’s Bar and Restaurant in Maspeth will host a fundraiser for Colin Flood, an 8-yearold boy diagnosed with leukemia. A friend of the Flood family will guest bartend that night and all proceedings from the night will be donated to the family. It will begin at 9 p.m. Connolly’s is located at 7117 Grand Ave. in Maspeth.

saTuRDay 1/25

opEn sEw

LA rAtonErA

SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

The Bayside Historical Society will present a Queens sewing social from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Fort Totten Castle. As this is an open sew, bring something you are working on and join in the camaraderie of community sewing. Some sewing machines will be available but please bring your own if possible. A pressing station and cutting station will be available at the Castle. For Show and Tell, bring a completed project to share with the group. It costs $10 for meetup members with a RSVP on the Queens Sewing Social event page, $8 for Bayside Historical Society members and $12 for non-members.

thE ELvis BAsh

Elvis Presley impersonators Scot Bruce and Mike Albert will appear at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center to perform a concert of hits from the entirety of The King’s career. Bruce embod-

poEtrY niGht

ies Elvis’ from his early days through his Hollywood fame. Albert covers Presley’s later years, with his reverent voice and famous jumpsuits. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased through www. qcc.cuny.edu/qpac/index. html or by calling the box office at (718) 631-6311.

If you are a poet or are a fan of poetry, come down to Forest Hills Library on Jan. 25. A group of poets from around the Borough will congregate to discuss and critique their work. It is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. The library is located at 108-19 71st Ave.

suNDay 1/26

FLEA mArkEt AnD CrAFt FAir

The St. Joan of Arc Church in Jackson Heights invites you to join its Queens Flea Market and Craft Fair from 8 a.m. till 4 p.m. at the Msgr. Boylan Auditorium.

BuBBLE trouBLE

“thE LEGo moviE” hAnDs-on EvEnt

Barnes and Noble will hold a hands-on learning event at noon, in support of “The Lego Movie.” Activities, fun and surprises are in store for all who attend. Advance registration is recommended. Barnes and Noble is located at 176-60 Union Tpke., Fresh Meadows. For more information, call (718) 380-4340.

Little Makers at the New York Hall of Science will hold this workshop on creating your very own bubble-blowing tool. Running from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the event will cost $8 per family with paid general admission and $5 per family for members. Advance registration is recom-

mended. To do so, call (718) 699-0005 or visit http:// nysci.org/little-makers.

LunAr nEw YEAr CELEBrAtion

Celebrate this popular Chinese holiday with costumed folk dances, Lion Dance and traditional paper cutting and calligraphy, from 1-4 p.m. at Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

TuEsDay 1/28

EvEninG oF FinE FooD

Queens Centers for Progress will host the annual Evening of Fine Food at 6:30 p.m. at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The group will hand out “Chef of the Year” awards to individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to community. For information, visit www. queenscp.org.

WEDNEsDay 1/29

ConCErt

Fleetwood Macked, a Fleetwood Mac cover band, will perform a number of hits by the classic rock band live and on stage next to Bar 360 in the casino. It will begin at 8 p.m. The Casino is located at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd. in South Ozone Park.

Got EvEnts? send all information to editor@queenstribune.com or mail to: Queens Tribune 150-50 14th Rd., Whitestone, Ny 11357


Page 14 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 24-30, 2014

Queens Today Section editor: reGinA VoGeL

Send announcements for your club or organization’s events at least tWo weeks in advance to “Queens today” editor, Queens tribune, 150-50 14 road, Whitestone nY 11357. Send faxes to 357-9417, c/o regina or email to queenstoday@ queenstribune.com Yearly schedules and advanced notices welcome!

COMPUTERS INTER. POWERPT. Friday, January 24 central library. register. INTRO INTERNET Friday, January 24 Hillcrest library. register. BEGIN COMPUTERS Fridays, January 24, 31 Auburndale library. register. BEGIN POWERPOINT Saturday, January 25 central library. register. INTER. POWERPOINT Saturday, January 25 central library. register. INTER. EXCEL Sunday, January 26 central library. register. INTRO EMAIL Monday, January 27 central library. register. DIGITAL MEDIA/E-READ Monday, January 27 Lefferts library. eBooks, Kindles and nooks. 6pm. DOWNLOAD E-BOOKS Tuesday, January 28 Flushing library. register. BEGIN EXCEL Tuesday, January 28 Flushing library. register. TECHNOLOGIST IS IN Tuesday, January 28 personal instruction on devices. Pomonok librar y. register. BEGIN INTERNET Tu e s d ay, J a n u a r y 2 8 Queens Village librar y. register. BEGINNERS Tuesdays Laurelton and ro s e d a l e l i b r a r y. re g ister INTRO POWERPOINT Wednesday, Januar y 29 Po m o n o k l i b ra r y. re g ister. BEGIN COMPUTERS Wednesday, Januar y 29 Windsor Park librar y at 11:30. INTRO EMAIL Wednesday, Januar y 29 central library. register. MASTERING EXCEL Thursday, January 30 central library. register. BEGIN COMPUTERS T h u r s d a y, J a n u a r y 3 0 ozone Park library.

