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Volume 15 Issue No. 5 Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014



PRESS Photo by Luis Gronda


St. John’s alum J. Cole comes back to the Borough for a pre-Super Bowl concert at Queens College. By Trisha Sakhuja.


Page 2 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014



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News Briefs City to Embrace Stop And Frisk Reform

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City has reached an agreement with civil rights lawyers who had challenged the NYPD’s Stop and Frisk policy, which would allow reforms ordered by Manhattan District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin last year to be carried out. The Mayor pledged to reunite police with communities across the City and to respect the constitutional rights of every New Yorker. “This is a defining moment in our history. It’s a defining moment for millions of our families, especially those with young men of color. And it will lay the foundation for not only keeping us the safest big city in America, but making us safer still,” de Blasio said in a statement. Under the agreement a courtappointed monitor will serve for three years, overseeing the NYPD’s reform of Stop and Frisk. The monitor is empowered to report to federal court on the City’s progress meeting its obligation to abide by the Constitution. The City has already taken the first step in the process by asking the Court of Appeals to remand the case to the District Court. Both the City’s law department and the plaintiffs have agreed to recommend to the District Court that the monitor supervision will have oversight for three years, on the condition that the NYPD is in substantial compliance with the decree. Once that resolution has been confirmed by the District Court, the City will immediately move to withdraw its appeal. “I am proud to stand with the Mayor today for this announcement,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in a statement. “It is critical that we restore trust and faith in every community in this City and begin to repair relationships. With effective community policing, New York can remain

the safest big city in this country, while serving all of its residents with respect.”

1997 Richmond Hill Rapist Indicted

On Monday, Queens DA Richard Brown announced that Johnny Dupree, a 55-year-old incarcerated man, has been indicted on charges of raping two women in separate attacks in Queens more than 16 years ago after a DNA hit linked him to the crimes. Dupree, who is presently serving a sentence of sixteen years to life in prison as a persistent violent felony offender on a 2000 burglary case, was arraigned on charges of firstdegree rape and two counts of firstdegree sodomy. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. According to the charges, at approximately 4:00 a.m., on July 11, 1997, Dupree allegedly entered a basement apartment located on 129 Street in Richmond Hill through an unlocked door where the 23-year-old female victim was asleep with her three children. She awoke to find a stranger, Dupree, crouching in her bedroom. He allegedly grabbed her, placed a knife to her throat and demanded cash. She gave him $20 after which he allegedly sodomized and raped her before fleeing. In the second incident, at approximately 1:00 a.m., on Nov. 9, 1997, Dupree is accused of breaking into an apartment on 130th Street in Richmond Hill, where the 24-yearold female victim was sleeping. He is alleged to have displayed a knife and raped the victim before fleeing. Brown said that rape kits from New York City were all tested more than a decade ago but many did not yield DNA profiles at the time. To date, the DA’s cold case initiative has resulted in 13 John Doe indictments covering 17 separate criminal incidents, as well the indictments of two named individuals, including Dupree.

Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 3


Environmental Chair Richards Looks To Future BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA “The gloves are off” said Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), who was just appointed as chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito earlier this month. For the first time in history, Southeast Queens, notorious for its flooding issues, has one of its own elected officials serving as chairman of the committee, which oversees the Dept. of Environmental Protection. In his new capacity, Richards said he is committed to helping the residents of Southeast Queens, who have been combating flooding for nearly two decades. “This is the number one issue in Southeast Queens,” he said. “No matter which elected official you speak to in Southeast Queens – this is their number one issue. So this was critical and I am so elated the Speaker was so gracious to appoint me.” All too familiar with the rising water table and flooding problems that plague the district and neighboring communities, Richards said he has always had his eye on the seat. “It’s an important position for our community,” he said. “When I set out to be councilman, there were certain issues that I thought were critical to the well-being of Southeast Queens and New York City as a whole that I thought were not being addressed in the most appropriate manner.” “It’s what led the Speaker to appoint me to chairing this committee,” he added. “When we were going through the entire process, I laid out the things that were critical to the community and she [Mark-Viverito] heard my cry.” As chairman, Richards said one of his first priorities is to explore the possibility of reopening the Jamaica Water Supply wells, which were purchased by the DEP in 1996 and subsequently shut down due to operating costs that same year. Because the DEP stopped pumping the wells from 1996 to 2007, residents experienced worsening flooding conditions, with the water table rising approximately 35 feet. Some relief could be seen between August and November of 2012 when the DEP ran one system of its wells – Station 6. Within that three-month period, the water table dropped eight to 10 feet and 10 million gallons of water were being pumped out of the neighborhood every day. But the DEP again shut down the well due to operational costs, planning to reopen Station 6 in 2018, when the

Councilman Donovan Richards Delaware Aqueduct will be closed and it will have to find other ways to provide drinking water to New York City. “I want a better understanding of why the DEP shut down the wells. There’s a lot of hearsay,” Richards said. “Having the station open can be a resource in lowering the water table in Southeast Queens and for some of the areas that have been experiencing flooding for so long.” “As the guy who has oversight

over the DEP, I can make sure I hold the DEP accountable in things that should have been done. I want to know why these things are delayed,” he added. “If they give me a good reason, I’m going to bring that back to the community, but at the same time, my job as new chair is to hold their feet to the fire. Obviously, Southeast Queens is near and dear to my heart and the DEP is going to see that.” As chairman, Richards said he also wants to ensure that Southeast Queens will get its fair share in funding from Exxon Mobil, which was federally mandated to pay $105 million to clean up drinking water wells in Southeast Queens that it contaminated with the dangerous chemical, MTBE. “We will be speaking with the de Blasio Administration to make sure that some of this money goes into the community, because it could be utilized to alleviate some of the flooding issues,” he said. “We are definitely going to hold them responsible and make sure we put just as much pressure on the City to ensure

that money is being utilized.” Though flooding in Southeast Queens and across the City will be one of his biggest focuses, there are many other issues that Richards said he is looking forward to address as the committee’s new chair. “I think Jim Gennaro did a great job as chair. There were issues he prioritized, like climate change and I got to learn a great deal from him. But moving forward, my priorities are going to be a little different than his,” he said. “Fracking is going to be a huge issue. Noise pollution is critical too because now, I can look at the noise code. Airplane traffic noise is also big. I know its federal but this committee has the opportunity to take a closer look on a City level,” he added. Richards, whose district encompasses Far Rockaway – a neighborhood hard-hit by Superstorm Sandy, also vowed to use his position to fight for New Yorkers who are still suffering from the aftereffects. Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or

Convicted Killer Escapes Psych Ward BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA

of Mental Health’s commissioner, Ann Marie Sullivan, voicing his conA mental patient convicted of cerns. “Given the criminal history of this manslaughter and multiple assault charges is still at large after tricking patient, I am obviously concerned his way out of a Queens Village psy- about this serious breach of hospital security and the potential risk it has chiatric facility on Tuesday. The patient, Raymond Morillo, created for my constituents who live 33, reportedly escaped from the nearby,” Avella wrote. In the letter, Avella Creedmoor Psychiatric went on to demand the Center, on Winchester OMH “launch a detailed Boulevard, around 11:25 investigation” into the a.m. by trading clothing matter, “including how with a friend who had much time passed begone to visit him. fore it was discovered After swapping that the patient escaped clothes, he was able to the secure unit, how and walk out the hospital unwhen were law enforcedetected. His friend, still ment authorities notified unidentified, was also and how can this type able to walk out of the of breach of security be center, wearing Morillo’s hospital uniform. Raymond Morillo, a con- prevented in the future.” Benjamin Rosen, a Morillo served 15 victed killer, is still at years in prison for man- large after escaping from spokesperson for the slaughter and assault af- a psych ward on Tuesday. OMH, said the agency is not able comment on ter shooting a man at the corner of 102nd Street and 37th Av- any individual patient due to State enue in Corona back in 1998. Upon laws but did offer an emailed statecompleting his prison sentence in ment. “Escaped patients are a very rare December, a judge ordered he be occurrence within OMH’s secure confined at Creedmoor. In response to the news, State psychiatric centers,” the statement Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) wrote read. “Per State law and OMH polia letter to the New York State Office cy, any escaped patient is immediate-

ly reported to local law enforcement and all significant incidents which occur within a facility are reported to the Justice Center for the Protection of Persons with Special Needs. Additionally, OMH policy and regulations require reporting and a thorough investigation to determine root causes of serious adverse events and, when appropriate, to require policy changes be made to prevent reoccurrence.” The statement also noted that pursuant to the Mental Hygiene Law, OMH patients have the right to visitors and the right to wear their own clothing while in treatment. Morillo is described as 5-foot-11, approximately 215 lbs., with a tear drop tattoo under his left eye. He was last seen wearing a black baseball cap, a white sweater and tan pants. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, www.nypdcrimestoppers, or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential. Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or or @nkozikowska.

Page 4 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014

DOT Installs Stop Lights At Dangerous Intersection BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA The streets of Cambria Heights just got a little safer for motorists. After nearly a decade of protest from residents and local elected officials, the Dept. of Transportation finally installed a set of new street lights at the accident-prone intersection of Francis Lewis Boulevard and 121st Avenue. Last week, Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) and Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans), whose districts cradle the major intersection, held a joint press conference to celebrate the recent victory. “It was a very dangerous intersection. You had a high volume of traffic,” Richards said. “You had people trying to cut across Merrick Boulevard using it as a short-cut. Speeding was a big issue and there were a lot of accidents – even one fatality a few years ago.” “By the grace of God, there haven’t been more fatalities but we can’t wait until something horrible happens to respond,” he added. “We had to be preemptive and not wait until something happens to finally get something done.” The intersection was so troublesome, Richards said, that just weeks

Both Richards and Johnson said residents of Cambria Heights and Laurelton have long been lobbying for a stop light at the dangerous intersection, which is located just blocks away from a softball field, a playground and a school. State Sen. James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park) and former Councilman Leroy Comrie both advocated for a new stop light while serving in the Council, to no avail. Richards attributes the DOT’s relatively swift response to the recent request to a colAfter nearly 10 years of frustration, the Dept. of Transportation installed a set of new laborative effort between Comtraffic lights at the accident-prone intersection of Francis Lewis Boulevard and 121st munity Board 13, various civic Avenue. associations and newly-elected Miller, highlighting a new era before the DOT installed the traffic ing that prior to the installation, drivin Southeast Queens politics. lights, he drove by yet another bad ers were confused about who had the “It’s a collective effort and it right of way, thereby causing a lot of shows the perks of having a new colcar accident at the site. “There was even an accident be- accidents. league in government [Miller] and “We have been frightened about that what the community can accomplish fore the lights were officially put up,” he said. “They had just put the poles intersection for a long time. That par- together,” he said. “It adds a strength up when the accident happened, but ticular intersection, it was just a dan- that Southeast Queens did not have it wasn’t operational yet. It spoke to ger,” Johnson said. “Cars would come for a long time. I think it’s a new day the importance of having this light at to that intersection and didn’t who had in government.” the right of way. With the light being the intersection.” Reach Reporter Natalia KozikowsDwight Johnson, president of there now, it’s a real blessing. It makes ka at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or the Federated Blocks of Laurelton, it a lot clearer who has the right of way or echoed Richards’ sentiments, claim- and it slows the traffic down.” @nkozikowska.

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Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 5

JPAC Prepares For Black History Month BY JOE MARVILLI Black History Month is a time to celebrate African-American society. In Queens, there are few places that can showcase the best of Black culture as well as the Jamaica Performing Arts Center. In February, the performance venue, part of the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, will host a slew of events that will honor and celebrate Black History Month. Ranging from dance to theatrical performances, the center is dedicating the coming weeks to exploring Black history and culture from many angles. The first major event at JPAC for Black History Month will be “Amazing Grace From the Auction to the White House,” which will take place on Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. The dance and theatrical performance will take the audience through Black history in the United States, from the days of slavery to President Barack Obama’s landmark election. The Civil War, Emancipation Day, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement and Obama’s inauguration will all be stops through history that the show will mark with dance perfor-

“4 Little Girls: Dance-ology” will place on Feb. 20 at JPAC. mances and artwork from Queens artist Shenna Vaughn. “The idea is that any child or individual that isn’t privy to Black history will get an idea of how we came to this country and how we’ve grown and how that’s had an effect on other cultural backgrounds coming to this country,” Akua Anokye, senior program and development director at JCAL, said. Directed and choreographed by Courtney Ffrench, the 90-minute

theatrical experience will include audience participation. Tickets for the event are $20. On Feb. 20, a dance performance called “4 Little Girls: Dance-ology” will be held at the center. Students from the Edge School of the Arts, located in Laurelton, will depict the tragedy of the Birmingham Church Bombings, an act of white supremacist terrorism that killed four girls in 1963. It is seen as a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. The event will run from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with tickets ranging between $10 and $20. On Feb. 21, a performance by take the St. John’s University choir will take place between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. One of the biggest events of the month at JPAC is the Sixth Annual Black History Cultural Gala. The center will partner with Jamaica’s United African Dance Troupe for this performance that will occur on Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. The dance troupe will work with the African Love Institute on a tribute to Nelson Mandela. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children under the age of 12.

While JPAC is hosting many of these events, JCAL will hold a unique, two-month exhibit called “The African Diva Project.” Dr. Margaret Rose Vendryes, a fine arts professor at York College, created 33 pieces of art made from 12-inch LP album covers. All of the record covers feature female African-American artists from the full spectrum of music, such as Grace Jones and Beyonce. “It’s beautifully done, where the faces of every artist have been replaced with an African mask,” Anokye said. “It brings together pop culture and African History. I think this will draw in people of all generations.” The gallery opening is on Feb. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will stay open until March 29, covering both Black History Month and Women’s History Month. JPAC is located at 153-10 Jamaica Ave. JCAL is located at 161-04 Jamaica Ave. For more information, visit www.jamaica-performingartscenter. org, call (718) 658-7400 or email Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125,, or @Joey788.

Page 6 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014

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

Steven J. Ferrari Contributing Editor:

Marcia Moxam Comrie Production Manager:

Hold DEP Accountable For nearly two decades, the people of Southeast Queens have been plagued with flooding in their homes, schools and businesses. Time and time again, we’ve seen local elected officials stand up to the Dept. of Environmental Protection, but the agency continues to refuse to open the City-owned Station 6, a pumping station that, when open, removes 10 million gallons of water out of the neighborhood every day. Now that Councilman Donovan Richards has been named the chair of the Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection, for the first time in history, Southeast Queens will have one of its own fighting for change and answers in such a capacity. Richards has said he is “ready to hold the DEP accountable” for his constituents’ suffering, and as the man who will now oversee the City agency, we can only hope he stays true to his word. As chair, he has a real chance to make a difference in the lives of those who live in fear every time it rains –in Southeast Queens and all across the City.