TEENS & KIDS QUEENS LIBRARIES check local libraries for toddler, pre-school, youth and teen programs. TEENS TUTORED Weekdays at the central library. register. HW HELP contact Laurelton, McGoldrick, Bayside and Auburndale libraries. TEEN CHESS Friday, January 24 Laurelton library at 3. CRAFTS Fridays ozone Park library at 3, Briarwood and east Flushing at 4, Pomonok library at 4:30. STORYTIME Fridays Hollis library at 11:15. BOARD/VIDEO GAMES Fridays rochdale Village at 4. Grades 1-6. BOARD GAME Fridays Windsor Park at 4. Ages 5-12. GAME DAY Fridays 5:30 McGoldrick library. MATH HELP S a t u r d a y, J a n u a r y 2 5 Flushing library at 10. SAT PREP S a t u r d a y, J a n u a r y 2 5 Fresh Meadows librar y. register. FAMILY STORYTIME M o n d ay, J a n u a r y 2 7 Woodhaven library at 4:30. Ages 6-12. FAMILY STORYTIME Monday, January 27 Auburndale library at 3:30. Pre-K to 2. COMPUTER SKILLS Monday, January 27 rochdale Village library at 4. Grades 1-6. THE CLUB M o n d ay, J a n u a r y 2 7 Woodhaven library at 4:30. Ages 6-12. GAME DAY Monday, January 27 McGoldrick library at 5:30. TEEN WII M o n d ay, J a n u a r y 2 7 Queens Village library at 3:30. BALLET LESSONS Monday, January 27 ballet techniques for those 3-7 at the ridgewood library at 4. MANDARIN CHINESE Mondays January 27, February 3, 10 richmond Hill library at 5:30. ONLINE UNIVERSITY Tuesday, January 28 digital Age education: Attend top Universities for Free online at the Middle Village library at 2:30. GAME DAY Tuesday, January 28 McGoldrick library at 5:30. YOUNG MEN Tuesday, January 28 Laurelton library. Ages 14-19. 3:30. DRAMA CLUB

Tuesday, January 28 central library. Grades 7-12. register. TOYS & TOTS Tuesday, January 28 preschoolers 2-5 McGoldrick library at 11:15. BINGO Tuesday, January 28 Pomonok library at 4:30. MAMMALS Tuesday January 28 Maspeth library at 3:30. Thursday, January 30 rochdale Village library at 4. Saturday, Februar y 1 Lefferts library at 3. STRAW CRAFTS Wednesday, Januar y 29 K - 6 F l u s h i n g l i b ra r y a t 4. LUNAR NEW YEAR Thursday, January 30 6-12 stories, craft, more central library at 4. FASHION MAVENS T h u r s d a y, J a n u a r y 3 0 central library.4:30. Ages 13-18. ARTS & CRAFTS Thursday, January 30 4:30 at the Auburndale library. DRAMA POSSE Thursday, January 30 Hillcrest library at 4:30. CREATIVE WRITING Thursday, January 30 Auburndale library at 5. Ages 8-12. CIRCLE OF FRIENDS Thursday, January 30 Glen oaks library at 1:30. Ages 3-5.

TALKS STEINWAY M o n d ay, J a n u a r y 2 7 “Astray” discussed at 6:30. BOOK LOVERS Thursday, January 30 selections and recommendations at 5:30 at the Hollis library.

WEEKLY MEETINGS GARDENING CLUB Saturdays in the Steinway library courtyard at 4. ORATORIO SOCIETY M o n d ay s te m p l e B e t h Sholom in Flushing. 279-3006. Auditions required. COMMUNITY SINGERS Mondays community Singers at Messiah Lutheran in Flushing. 658-1021. SCRABBLE CLUB Tuesdays at the east Flushing library at 3:30. MEN’S CLUB SOCCER Tuesday evenings Forest Hills Jewish center 8-9:30. 263-7000. WOMEN’S GROUP Fridays Woman’s Group of Jamaica estates meets at noon. 461-3193.

HEALTH SHAPE UP NYC Fridays, January 24, 31 Briarwood library at 11:30. CALYPSO CARDIO Fridays, Januar y 24, 31 Laurelton library at 6:30. CARDIO SCULPTURE Fridays through February 28 richmond Hill library at 1.