Shiek Mohamed


Queens Today Editor

Regina Vogel Photo Editor: Ira Cohen

Reporters: Natalia Kozikowska Joe Marvilli Luis Gronda Trisha Sakhuja

Art Dept:

Rhonda Leefoon Lianne Procanyn Barbara Townsend Maureen Coppola Advertising Director Alan Goldsher Director of Marketing Advertising Executives Merlene Carnegie Shari Strongin Brenda Jones

A Queens Tribune Publication © Copyright 2013 Tribco, LLC

Michael Nussbaum Publisher Ria McPherson Comptroller

Islam Through My Eyes

To The Editor: I am an 11-year-old American Ahmadi Muslim. My parents are from Bangladesh and I am attending sixth grade in middle school. It has been quite an experience growing up in post-9/11 America in Queens, New York with my background. In the 5th grade, every time the topics Islam, Muslims, 9/11, or the World Trade Center were brought up, everyone, including the teacher, would stare at me as if I had something to do with this act of terrorism. In America, people associate the collapsing of the World Trade Center with Islam. They show their aggression towards us without knowing the truth about us or our religion. Though it is true that the people who caused the World Trade Center to collapse were Muslims, they were only Muslims by name. Many people are not aware that the meaning of the word Islam is “peace.” I am a practicing Muslim who prays five times a day and regularly recites the Holy Quran and It makes me sad to see people spread violence in the name of Islam and send the wrong message to others. Mirza Ghulam Haseeb, Jamaica Hills

A Terrible Tragedy

To The Editor: Our grief over Avonte Oqu-

endo’s death is compounded by the knowledge that it might have been prevented. The danger of kids running out of school cannot be eliminated but must be minimized. Every school is required to have a Safety Plan that spells out all contingencies and delegates duties. Have you seen the Safety Plan of your child’s school? Does it cover emergencies such as intruders, fires, medical crises, environmental hazards, accidents and lockdowns? Is there a clear chain of command, logistical options and assignment of tasks and personnel for routine even day-to-day operations? As a parent, you have the right to this information. Given the nature of kids and the dynamics of schools, regardless of size, population and the way they are run, there’s no such thing as a routine day. Or at least such days cannot be taken for granted. Even the most tranquil school is volatile occasionally. Every hour is extraordinary and often unpredictable. Vigilance is tested without letup and sometimes without mercy. The legal requirement that children with disabilities should be educated in the “least restrictive environment” is compassionate and sensible, General and special education kids learn from each other and together they learn from the teachers and classmates they share. But we must also provide the extra security needed for

Letters the supervision of our most vulnerable students. Lives depend on striking the balance of freedom and control. There are more than 1,700 public schools and every one of them has many doors to the outside that the fire code prohibits from being locked on the inside. It would take an army of school safety agents to be posted at every door of every building all day. Last Sunday, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer said he intends to introduce a federal government program that would give parents of children with autism the option of attaching tracking devices to their kids. It would be called Avonte’s Law. But some parents are likely to feel uneasy about having their kids wear ankle bracelets, which they associate with felons, or be GPS-tracked like sanitation trucks. Nor is the idea of installing cameras in classrooms popular. Every school must have in-place a coordinated strategy to stop a repetition of the scenario that cost Avonte Oquendo his life. Paper protocols are not good enough. And like fire-extinguishers, the strategies must be updated, tested and ready to activate. There should be practice drills as are held by first responder agencies and all members of the community experience first-hand what it means to be on high alert. The tragedy of Avonte Oquendo is too terrible for words. But words can at least lead to actions that may forestall another such tragedy. Let those words proclaim the special sanctity of the lives of children and the providential role of each of us to protect them. Ron Isaac, Fresh Meadows

Students Need Motivation

To The Editor: Some writers at one of our more popular daily NY newspaper editorial desks are still hunting for who is responsible for “tainting the water” and are blindly “snarling and barking at the wrong tree,” and refusing to see what’s at the core of the problem. It’s the popular culture and the much of the media is part of the problem! Their devotion to celebrity

gossip reporting is just another example of the media giving in to celebrity gossip as a way of competing in our high tech (communications) society. Today’s kids, and their parents too, have a very hard time keeping up with the requirements needed to become good students. There are so many easy ways to get sidelined away from diligent study, what with smart phones, iPads, TV with hundreds of stations, video games, texting,etc.,etc., that is it not obvious that not only can’t school kids handle the dumbed down present curriculum, how can they be expected to deal with a curriculum that demands more self motivation and discipline!?!? Everyone went to school and therefore everyone is an “education expert!?” However our technology has advanced so rapidly and spectacularly that we can’t effectively deal with some of its shortcomings. Number one is how overwhelmingly easy it is to get seduced by it! Overuse it! Allow it to make us forget that motivation, hard work and responsibility are what makes successful students.The greatest teacher in the world, if there is such a person, needs students in front of her (or him) that are motivated and interested to learn and do what is required to be successful learners! Without that part of the equation, it’s like leading a horse to water, but if he’s not thirsty, he ain’t gonna drink! Dave Shlakman, Howard Beach

SOUND OFF Send your thoughts, ideas, opinions, outrage, praise, observations about our community WRITE ON: The PRESS of Southeast Queens 150-50 14th Rd., Whitestone, NY 11357

fax: (718) 357-9417

Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 7

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denver, seattle square off in super Bowl XLViii By Luis Gronda

by an extraordinary season for Peyton Manning. The 37-year-old quarFootball’s biggest game is taking terback broke the single season replace in the tri-state area this year! cord for touchdown passes, throwing The Denver Broncos and the Se- 55 touchdowns. The old record was attle Seahawks will square off during set by New England Patriots QuarSuper Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Sta- terback Tom Brady, who passed for dium in East Rutherford, N.J. this 50 TD’s in 2007. The older Manning Sunday, the first brother also time the NFL’s threw for 5,477 championship yards this seagame will be deson, breaking cided outdoors the mark set by in a cold-weathDrew Brees. er city. As a result Both teams of Manning’s have shown historic regular dominance on season, many one side of the of his teamball this year mates on ofwith Denver fense also had having the numterrific seasons. ber one offense Demaryius in the NFL and seattle seahawks cornerback richard sher- Thomas led all Seattle sporting man had eight interceptions this year. Broncos receivthe best defense ers with 1,430 in the league. yards and 14 The Broncos scored the most points touchdowns. and gained the most total yards on ofHe also had 92 catches and 19 fense during the year. Seattle yielded completions of 20 or more yards. the least points and the fewest total Eric Decker also had a monster seayards in the NFL. son, with 87 catches, 1,288 yards and Denver’s season was highlighted 11 touchdowns. In addition to their wide receivers, running back Knowshon Moreno ran for 10 touchdowns and more than 1,000 yards in 2013. Many of Denver’s games featured the offense overwhelming the opposing team, scoring more than 30 points in 13 of their 16 games, or track-meet type games, which saw both offenses trade touchdowns. The most memorable of those games was the 51-48 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Week Five. The Broncos finished 13-3 this year, despite seasonending injuries to key players like left tackle Ryan Clady, who tore a ligament on his foot during their Week Two victory over the Giants, and linebacker Von Miller, who missed six games due to a suspension and then tore his ACL against the Houston Texans in December. Another linebacker, Danny Trevathan, had a breakout season for Denver, registering 128 total tackles along with four forced fumbles and three interceptions. For Seattle, their defense and home dominance were Peyton Manning will attempt to win his two of the stories of their season. The defense was second Lombardi trophy this sunday. stingy all season long and