ENTERTAINMENT DIVAS OF JAZZ Friday, Januar y 24 rosedale library at 6. GAME DAY Fridays 4:30 Woodhaven library. GAME PLAYERS CLUB Fridays 2 Hillcrest library. WOMEN COMPOSERS Saturday, January 25 Flushing library at 1:30. ANOKO NANTE ENSEMBLE Saturday, January 25 central library at 3. SINATRA… Saturday, January 25 tribute to Sinatra, darin and davis, Jr. at the Jackson Heights library at 3. CHILI COOKOFF Sunday, January 25 1-3 at Grace church of Whitestone, 14-15 clintonville Street. MOVIE Sunday, January 25 “Battle of the Year” shown at the central library at 2. MUSICA REGINAE Saturday, January 25 at 7:30. 551-8244. ELVIS BIRTHDAY S a t u r d a y, J a n u a r y 2 5 Queensborough community college. 631-6311. BW Y & NIGHTCLUB SONGS Monday, January 27 Middle Village library at 2. CHARLES… Monday, January 27 tribute to charles, Wonder and Gaye at the Queens Village library at 3:30. VIOLIST MEYER M o n d ay, J a n u a r y 2 7 Woodside library at 3:30. STEVE BIKO Monday, January 27 dramatic presentation of the life of the great South African anti-Apartheid activist Steve Biko at the cambria Heights library at 6. MEDITERRANEN MUSIC Monday, January 27 Flushing library at 6:30. ROCK MOTOWN DISCO Tuesday, January 28 Auburndale library at 3:30. 30s-70s MUSIC Wednesday, Januar y 29 B ay te r r a c e l i b r a r y a t 1:30. ROMAN HOLIDAY Thursday, January 30 movie at noon at the central library.

ZUMBA S a t u r d a y, J a n u a r y 2 5 ridgewood librar y at 10:15. DANCE FITNESS M o n d ay, J a n u a r y 2 7 north Forest Park library at 11:30. ZUMBA Mondays through June 23 (except holidays) Lic library at 7. IMPROVE MEMORY Tuesday, January 28 Forest Hills library at 2:30. ALZHEIMERS Tuesday, January 28 caregiver support group in Forest Hills. 592-5757, ext. 237. TAI CHI Tuesday, January 28 Bayside library. register. TOTAL WORKOUT Tuesday, January 28 Briarwood library at 5:30 and

EDUCATION NETWORKING Friday, January 24 central library. register. BARRIERS TO JOBS Fridays, Januar y 24, 31 overcoming Barrier to employment at the central library. register. KNIT & CROCHET Fridays Fresh Meadows library at 11. CHESS CLUB Fridays at 3:30 at the Auburndale library and 4 at the Woodside library. QUILTING CLASS Monday, January 27 St. Albans library. register. BALLROOM DANCING Monday, January 27 Forest Hills library at 6:30 ADULT CHESS Mondays and Thursdays Queens Village library at 5:30. RESUMES/COVER LTR Tuesday, January 28 central library. register. ONLINE COLLEGE Tuesday, January 28 Middle Village library at 2:30. From basic ed to graduate studies. CHESS Tuesdays rosedale library at 4. SMALL BUSINESS Tuesdays Small Business Workshop at the central library. register. MOCK INTERVIEWS Wednesday, Januar y 29 central library. register. MOCK INTERVIEWS Thursday, January 30 central library. register. HOLA! Thursday, January 30 learn Spanish at the central library. register. LEARN CHINESE Thursdays north Forest Park library at 6.

ridgewood library at 6. HI BLOOD PRESSURE Wednesday, Januar y 29 Broadway library at 11:30. CHAIR YOGA Wednesday, Januar y 29 Jackson Heights library. register. CHANGE HEALTH CARE Thursday, January 30 McGoldrick library at 1:30.

MEETINGS KNITTING CLUB Fridays, Januar y 24, 31 Glen oaks library at 11. JEWISH VETS Sunday, Januar y 26 Jewish War Veterans of the USA meet at Kissena Jewish center in Flushi n g . 4 6 3 - 4 7 4 2 . Ko re a n Wa r Ve t S o c c e r te a m also meets. QUILTING CLUB Mondays Alley Pond environmental center 2:30. $5. 229-4000. NY CARES Monday, January 27 to recruit new volunteers at the Forest Hills library at 3. KNIT & CROCHET Monday, January 27 douglaston library at 4. KNIT & CROCHET Tuesday, January 28 Steinway library at 5. SE QUEENS CAMERA Tuesday, January 28 roy Wilkins Family center. 3477178. CHESS CLUB Tuesdays Windsor Park library at 5:30 and Howard Beach library at 4. 7:30. 969-2448. CDEC 26 Thursday, January 30 public meeting at 7, business meeting at 8. MS67 in Little neck. 631-6927. KNITTING CLUB Friday, January 31 Queens Village library at 1:30. ACADEMY CHARTER M o n d ays , F e b r u a r y 3 , March 3, April 7, May 5, June 9 central Queens Academy charter School meeting 7-9:30 at 55-30 Junction Blvd., elmhurst. 261-6200 to register.

SENIORS DEFENSIVE DRIVING Monday, January 27 Laurelton library. 479-8914. SNAP OUTREACH T h u r s d a y, J a n u a r y 3 0 awareness in SnAP and other food and benefits programs for seniors at the Jackson Heights library at 11. FIRE SAFETY T h u r s d a y, J a n u a r y 3 0 Woodside library at 4.


Jan. 24-30, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 15

Profile

Free Construction Training Program Comes To Jamaica BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA Since 2006, the Association of Women Construction Workers of America has been helping young women break into the male-dominated industry of construction. The Jamaica-based nonprofit has continued to expand its efforts to advocate for the advancement of all minority groups looking for a career in the field. President and founder of AWCWA Herlema Owens began the nonprofit with her friend, the late Joi Beard, in an effort to encourage women to enter a career in construction – a rapidly growing industry. The hands-on duo had already seen their careers flourish and believed that many women did not know about the opportunities available to them. “We wanted to gather women together and bring them into the industry so that we could make it better industry for ourselves,” Owens said. “This is the ideal job for a woman. There are so many different opportunities and women just need to take a closer look

The Association of Women Construction Workers helps community residents break into the construction industry by offering a free construction training program in Jamaica.

at it – not for what they’re used to seeing, but for what it actually is. There is a place for women in construction.” As the organization continued to evolve, Owens and Beard decided to open the free educational program to all residents after determining that there was a need for this type of service in the community. “No matter what their status is in life, we wanted to be able to help people get to where you want to be in this industry,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you are a goodie-two-shoes or the worst kid on the Upon graduating, students of AWCWA construction block, if this is someprogram receive a certificate of completion and are often thing they need, we want to provide it placed in affiliated construction companies. for them.”

Although Owens, a self-proclaimed ‘girly-girl,’ has been a proud member of Labor Union 731 for 27 years, she admits that she never even considered a career in construction until her husband died tragically and found herself struggling financially. “I was basically forced into construction. I was in hair and beauty and fashion. I was a model and going to hair school,” she said. “Construction was definitely not something I was interested in, but when my husband was murdered, I had to work.” Reluctant at first, Owens decided she did not have many other options and gave it a try after a friend gave her a push. And much to her surprise, she fell in love with the construction industry. “The first day on the job changed my life,” she said. “I actually loved it and couldn’t believe it. I was making

good money and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else after that.” Hoping to give the locals the same opportunity she had, AWCWA has offers a free construction training program for youth and adults in Jamaica. The 15-week curriculum features a series of workshops, including the basic essentials of construction and hands-on training in carpentry, painting, pest control, plumbing, electrical and facilities maintenance. Graduating students receive a certificate of completion and are often placed by AWCWA at partnering construction companies. Enrollment for the program is open until Jan. 30. Applicants must be 18 years or older and must provide photo ID, a birth certificate and a social security card. Applicants must also have a GED or high school diploma to participate in the pre-construction training program, but if an applicant does not have a diploma, dual enrollment in the Educational Opportunity Center’s GED program is possible. Classes will take place at the State University of New York Equal Opportunity Center located at 158-29 Archer Ave. and will be held Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. For information, or to register, call (718) 725-3373 or send an e-mail to info@awcwa.org. Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or nkozikowska@queenspress.com or @ nkozikowska.

People Local students were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester at SUNY Oneonta. They include: Hollis: Brittany Farmer, Alexandra Windland. Jamaica: Felicia Magnan, Jamie Piter. Rosedale: Tiffany Squire. St. Albans: Adia Watts. North Shore-LIJ Health System recently announced the appointment of Laura S. Peabody, JD, as its new senior vice president of legal affairs and chief legal officer, and Andrew Schulz, JD, as vice president and general counsel.

The New York Army National Guard recently announced the reenlistment of members in recognition of their commitment to serve. Sergeant Jeremy Lee of Cambria Heights has reenlisted to continue service with the Company A (Distribution), 427th Brigade Support Battalion. Specialist Catarina Bowen of Rosedale has reenlisted to continue service with the Company B, 101st Signal Battalion. Sergeant Edgar Ochoa of Jamaica has reenlisted to continue service with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-69th Infantry.