their famed “Legion of Boom” secondary, led by controversial cornerback Richard Sherman, stifled passing attacks all season long. Among the standouts defensively for the Seahawks, linebacker Bobby Wagner led the team in tackles, netting 120 in total, to go along with five sacks and two interceptions. Sherman led Seattle, and the NFL with eight interceptions. Another member of the LOB secondary, Earl Thomas, also had five interceptions. On the offensive side of the ball, Seattle was primarily a running team, handing the ball off to running back Marshawn Lynch 301 times during the year. Lynch ran for 1,257 yards, averaging a little second-year quarterback russel Wilson will lead the more than four yards- seahawks in super Bowl XLViii. per-carry. Lynch also had 12 rushing touchdowns, tied for most in the NFL with to 11. One significant win for Seattle Kansas City Chiefs running back Ja- was their Week 13 34-7 victory over maal Charles. Quarterback Russell the New Orleans Saints. At the time, Wilson had a solid sophomore sea- the two teams were within one game son, throwing 26 touchdown passes of the number one overall seed in and running for more than 500 yards. the NFC conference. The Seahawks’ Golden Tate led Seattle receivers win gave them a two game lead over the Saints and the tiebreaker for the with 898 yards and 64 receptions. The Seahawks also finished 13-3 highest seeding that went to Seattle. The two units that carried each this year, including reeling off six consecutive victories from Weeks Six team’s season, the Denver offense and the Seattle defense, will ultimately decide who wins this game. Whoever wins the battle when the Broncos have the ball will walk away with the Lombardi Trophy. Can Manning zip balls into the hands of his star wide receivers or will the Seattle defense give the future hall-offame quarterback fits all game long? Will Wilson and Lynch be able to score enough points to outscore a Denver team that lit the scoreboard up all year long? These are some factors to look out for as you watch the game this Sunday. The game will kick off at approximately 6:25 p.m. Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers will perform at the game’s halftime show. Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at denver Broncos wide receiver demaryius Thomas had 92 catches and 1,430 yards (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@, or this season. @luisgronda.

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Page 10 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014

pix Photo by Luis Gronda

Game Time!

During a panel retrospective on the John Madden NFL football video game series, Cam Newton and Michael Vick battle it out on the gridiron on a first-generation Sony PlayStation system.

Photos by Joe Marvilli

NFL Legends Visit St. Mary’s

Lydell Mitchell (left), Brian Kelly and Franco Harris stopped by St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, walking around the hospital to meet several of the patients, including a big football fan who, while sick, was set for the Super Bowl.

Brian Kelly and Franco Harris (right) give out autographed Super Bowl hats to some of the teenagers during their visit to St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children.

Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 11

Police Blotter 102nd Precinct

Attempted Burglary

The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance identifying and locating the following suspects wanted in connection with an attempted burglary that occurred within the confines of the 102nd Precinct. At 2 a.m. on Jan. 17, a male suspect walked to the rear yard of a house, located in the vicinity of 132nd Street and 101st Avenue, where he attempted to gain entry into the garage, but fled when the home alarm was activated. Anyone with information should call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, (800) 577-TIPS (8477), visit www. or text tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577.

105th Precinct

Criminal Impersonation

The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance locating the following suspect wanted in connection with criminal impersonation that occurred within the confines of the 105th Precinct.

At 11:25 a.m. on Jan. 28, the suspect, identified as Raymond Morillo, 33, who had been remanded to Creedmore Psychiatric Facility, received a visit from a friend, who traded clothing with the suspect. After swapping clothing, the suspect exited the facility and fled the location. The male visitor also exited the location. Morillo is described as an Hispanic male, 5-foot-11, 215 lbs., with a tear drop tattoo under his left eye. He was last seen wearing a black baseball cap, white sweater and tan pants. Anyone with information should call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, (800) 577-TIPS (8477), visit or text tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577.

106th Precinct

Grand Larceny

The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance with the whereabouts and identity of the following individual wanted in connection to a grand lar-

ceny within the confines of the 106th Precinct. At approximately 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 28, a suspect used a stolen credit card to purchase products from a Walgreens Store, located at 23-25 Flatbush Ave. The suspect is described as a Black male in his 20s, approximately 5-foot-8. He was last seen wearing a striped shirt, black and white skull cap and blue jeans. Anyone with information should call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, (800) 577-TIPS (8477), visit or text tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577.

113th Precinct

Kidnapping Arrest

On Jan. 23, police apprehended an individual suspected of allegedly stealing a 2002 Ford Explorer and kidnapping a 13-year old girl. At approximately 5:56 p.m., police responded to a call of stolen vehicle at Sutphin Boulevard and 109th Av-

enue. Upon arrival, police were informed by a 28-year-old male that his vehicle had been taken and his niece was in the back seat, asleep. Officers from the Queens Gang Squad located the vehicle near 147th Street and Rockaway Boulevard, where they apprehended a 23-yearold suspect, identified as Kapri Dickson, of Jamaica. During a follow-up investigation, police determined the suspect allegedly attempted to sexually assault the 13-year-old victim in the back seat. The victim yelled and attempted to push Dickson off of her, at which point the suspect allegedly struck the victim in the face and threw her out of the car. The victim was transported to an area hospital by EMS and was listed in stable condition. Police charged Dickson with firstdegree kidnapping, second-degree attempted assault, sexually motivated; sex abuse, grand larceny auto, criminal possession of stolen property, acting in a manner in jurious to a child and sex abuse: sexual contact with an individual younger than 14.

Borough Beat

Flushing Renews Call For Lunar New Year Holiday Elected officials came together in Flushing once again to call for the Lunar New Year to be turned into an official holiday. On the steps of the Flushing Library on Jan. 24, officials from all levels of government held a press conference in support of turning the Lunar New Year into an official holiday, with several members introducing bills or resolutions to do so. The most repeated argument in support of the change was that it would prevent children from being forced to choose between celebrating the holiday and being absent from school. The conference was organized by Councilmen Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) and Peter Koo (D-Flushing). The latter has been fighting this battle for the past few years. “For too long, parents have had to decide whether to allow their children to take part in Lunar New Year festivities, which would ultimately lead to children having to stay at home on official school days,” Koo said. Vallone felt that the large turnout for the press conference was a sign

that this was the year that leaders,” Meng said. “As an the holiday will be acAsian-American kid growing cepted. up in New York City, it was “The support and unity always very painful to celthis cause has garnered ebrate Lunar New Year the from our elected officials night before and have to get and community leaders up and go to school the next will be the driving force in morning.” ensuring that meaningful Queens Borough President legislation is passed that Melinda Katz expressed that recognizes and respects the Borough and the City’s the culture of over one large Asian-American presmillion of our fellow New ence should be reflected in Yorkers,” he said. the City’s legislation and poliOne of those supportcies. ers was newly-elected “We have an enormous City Council Speaker Assemblyman Ron Kim, BP Melinda KAtz, Assemblyman Asian community that celMelissa Mark-Viverito (D- Ed Braunstein, Councilman Peter Koo and State Sen. ebrates the Lunar New Manhattan/Bronx). The Toby Stavisky were some of the elected officials who met in Year here in the Borough of Councilwoman expressed Flushing to support a Lunar New Year holiday. Queens. Our businesses, our her backing of a Counschools and our policies in cil resolution that is for the City of New York need to school closings and suspension of Grace Meng (D-Flushing), another reflect that community,” Katz said. metered parking for the Lunar New longtime supporter of the holiday. State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-FlushEarlier this month, she introduced a ing) and Daniel Squadron (D-ManYear. “This issue has garnered much Congressional resolution that would hattan) have sponsored legislation support in the City and the State encourage local education agencies that would close the schools in those level and I’m happy to support my that serve a substantial Asian-Amer- school districts that have 7.5 percent colleagues,” she said. “Students ican population to close schools on or more Asian students, according to shouldn’t feel like they have to choose Lunar New Year. Stavisky. “Year after year, we gather here between celebrating their heritage Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) and it is heartwarming to see more 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenand missing a day of school.” Also on hand was U.S. Rep. elected officials, more community, or @Joey788. Photo by Joe Marvilli


Page 12 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014


Bill Cosby, Frank Savage Come To York College BY JOE MARVILLI As part of its festivities for Black History Month, York College will host two renowned guests - one from the world of literature and one from the world of comedy and television. York College’s Division of Student Development is partnering with the Greater Queens Chapter of The Links, Inc. for an evening with Bill Cosby and Frank Savage. They will be stopping by the Milton G. Bassin Performing Arts Center at the college on Feb. 6. Running from 6-8:30 p.m., the African-American Read-In will feature a discussion moderated by New York 1 anchor Cheryl Wills. Cosby and Savage will talk about their respective books and career paths and will offer advice to the audience. The friendship between Cosby and Savage made them a great choice for York College’s Read-In, according to Dr. Jean Phelps, Director of Student Activities within the Division of Stu-

dent Development determination and talent for “Bill Cosby and Frank business to become a renowned Savage are very good banker, venture capitalist and friends,” she said. “Bill Fortune 500 asset manager. SavCosby wrote the forward to age uses his experiences to give Frank Savage’s book. It fits the reader advice and lessons right in with the Africanthat helped him to succeed when American Read-In.” he was younger. Besides getting a chance “I wanted to share the principles to discuss their latest writinstilled in me by my young mother. ings, Cosby and Savage The principles of self-confidence, will also be the recipients hard work, respect for your customof the Harriet Ann Jacobs ers: those principles have sustained Award. Jacobs was a Black me,” Savage said. writer that escaped from For more information about the slavery and became known Bill Cosby and Frank Savage will talk about their latest Read In, call (718) 262-2840. The for her autobiographical books during a talk at York College on Feb. 6. Milton G. Bassin Performing Arts narrative,” Incidents in the Center is located at 94-45 Guy R. Life of a Slave Girl.” Brewer Blvd. in Jamaica. enjoy listening to him speak.” Cosby’s latest book, “I Didn’t Ask “There will be some people in The most recent publication by to Be Born: (But I’m Glad I Was),” Savage, “The Savage Way: Suc- that audience who will be touched by is a collection of humorous observa- cessfully Navigating the Waves of what we talk about, Savage said. “We tions about the human condition. Business and Life,” tells his life want people to go out feeling good “Bill is a very effective performer story, from his birth in 1938 to the about what they can do.” and he just is a wonderful man, Sav- present day. Raised in a segregated Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) age said. “With the great wit he has, Washington D.C. by a single moth- 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenI’m probably going to sit back and er, Savage used his intelligence,, or @Joey788.

Rapper J. Cole Returns To Queens For Concert BY TRIShA SAkhuJA

J-Cole performs at Queens College.

Story” and then earning a nomination at the 54th Grammy Awards. VH1’s Super Bowl Blitz included stars like Janelle Monáe, who performed at Lehman College in the Bronx on Tuesday, Fall Out Boy at the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn on Wednesday, TLC at the Beacon The-

atre in Manhattan on Thursday, Goo Goo Dolls at the St. George Theatre in Staten Island on Friday and Gavin DeGraw at the Wellmont Theatre in New Jersey on Saturday. Reach Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128,, or @Tsakhuja13.

It’s In The Game! Photo by Luis Gronda

St. John’s alum and rapper Jermaine Cole, better known as J.Cole, took the stage at Queens College on Jan. 27, as a part of VH1’s Super Bowl Blitz extravaganza. Leading up to Sunday’s big game in New Jersey, VH1 featured a different artist every day of the week in every borough with the final performance to take place on Saturday at the Wellmont Theatre in New Jersey. Queens was chosen to kick-off the week-long series of concerts. Along with Cole, actor Nick Cannon and former wrestling star Stacy Keibler hosted the show that streamed live on VH1.

The Kupferberg Center for the Arts was lit with bright-colored lights and the stage was ready with a band and background singers. Above all, the entire auditorium was filled with college students waiting to jam to their favorite hits by Cole. Bright red lights took over as Cole took center stage and started rapping “Trouble” from his second album, “Born Sinner.” Other songs to follow were, “Land of Snakes,” “Blow Up,” “Nobody’s Perfect,” “Work Out,” “Runaway,” “She Knows” and “Forbidden Fruit.” Cole, who signed to hip-hop star Jay Z’s Roc Nation in 2009, saved some of his most popular hits like “Can’t Get Enough,” “Crooked Smile,” “Lights Please,” “In the Morning,” and “Power Trip” for the latter part of the show. Making sure to shout out his alma mater, St. John’s University, Cole proved to stay true to his Queens’ roots. It turned out that performing in Queens was extra special for the rap lyricist because as midnight struck, Cole asked the audience wish him a happy 29th birthday. Cole, who is originally from North Carolina, solidified his position as a rap star after the release of his first album, “Cole World: The Sideline

NFL Athletes and game developers from Electronic Arts gathered at the Museum of The Moving Image on Wednesday to celebrate 25 years of the Madden NFL Football video game. A presentation was shown highlighting the game’s evolution and all the additions to the game over the years. From left to right: NFL hall-of-fame running back Marshall Faulk, Andrew Anthony, voice of “EA Sports, It’s in the game!” Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers Quarterback, Dave Swanson, Madden NFL Engineer and Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Michael Vick.

Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 13

Page 14 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014

Queens today

FRIDay 1/31 Young Joo song Quartet

Flushing Town Hall will kick off its Lunar New Year celebration with one of Korea’s leading jazz pianists. Starting at 8 p.m., Song will perform songs from her eight albums, some of which are award-winning. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for members and students. For more information, call (718) 463-7700.

saTuRDay 2/1

PoP-uP card WorksHoP Join Bayside Historical Society instructor Janet Epstein as she demonstrates how to create unique, handcrafted pop-up Valentine’s Day cards using cut-out paper and folds. This workshop, which runs from noon until 1:30 p.m., is suitable for all ages, with or without experience. All materials will be included in the $15 workshop fee. The price is $10 for Bayside Historical Society members. To register, call (718) 352-1548.

slaverY discussion

In response to the interest and discussion surrounding the recent releases of “12 Years a Slave” (2013) and “Django Unchained” (2012), Museum of the Moving Image will present Massa’ Gaze: Screenings and Critical Discussions of the Depictions of Slavery in Film and Television. The event, which will run from 1 to 8:30 p.m., opens with a rare screening of “Solomon Northup’s Odyssey,” Gordon Parks’ 1984 film adaptation of Northup’s memoir (the same source material as “12 Years a Slave”), and closes with “Burn!,” Gillo Pon-

tecorvo’s 1969 film about a Caribbean slave rebellion starring Marlon Brando. In between the screenings will be two panel discussions. The first features scholars and critics Sheril Antonio (NYU Tisch School of the Arts), Jelani Cobb (University of Connecticut), Stanley Crouch (New York Daily News) and Khalil Muhammad (The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library). The second features filmmakers Neema Barnette (“Woman Thou Art Loosed on the Seventh Day”), Malcolm Lee (“Best Man Holiday”) and Shola Lynch (“Free Angela Davis”). For more information, visit

murder at tHe suPer BoWl

Get ready for the big game with The Killing Kompany, a murder mystery theatre group, who will debut a new comedy murder mystery dinner show at 8 p.m. at Riccardo’s By the Bridge, 21-01 24th Ave., Astoria. Tickets cost $45 and include dinner, drinks, dancing and drama. For details, call (718) 7217777 or visit

suNDay 2/2 mask making WorksHoP Flushing Town Hall will hold a workshop on making traditional Korean masks. These masks are an important part of Korean dance dramas. After an introduction to traditional Korean crafts, participants will color and decorate the Bong San T’al Ch’um mask and create their own colorful character. The event starts at 1 p.m. and costs $10 for general admission and $8 for members and students. Call (718) 4637700 for more information.