Carmela Morales of Jamaica was named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester at Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I.

Johnathan Moore of Jamaica received a degree in psychology during fall 2013 commencement ceremonies at SUNY Potsdam.

Local students were named to the President’s List for the fall 2013 semester at SUNY Oswego. They include: Ozone Park: Annibel Tejada. Queens Village: Maya Siegel. South Ozone Park: Nadia Misir. Local students were named to the Deans’ List for the fall 2013 semester at SUNY Oswego. They include: Hollis: Kathleen Christman. Jamaica: Helen Banjoko. St. Albans: Emmanuel Oziegbe. Medwin Fontin of St. Albans was named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2013 term at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn. Lindsey Jeanniton of Laurelton was named to the Dean’s List for the

fall 2013 semester at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. Latin American Cultural Center of Queens will host an ESL and U.S. Citizenship Test preparation courses closing ceremony from 2-3:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at ARROW Community Center, 35-30 35th St., Astoria. The event will include an artistic presentation by Mariachi Mexico Lindo. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. To RSVP, call (718) 261-7664 or email LACCQ@aol.com. Vietnam Veterans of America Queens Chapter 32 will host a Super Bowl party at 4 p.m. Feb. 2 at 19-12 149th St., Whitestone. Food, water and soft drinks will be provided. Veterans must RSVP by Jan. 28 to vvachapter32@aol. com or eravet24@aol.com.


Page 16 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 24-30, 2014

Faith

First Church Brings The Community Together BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA In an effort to embrace family values and bring community members together, First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica offers a free weekly program featuring play time, Bible study, a worship workshop and dinner. The nationwide program, sponsored by the Logos Family Ministry, was adopted by First Church four years ago, after its spiritual leaders determined that there was a family element missing from the community. “Many of our congregants decided that it was really important that we dig a little deeper and really enrich the lives of our families,” said Rev. Aqueelah Ligonde. “We have quite a few families here and a lot of younger children were starting to come in, so we wanted to reach out not only to the congregants, but to the community.” “Afterschool programs are great but the one thing that’s missing is the

ily, every Friday evening, church members and residents gather at a dinner table for family time. The participants are mixed with different age groups, giving them an opportunity to bond with people they may not normally have a chance to get to know. “Family time is very special. It’s the core of Logos,” Ligonde said. “At one table Every Friday evening, church members and resi- you can have a four-year-old, dents gather First Presbyterian Church for a fam- a 16-year-old, a 42-year-old ily-style dinner. The participants are mixed with and a 79-year-old. They learn different age groups, giving them an opportunity to serve each other. Someto bond with people they may not normally have a one from the table is chosen chance to get to know. as the server and they serve the food family-style.” rest of the family,” she added. “While “We’ve been able to teach them kids may be learning an instrument or community,” she added. “This way, math skills, the one piece that we kind when a child sees an adult on Sunof get around is family relationships.” day, they just don’t see a regular With a heavy emphasis on fam- adult – they see someone they’ve

had dinner with, their ‘table parents.’” According to Ligonde, the program has been well-received by the Southeast Queens community, with nearly 100 residents attending. “The young children really loved the idea of being able to play with their friends at the end of the week and the older congregants really loved the idea of building the community and having a place where they can open up and be free. They all start to build a bond with one another,” she said. The program is held at the church from 6:30-9 p.m. and is free but a family contribution is encouraged. To learn more about the program, or to register, call Rev. Aqueelah Ligonde at (718) 526-4775 ext. 13. First Presbyterian Church is located at 89-60 164th St., Jamaica. Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or nkozikowska@queenspress.com or @nkozikowska.

Notebook

Catholic Schools Week

Catholic Schools Week Praises The Parish BY JOE MARVILLI Even though National Catholic Schools Week is a nationwide event, it is meant to be a commemoration of the individual parishes and communities that impact the lives of students every day. According to some faculty members who work at Catholic schools in Queens, the week-long celebration allows students, teachers, parents, staff and community members to come together in a celebration of the day-to-day achievements of religious education. Running from Jan. 26 to Feb. 1 this year, Catholic Schools Week is not just a week of fun but a week of thankfulness for the experiences everyone in the parish can share. “I think Catholic Schools Week is an opportunity to celebrate the fact that we as a parish have such a vibrant and committed Catholic school,” Forest Hills’ Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School principal Anne Zuschlag said. As the annual festivities in support of Catholic schools, the week-

long event is a time for Masses, open houses and reflections on what makes a Catholic education special. Many of students are asked during the week to think about the sacrifices made by their parents, their teachers and the support staff each and every day. “One of the things we talk to the students about regularly is sacrifice. It’s not easy for all the parents to send their children to Catholic school,” Zuschlag said. According to the National Catholic Educational Association, the 2014 theme for Catholic Schools Week is “Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” “Faith, knowledge and service are three measures by which any Catholic school can and should be judged,” the association said. Given the emphasis on community and service, the National Catholic Educational Association is asking institutions to mark Catholic Schools Week by pledging 40 hours of service to their neighborhoods. Service plays a key role in the Catholic faith, as Ephesians 5:21 asks people to “be

subject to one another in the reverence of Christ.” “It’s a celebration of who we are and what we do every day. Faith and knowledge are a daily occurrence here,” Barbara DeMaio, principal of Most Precious Blood School in Astoria, said. “As far as service goes, we have service projects that are available on a daily basis. We honor random acts of kindness con- Our Lady Queen of Martyrs parish will reflect stantly.” on the sacrifice made by parents and faculty as Zuschlag said that Our part of Catholic Schools Week. Lady Queen of Martyrs will 40th anniversary is chance for stuput forward this focus on service by honoring those in the com- dents and faculty to remember the munity who work in public service, struggle Catholics had to gain a footsuch as crossing guards, the mainte- hold in a Protestant-heavy City as nance staff, civil servants, sanitation well as to fight to make sure today’s schools remain open. workers and more. “Those sacrifices those immi“We will be celebrating people in our community who are of service to grants made years and years ago to us,” she said. “[Students] also need to start Catholic schools in New York City are really remarkable,” she said. recognize the service in others.” This year’s Catholic Schools Week “They offer an opportunity for choice is also notable because it is the 40th in a country that’s based on choice. year that the celebration has been As more and more of these schools close, we start to lose that choice.” held. Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) According to Zuschlag, Catholic schools were not as prominent in 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenthe City’s past as they are today. The stribune.com, or @Joey788.


Jan. 24-30, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 17

What’s Up JAN. 24 Intermediate Microsoft Word Build on your basic knowledge of Microsoft Word by learning how to format documents and bibliographies and insert tables, charts, headers and footers. Basic computer skills and knowledge of MS Word are required. The workshop is free and will be held at the Queens Central Library at 9:30 a.m. You must preregister online at jobmap.queenslibrary. org. For more information, call (718) 990-8625.

‘Oldies But Goodies’ Dinner Dance The Queens Chapter of the National Action Network will host its third annual “Oldies But Goodies” fundraiser. Come celebrate while raising funds for the chapter. For ticket information, call Lois Menyweather at (646) 284-1689. Tickets cost $30 and must be purchased in advance. There will be no tickets sold at the door. The fundraiser will be held at Thomasina’s Catering Hall, located at 205-35 Linden Blvd., St. Albans from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

JAN. 25 Beginners Microsoft PowerPoint Learn how to create presentations and slide shows with PowerPoint 2010 for free at the Queens Central Library. Topics include creating and editing slides, changing designs and colors, inserting pictures and illustrations and presenting your slide show. Basic computer skills are required. The workshop will be held at 9:30 a.m. You must preregister online at jobmap.queenslibrary.org. Call (718) 990-8625 for additional information.

care providers, visit: www.ParentsNightOutNYC.com. For additional information, call (718) 709-7118.

Introduction to Email In this free introductory workshop, you will learn how to create an email account, log on, navigate the account, send and receive messages and attach documents. Preregister online at jobmap.queenslibrary.org or call (718) 990-8625. While this is an introductory class, it is recommended that you have basic mouse and keyboarding skills before the workshop. The workshop will be held at the Queens Central Library at 9:30 a.m.

JAN. 26 Sunday Movies at Central Queens Central Library will show a free screening of the movie “Battle of the Year.” With only three months until Battle of the Year, Blake has to use every tactic he knows to get 12 talented individuals to come together as a team as they try to bring the trophy back to America.

JAN. 27 NAN General Chapter Meeting All are welcome to attend the next general meeting of the Queens Chapter of the National Action Network. Rev. Phil Craig will address important issues concerning the community and a proposed economic development plan for Southeast Queens. The meeting will be held at the Greater Springfield Community Church from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Greater Springfield Community Church is located at 177-06 129th Ave., Jamaica. For more information, call (718) 949-9500. It is free to attend.

JAN. 29 This Queens-based Pan African Dietary Approaches To Stop percussion and vocal ensemble Hypertension

Akoko Nante Ensemble

presents music harvested from the continent of Africa and its diaspora from the royal palaces of Ghana to the groves of old Haiti. The free concert will be held at Queens Central Library at 3 p.m.