PreParation For sakura

The Flushing Library will prepare for the blossoming of cherry trees with a concert featuring two of New York’s most exciting Japanese performing art groups. Yosakoi Dance Project 10tecomai introduces the energetic,


FRIDay 1/31

state oF incarceration

The Queens Museum will hold a performance of “State of Incarceration” by the Los Angeles Poverty Department. Meant to display the overcrowded conditions of a California state prison, the group will outline a ritual of imprisonment from entry to release to re-integration in a space filled wall-towall with prison bunk beds. This is the first East Coast performance of the show. It will run from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., repeating at the same time on Feb. 1 and starting at 5 p.m. on Feb. 2. For more information, call (718) 592-9700.

celebratory yosakoi dance style, and Taiko Masala adds the thunderous pulsation of Japanese taiko drums. Together, they create an unparalleled Japanese experience not to be missed. The event runs from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call (718) 661-1200. The library is located at 41-17 Main St.

moNDay 2/3

Hemlines and Waistlines lunar neW Year lanterns

Celebrate the Year of the Horse with the New York Hall of Science in this lantern-making event from the Little Makers program. Running from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., attendees will use LEDs and tissue paper to make a glowing lantern. There is an $8 materials fee with general admission costs per family. Advance registration is recommended. To do so, call (718) 699-0005 or visit nysci. org/little-makers.

cHildren’s Fun and easY terrarium class

Join Luludi for a funfilled hour of terrarium building. They will help your child create their own mini living world. They supply the materials and your child supplies his or her imagination. The $40 class includes soil, plants, toys for decor – fairies/holiday decor/ animals, crystals/pebbles/ rocks, container- wood or glass, instructions, care cards and a gift box. The class will take place at Luludi Living Frames at 23-07 24th Ave., from 11 until noon.

The first Moveable Feast Artist dinner, Hemlines and Waistlines, is an evening where couture meets cuisine. Visual Artist Mark Salinas introduces an edible evening of fashion, with guest presentations from NYC designers and fashion personalities. Signature looks, outrageous trends and all time favorites will be shared in this intimate dining setting, inspiring a multi-course menu never before seen on any runway. He will be accompanied by Celebrity Chef Dave Martin, Bravo TV’s Top Chef Season One Finalist, who will cut, cook and style the food and drink presentations inspired by fashion. The funds will support scholarships for students participating in the High School to Art School Portfolio Development Program. It will take place at Manducatis Rustica Restaurant, located at 46-33 Vernon Blvd., LIC, from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

WEDNEsDay 2/5

netWorking nigHt at dutcH kills centraal

Want to meet your business and community neighbors and enjoy Amer-

ican comfort dishes and craft beer and full bar at the newly opened Dutch Kills Centraal? The networking event will take place from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Ticket includes one complimentary drink and hors d’oeuvres. A cash bar will be available to purchase additional drinks. All attendees will receive a $5 gift certificate to use for lunch at the restaurant and several business cards will be selected in a free raffle to receive $25 gift certificates. Partnership Perks cardholders get 10 percent off anytime. Purchase tickets below or contact Indra Smith at ismith@ or (718) 786-5300 x21. Dutch Kills Centraal is located at 38-40 29th St., LIC.

literacY legacY

Poets Terrance Hayes and Lynn Emanuel will hold a poetry reading and conversation in the Godwin Ternbach Museum at Queens College. Running from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., the reading will be followed by a book signing. It is free and open to the public.

got events?

send all information to or mail to: 150-50 14th Rd., Whitestone, Ny 11357

Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 15


Rosedale Jets Offer More Than Just Football BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA Since 1961, the Rosedale Jets Football Association has been breeding star athletes, like former New Orleans Saints guard and now-free agent Tutan Reyes. But it was not until more than 30 years later that the program became just as focused on breeding scholars. In 1994, former Rosedale Jets player Jacques Leandre and a few of his friends decided they needed to revitalize the program to suit the community’s shifting demographics and growing needs. “The culture of the community had changed so we revitalized the program. We decided to put a focus on much more than football,” Leandre said. “We wanted to be a holistic outlet for the community.” In response to the lack of academic resources for the children in Southeast Queens, Leandre, now president of the league, said the group began offering a number of after school programs, such as tutoring and a junior high school to high school transitionIng. “We feel that education and athletics are critical in a child’s experience. It’s rare to find folks who achieve at a very high level athletically without having achieved on the academic [side] as well,” he said. “There are

academic requirements have also done quite well at a high school level on the field. In 2013, and there are academic three of its teams went requirements at a college undefeated and won the level in order to just parSuper Bowl for their diviticipate, so we look at it sion – consisting of more the same way.” than 50 organizations. Leandre finds that the The league’s 7-year-old league’s academic focus team also went 8-0 for is equally as important the season. as the athletic focus, esBut the biggest acpecially in the resourcecomplishment of the starved neighborhoods year, Leandre said, was of Southeast Queens. being voted ‘Best Orga“We don’t have the nization’ by all the other luxury to have a program teams in Long Island. that is strictly recreation- The Rosedale Jets Football Association players at the league’s “We were voted by al. When you look at sleep away camp in Upstate New York. all the other towns in the incarceration rates, Long Island as team of young people between 14 and 19 school programs are running. With the year based on sportsmanship, are getting arrested and more than the cuts to all the after school pro- based on scholarship and based on 40 percent of our young people will grams, we had to be an organization being an overall great citizen of the graduate illiterate,” he said. “It would that closed that gap,” he said. “There league,” he said. “Some of the values almost be criminal not to make our is not one community center in the we instill in our children is loyalty, program constructive, based on the vicinity of Laurelton, Rosedale, sportsmanship, scholarship, trustreality of today.” Springfield Gardens or Cambria worthiness and bravery.” This is especially important, Le- Heights.” The Rosedale Jets will begin regisandre said, in light of the City’s reSince the program has grown to in- tration for its teams in March. Praccent budget cuts, which have closed clude an educational component, the tices are held at Brookville Park. For many after school programs across Rosedale Jets Football Association more information about registration the Borough. has become a staple in the commu- and fees, call Jacques Leandre or “Most anti-social behavior and nity. Today, more than 250 children, Yvonne Mitchell at (718) 635-0397. crimes that occur at a childhood age ages 6-13, participate in the league’s Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska happen between the hours 3 and 6 football and cheerleading teams. at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or nkozikowsp.m., which is exactly when after This past year, the Rosedale Jets or @nkozikowska

People Local students have been named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. They include: Laurelton: Gia Vasquez. Queens Village: Puja Bhardwaj. Richmond Hill: Corey Garcia. Rockaway: Janeese Carter. St. Albans: Aderinsola Aladenika. Springfield Gardens: Jacqueline Crockwell. Local students were named to the President’s List for the fall 2013 semester at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. They include: Arverne: Alana Mohamed. Jamaica: Leevana Neemar. Queens Village: Kharter Ratliff. South Richmond Hill: Ekenedilinna Nwabueze. Local students were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester at SUNY Canton. They include:

Cambria Heights: Lorie Charles. Far Rockaway: Shavonne Miller. Jamaica: Fatizjah Burnett, Brittney Davis. Queens Village: Jasleen Saini. Rosedale: Oluwatobi Adedokun.

Jamaica: Mili Ali. Queens Village: Danit Ianovici, Jaime Latorre. Rockaway Park: Matthew Gill. South Richmond Hill: Amanda Dallara.

Jasaan Persaud of St. Albans and Inez Cofield of Springfield Gardens were named to the President’s List for the fall 2013 semester at SUNY Canton.

Local students have been admitted to Hofstra University as students for the spring 2014 semester. They include: Far Rockaway: Michael Annan, Carol Hunter. Jamaica: Donna Bedasee, Sayeeda Manzoor. Laurelton: Te-Shey Green. Queens Village: Milan Patel. Richmond Hill: Ariel Dure. Rosedale: Julien Boursiquot, Ashlet Farrell. South Ozone Park: Sahil Varma.

Angela Gao of Hollis was named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Shanel Singh of Jamaica was named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. Local students were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester at SUNY New Paltz. They include:

Jessica IMafidon of Laurelton was named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tenn.

Local students received degrees during December 2013 commencement ceremonies at SUNY Delhi. They include: Jamaica: Kelsey Giddings, associate’s degree in architectural technology; Jatee Kearsley, bachelor’s degree in culinary arts management. South Ozone Park: Justin Romo, associate’s degree in liberal arts – general studies. Stephanie Valencia of Holliswood and Alyssa Wesley of Queens Village were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. Local students were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester at Ithaca College. They include: Jamaica: Suba Chakraborty, Nicole Godreau, Sade Jones. Queens Village: Jasmine Collazo, Davisa Mills, Oyinlola Ogundipe.

Page 16 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014


springfield Gardens rev. Honored in Home Country By Luis Gronda A Springfield Gardens priest will have an honor bestowed on him in his home country this weekend. The Rev. Jerrick F. Rayside of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Springfield Gardens has been given the title “Canon” in his native Guyana. The recognition was announced late last year, but he will fly to his native land for the official ceremony on Sunday. He will now be known as The Rev. Canon Jerrick F. Rayside. The honorific “Canon” is an additional title given to a priest as recognition for the work that he has done in the past in the community and for parishioners who attend the church. The Reverend is getting the honor at St. Phillip’s Church, where he served as priest-in-charge in Georgetown, Guyana.

Before moving to New York in 2000, Rayside practiced priesthood in his home country while working a job as a human resources director. He was first in charge of another church in Guyana, called the Church of Transfiguration, before moving over to the church that will honor him this week. Rayside began as a deacon in various churches in his country before moving up the ladder to leading a church. Shortly after retiring from his job, he said he moved to the United States for the same reason many people leave their home countries: to pursue a better life for himself. Rayside said he wanted to move somewhere more relaxing and be closer to his family who were already settled in New York. When asked for a reaction to receiving the honor in Guyana, Ray-

side said it is an occasion of joy for himself and his family. “I am elated and thankful to God for this honor,” he said. Rayside has been head of St. John’s Episcopal for the last 10 years and is also chairman of the Guyana Diocesan Association of the United States, an organization made up of Guyanese priests in the U.S. St. John’s Episcopal Church is located at 137-67 Belknap St. in Springfield Gardens. It has been in existence since 1929, just before the Great Depression. Among the things it has done in its past include, introducing a Annual Leadership Conference at Rutgers University in New Jersey and starting a vacation bible school, which is a community workshop that gets parishioners and residents involved in their community.

The rev. Canon Jerrick F. rayside To contact the church, call (718) 525-1444. Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@, or @luisgronda.


Hillcrest High School

Hillcrest Hs students Win in California Trade show firms last year, making it the largest in the market. Students from these enterprises demonstrated their competencies in a wide range of areas: business planning, marketing, selling, self-management, financial planning, public relations, interviewing, e-commerce and communications. Francis and Pascale were responsible for marketing and selling their product at the Fair. Together, their company made $36,000 in make-believe sales. After taking part in meetings, competitions and touring the city

Kadeijah Francis and Pascale Louis.

for a week, the girls came back to school. They said they were proud to work together and sell more than last year’s team. They were also excited to have met many other students from various virtual companies from all over the United States. Louis received an honorable men-

tion for the sales presentation and Francis won third place in the State Apprenticeship Business Challenge. Francis was the only one from New York to place in the competition. New York City will have its own Trade Fair Show in April with virtual companies from all over the U.S.

Valentine School Spirit: Photo by Bob Harris

Students from Hillcrest High School in Jamaica were chosen to attend the 15th Annual California State Virtual Enterprise Trade Show in Bakersfield, Cali. Kadeijah Francis and Pascale Louis represented their Virtual Enterprise class from the Biz/Tech Institute of the high school, which is a program designed to operate as if it was a company, called “Build Your Future Institute.” The make-believe company sells virtual business courses online. The show attracted more than 100

The student Government of Hillcrest High school works to put together activities students want and to increase school spirit that would make the students work harder and receive higher grades. Pictured are student government members Melissa Mohabir (left) and Belle iong, hanging up Valentine decorations outside the student Government office, in preparation of the Valentine’s day dance.

Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 17

What’s Up JAN. 31 Intermediate Microsoft Excel

ONGOING: Free Pre-Construction Training Program

Build on your basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel for free at the Queens Central Library at 9:30 a.m. Topics covered include a review of the basics, creating and manipulating tables and using formulas and functions. Basic computer skills and knowledge of Excel are required. Preregistration is required online at For more information, (718) 990-8625.

Open Lab At open lab practice, you can search for a job, practice your computer skills or edit your resume. For more information, visit the Job Information Center or call (718) 9908625. The lab is free and will be held at the Queens Central Library at 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Mario at Resorts World R&B Superstar and Billboard Award Winner Mario will perform live in concert at Resorts World Casino at 9 p.m. General admission tickets are $40 and VIP tickets are $100. For more information, call (888) 888-8801. Resorts World is located at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd., Jamaica.

FEB. 1 Introduction to Computers Learn the basics of computer technology, including how to use a mouse and touchpad, basic keyboarding skills and how to use folders and program files. Registration is required for the workshop. To register, please call (718) 990-8625 or visit the Job Information Center, or do so online. The course starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Queens Central Library.

Author Talk With Joszann St. John Joszann St. John’s recent novel, “Sonnets in Waking Moments,” explores the era of the Great Depression in Toronto and New York City. She will discuss her works, highlighting stories of “women of strength” on their journey from Africa to the Americas, and the role of such women in African-American history. This free event will be held at Queens Central Library at 2:30 p.m.

FEB. 2 Sunday Concerts at Central Present “Grace Drums” This percussion and vocal ensemble of spirited women of African descent uses time-honored tra-

Joszann St. John ditional West African percussion instruments, music and vocals from African and Caribbean cultures, infusing traditional sounds with rhythm and blues, Afro-Caribbean dance beats and vocal improvisation. Join them as they perform for free at Queens Central Library at 3 p.m.

FEB. 3 Mac Mondays: Learning the Basics Learn the fundamentals on MacBook Pro laptops in this free session of the Queens Central Library’s weekly Mac labs. Preregister online, at the Job Information Center or by telephone at (718) 990-8625. The free workshop will be held from 6 to 7 p.m.