Parents Night Out in NYC Parents citywide are taking the pledge to give themselves a much needed break and celebrate Parents Night Out NYC. Make your pledge to celebrate who you are as a parent, whether you are a single parent or parenting with a partner. Fun and exciting things to do include: relaxing at home, going to dinner, taking in a movie or comedy club, or going dancing. For more things to do, ways to celebrate and participating day-

If you are interested in preventing or lowering high blood pressure, then find out why the DASH diet may be good for you. A registered dietitian will give a talk and answer questions about this healthy way to eat. There will also be free health screenings, blood pressure and blood glucose, as well as an opportunity to schedule an appointment at the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center. This free workshop will be held at the Queens Central Library from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

ONGOING: Free Pre-Construction Training Program The Association of Women Construction Workers of America has

been helping young women break into the male-dominated industry of construction. The Jamaica-based nonprofit has continued to expand its efforts to advocate for the advancement of all minority groups looking for a career in the field. The 15-week curriculum features a series of workshops, including the basic essentials of construction and hands-on training in carpentry, painting, pest control, plumbing, electrical and facilities maintenance. Graduating students receive a certificate of completion and are often placed by AWCWA at partnering construction companies. Enrollment for the program is open until Jan. 30. Applicants must be 18 years or older and must provide photo ID, a birth certificate and a social security card. Applicants must also have a GED or high school diploma to participate in the pre-construction training program, but if an applicant does not have a diploma, dual enrollment in the Educational Opportunity Center’s GED program is possible.

The LP Fam’s Youth Basketball From Jan. 25 to March 29, the Lincoln Park Basketball Association will hold a winter basketball clinic for boys and girls ages 8-15. The clinic will be held at the Queens Transition Center, located at 142-10 Linden Blvd., South Ozone Park, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parents or guardians must bring proof of age. Registration fee is $40 and includes insurance, weekly training sessions and t-shirts. For more information, call David Reid (646) 241-4211 or Mike Glasgow at (917) 442-0479.

Homework Help The Laurelton Library will provide free homework help for children in grades 1-6. The library offers after school homework assistance in math, writing and other subjects. The program runs every day after school, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., except holidays. The library is located at 134-26 225th St., Laurelton. For more information, call (718) 5282822 or visit www.queenslibrary.org/ branch/Laurelton.

Learn How To Play Chess Every Thursday, the Rochdale Village Library will offer a free program to learn chess for kids and teens. The program is open to beginners, advanced players and everyone else in between. The program is held from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Rochdale Village Library is located at 169-09 137th Ave.

Overcoming Barriers To Employment Every Friday, the Queens Central Library in Jamaica helps residents experiencing barriers to employment. A Job Information Center case manager is available on Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to discuss potential problems you may have regarding child care, housing, immigration, degree evaluation, healthcare, goal and career planning, former incarceration, education and training and more. To schedule an appointment, call (718) 480-4222 or stop by the Job Information Center. No registration is required and the service is free.

Forestdale STYA Youth Mentor Forestdale, Inc., an organization with a great history of supporting families in need and committed to empowering children in foster care and in the local community, is launching a new mentoring program in January 2014. This new program, called “Future Prep: Successfully Transitioning Youth to Adolescence,” or STYA, is designed to attract community-minded people who may not be able to commit to foster parenting, but nevertheless want to make a significant investment in the lives of children and their better future. We are looking for mentors (18 or older) to work with children ages 9-12 for one year. Starting in January, there will be four 10-week sessions throughout the year, each running for three hours on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The program will take place at the Hollis Community Center at 203-09 Hollis Ave. This is an excellent opportunity to truly make a difference in someone’s life, build meaningful relationships and be part of an enthusiastic, compassionate and supportive environment, in addition to a great learning experience with the opportunity to learn about a multitude of issues facing underprivileged youth in New York City today. For additional information, contact Mirzya Syed, Youth Volunteer Coordinator, at Msyed@forestdaleinc.org or (718) 263-0740, ext. 365.

Employment Assistance Are you experiencing barriers to employment? A Job Information Center Case manager is available on Fridays, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., to discuss potential problems you may have regarding child care, housing, immigration, degree evaluation, healthcare, goal and career planning, former incarceration, education and training and more. To schedule an appointment, call (718) 480-4222 or stop by the Job Information Center at Queens Central Library.