FEB. 5 Operation Safe Southeast Queens State Sen. Malcolm Smith will hold his first Operation Safe Southeast Queens meeting of the year at 7 p.m. at the Greater Springfield Community Church, located 177-06 129 Ave. Jamaica. The new Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton, has been invited to come speak with the community. For additional information, contact Fred Simmons, Community Liaison at (718) 454-0162 or

FEB. 6 Quality of Life Town Hall Meeting State Sen. Malcolm Smith and Rev. Victor Hall will host a Quality of Life Town Hall meeting. Come and talk about your issues and concerns in the community at the church from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The church is located at 111-10 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., Jamaica and is free to attend.

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.

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 branch/Laurelton. Send your community events to the PRESS for a free listing at 150-50 14th Rd., Whitestone, NY 11357. Call (718) 357-7400 or email All events will be considered for publication, without a fee.

Page 18 PRESS of Southeast Queens Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014

Musicians OF QuEEns Guitarist Cecil Wilson’s unique guitar playing came not just listening to classical music and jazz when he was young, Cecil Wilson from but also from listening to pop musicians of the era, like Jimi

Hello, Professor Liu



Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. Decades after he was inspired to pick up a guitar, the Jamaica guitarist recorded two albums under the name of Simirillion, a mutated spelling of “Silmarillion,” a collection of narratives by J.R.R. Tolkien. Born in Mount Vernon, Wilson studied classical guitar at Marymount College in Tarrytown. It was during this time in college that his guitar-playing style started to form. For starters, he did not use a pick to play. “It influenced my playing style greatly because I fingerpicked, rather than using a flat pick,” Wilson said. “It was the finger-picking aspect of it and use of the choral structure.” Since college, Wilson said his playing continued to evolve and change into something unique. When combined with his enjoyment in multiple genres of music, such as classical, jazz, pop and spoken word, he came up with his own mixture of New Age sounds that would come to define Simirillion. “I kind of developed my own style from that,” he said. “I guess the usage of using two-note chords as melody line. That’s really the basis of my playing, my style.” In the early 2000s, Simirillion took off with two records, a self-titled debut and “Of Unicorns and Jasmine…A Lover’s Tale.” The latter was described by its label, Tate Music Group, as a New Age Opera without words. Songs on “Of Unicorns and Jasmine,” such as “Like Dream-

QConf is edited by: Steven J. Ferrari Contributors: Luis Gronda, Natalia Kozikowska, Joe Marvilli, Marcia Moxom Comrie, Michael Nussbaum, Trisha Sakhuja, Michael Schenkler.

Follow us on Twitter: @QueensTrib Like us on Facebook QueensTrib Got Talent? If you can dance, sing, draw, write or have any other talents and live in Queens, be sure to e-mail editor@

ers Do” and “Waltz of Glass Tears” display how adaptable Wilson’s style is, as he moves from the feather-light touches of the former’s main melody to the fragile, poignant combination of acoustic guitar and wind instruments on the latter. “The latest album was basically more controlled, in the sense that it was more formatted,” Wilson said. “I thought out what I wanted to do. The self-titled one was more improvisation/profound planning.” This combination of careful arrangement and spontaneity is how Wilson puts together most of his songs, starting out in his home studio and building the track from there. “I sit down and plan out an idea that I get and I format a structure from that,” he said. “I laid the foundation of it at home on my synthesizer. I went into a regular studio, had musicians come in and [play] the initial tracks.” Due to the nature of his music, which contains lush instrumentation from many different sources, Wilson said he prefers the studio to putting a live concert together, mentioning that as well that there are not many New Age venues in the City for him to perform. “I prefer recording in the studio, because I have control over every aspect of the production,” he said. “Playing live is a little difficult because of the fact that different instruments are used and we have to have an ensemble.” For those interested in learning to play classical or New Age guitar, Wilson said that dedication is absolutely necessary. “Perseverance and practice. A deeply committed attitude towards the music,” he said.

Borough President Melinda Katz says hello to Nicholas, son of new Astoria Councilman Costa Constantinides.

The Kid's Alright While a list of big names were featured during Councilman Costa Constantinides' inauguration last weekend - including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Borough President Melinda Katz - one little kid stole the show. The new Astoria Councilman's young son, Nicholas, was the star of the ceremony, as many of the guest speakers addressed the child, sitting in the front row with his mother, and praising his calm demeanor during the ceremony. Both Stringer and Katz joked about how their children made scenes during their inau-

guarations earlier this month, complimenting Nicholas as he sat quietly watching the ceremony. As the ceremony continued, Nicholas could be seen slouched across his mother's lap, asleep. He woke up to take part in the oath of office, administered by former Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. Hopefully, other elected officials took note of how polite and respectful Nicholas was during his father's ceremony. Here at QConf, we think there are a few officials who could learn a thing or two from the kid.

He's spent most of this century serving as an elected official, so when Jan. 1 rolled around and John Liu found himself without a constituent to represent, it must have seemed strange. This week, the former Comptroller announced he has found something to take up his time - for now, anyway. Liu will serve as a professor of public policy and municipal finance for the Master in Public Administration program at Baruch College's School of Public Affairs. Liu expects to cover a wide-

range of municipal finance, where he will analyze current economic development policy issues, labor relations and the impact of pension and healthcare costs, in addition to typical topics like accounting and investment management. The announcement of the new position teased more news to come, so perhaps the teaching gig will be a short-term project. Regardless of how long Liu's term as a teacher is, we wish him good luck. Maybe we'll audit his class for some lessons.

Queens Represents

America’s Favorite Quiz Show and its host, Alex Trebek, will celebrate 30 years of “answers and questions.” Jeopardy kicks off its seasonlong Battle of the Decades tournament with the 80's Week Competition, airing on CBS from Feb. 3-7. The 30-year anniversary celebration will bring back 45 champions from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s to vie for a million-dollar grand prize throughout several rounds of play. One of contestants looking to win big is Frank Spangenberg from Douglaston, who won $249, 596 on season seven during the 80's. The winners from back in

the day will take part in first of three preliminary rounds, and competing in five stand-alone games. Only the winner of each game will advance to the next round. Good luck, Spangenberg! Here’s hoping Queens wins big at the Battle of the Decades.













Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 19

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SUPREME COURT – COUNTY OF QUEENS PNC MORTGAGE, A DIVISION OF PNC BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, SUCCESSOR BY MERGER TO NATIONAL CITY MORTGAGE, A DIVISION OF NATIONAL CITY BANK 3232 NEWARK DRIVE, MIAMISBURG, OH 45342, Plaintiff against LILLIETH THOMPSON, et al Defendant(s). Pursuant to a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale entered on September 23, 2013. I, the undersigned Referee will sell at public auction at the Queens County General Court-

house, 88-11 Sutphin Boulevard, Court Room # 25, Jamaica, N.Y. on the 14th day of February, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. Said premises known as 120-36 199th St., Saint Albans, N.Y. 11412. Tax account number: SBL #: 12686-21. Approximate amount of lien $ 673,273.02 plus interest and costs. Premises will be sold subject to provisions of filed judgment and terms of sale. Index No. 8989-10. Gregory Jay Newman, Esq., Referee. McCabe Weisberg & Conway Attorney(s) for Plaintiff 145 Huguenot Street - Suite 210 New Rochelle, New York 10801 (914) 636-8900

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Healthy Living With Diabetes 10:30 am–1:00 pm Sarcoidosis Support Group 3:00–4:00 pm Winter Workout 5:00–6:00 pm

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Healthy Living With Diabetes 10:30 am–1:00 pm Relaxing Massage 1:00–4:00 pm Winter Workout 5:00–6:00 pm

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