Seeking Help

Q

CONFIDENTIAL

Page 18 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 24-30, 2014

Actors oF QUEENs

Brian Murphy

QConf is edited by: Steven J. Ferrari

Embattled State Sen. Malcolm Smith is reaching out to his supporters for help, but not in his ongoing legal and public perception battles. With new challengers popping up each week, Smith sent out a campaign email last week with the subject, "Please Help..." As the first filing for the 2014 Senate race approached, Smith put out some last-minute plead to help him reach his goal of $30,000. "As you know, I have worked very hard and will continue with your help to improve our community, city and state," the email read. Just one day after his cam-

paign asked for financial help, the Senator sent out an email promoting his appearance in a documentary on gun control. Done by a UK filmmaker, a clip of an interview with Smith appears in the trailer for "2nd Amendment." Smith used the email to promote his work towards ending gun violence, and show off a picture of himself with documentarian James Dann. Regardless of Smith's guilt or innocence, he certainly has not stopped putting his name out there We wonder how often Smith will send out self-congratulatory emails as his trial for fraud charges approaches.

Welcome to the Family

We welcomed a new member to the Tribune and PRESS family as 2013 came to an end, as Elizabeth Mance gave birth to a son, Tyler, on Dec. 31.

Life After 5Pointz

Months after a war of words led to white-washed walls and hurt feelings, it looks like the artists who worked at the graffiti Mecca of 5Pointz have found a new place to paint. A number of the artists who had their work displayed on the side of the Long Island City building have moved their brushes to Great Neck. The new showcase,

titled “Wall Works,” can be seen at the Gold Coast Art Center. The work of 5Pointz curator Jonathan Cohen and artists Kid Lew, John Paul O'Grodnick, Veronique Barrillot, Shiro and others will show off their work until March 2. Proceeds for the show will go towards the art center and its youth program.

Contributors: Luis Gronda, Natalia Kozikowska, Joe Marvilli, Marcia Moxom Comrie, Michael Nussbaum, Trisha Sakhuja, Michael Schenkler.

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Slow Start For Bill It looks like the City budget process will get started a little later than usual this year. With Mayor Bill de Blasio slow to name his full staff, it has pushed back an important process, called "putting the City’s budget together." At a recent Community Board 8 meeting, Councilman Rory Lancman said the Mayor asked the City Council if he could let him present his first City budget later than usual while his transition to the new job continues. The Councilman said his colleagues within the City Council agreed to his request to give him more time to put his team together. “I think he’s going to be presenting it in February so that will kind of potentially bump the schedule, although the City will still have to have its budget in place,” Lancman said. He added that meetings that the Community Board would be involved in would probably be pushed back as well. You might want to quicken the pace a little, Mr. Mayor. Getting the City’s budget late could have ripple effects in Queens and the rest of the City.

When every person reaches their late teenage years, they have to make a choice. Do they take the safe path for a career with security and a path forward? Or do they follow their dreams in the hopes of succeeding? For Brian Murphy, he took a chance and decided to become an actor. He did not do this for fame or fortune, but because he loves the work. “I have fallen in love with the process. Being in a room working on a great script, collaborating with others, searching through the text like a detective to put the puzzle together,” Murphy said. “The opportunity to take a piece of my heart and give it to the world seems like a worthy pursuit.” Murphy, having recently moved to Sunnyside from Brooklyn, is an up-andcomer who has started to break into a few notable roles in the last couple of years. He just wrapped up his appearance in the film “A Good Marriage,” will soon be shooting on the movie “Back In The Day” and is starring in the Off-Broadway play, “The Clearing.” “A Good Marriage,” based on the novella by Stephen King, gave Murphy the chance to work with Tony Award-winning actress Joan Allen and the star of “Without a Trace,” Anthony LaPaglia. “Each had worked on some of my favorite plays so it was exciting to talk to them about what those processes were like,” Murphy said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product.” For “Back in the Day,”

Murphy was cast as a boxer, a role that fits him perfectly as he is a two-time Golden Gloves boxing tournament competitor, having taken part in 2012 and 2011. “They asked me if I could box, I told them about my experience and shadow boxed in the audition. I got the call by week’s end and was in a gym in the Bronx rehearsing the fight choreography the next week,” he said. While the original shoot dates have been pushed back, Murphy said he is looking forward to the role. The other project he said he is excited about is his starring role in “The Clearing.” He said he was drawn in by the characters of Jake Jeppson’s play and thinks the audience will be moved by this tale of two brothers who witnessed a tragic accident that kept it a secret. “This secret keeps them stuck. The beauty of the play is how they struggle to move forward. I think audiences will leave the theater and be moved to reach out to their parents, siblings or someone in their life that they love or lost,” he said “The Clearing” will run until Feb. 9 at the Theatre at St. Clement’s, located at 423 West 46th St. After that show closes, Murphy will be taking an acting workshop with Larry Moss, as well as shooting a short film he wrote about a man who loses the love of his life to addiction. He also hopes to put together an evening of short plays with his friends, called “Shorts: A Happening.”

Got talent?

If you can dance, sing, draw, write or have any other talents and live in Queens, be sure to e-mail editor@queenstribune.com for inclusion in a future edition.


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