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Volume 13 Issue No. 7 Feb. 17-23, 2012

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PRESS Photo by Ira Cohen

EDUCATION CRISIS

School issues abound in the borough: Parents protest the closing of eight Queens schools; A prominent Jamaica school will close in June; and the community calls for a principal’s ouster in Queens Village. … Page 3

Online at www.QueensPress.com


News Briefs Dallis Bros. To Defend Coffee Title It’s not the Summer Olympics, but Queens is playing host to a competition that will bring the best cups of coffee from around the region to the borough. Dallis Bros., a coffee house in Ozone Park, will play host to the North East Regional Barista Championship on Feb. 2526. Baristas representing thirteen Northeast states will face off in two competitions: the Barista Championship, for espressos, and the Brewers Cup, for “pourover preparations.” Last year’s champion, Philip Search of Dallis Bros. Coffee will compete again this year to defend his title, along with colleagues Teresa von Fuchs, Mike DeJesus and Bill McAllister, who placed third at last year’s Brewers Cup. The states represented will include New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and the six New England states. Six finalists will be chosen to represent the region at the National Barista Championship in Portland, Ore., in April. From there, national winners fly to the World Barista Championship, held this year in Vienna, Austria in June. Von Fuchs, Coffee & Espresso consultant for Dallis Bros. said the competition is important to show how the City can compete with nationally-known centers of coffee culture out west. “Historically, New York has trailed behind Seattle and San Francisco as far as leading cutting edge coffee trends,” she said. “But not anymore—and there’s a huge importance in honoring the city’s achievement in coffee so far.” The Barista Championship and Brewers Cup will be open to the general public. For more information on tickets visit dallisbroscoffee.com/nerbc-2012-hostedby-dallis-bros-coffee/

Page 2 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 17-23, 2012

Schools Teach Tolerance Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (DSunnyside) visited his alma mater, Bryant High School in Astoria, on Monday, Feb. 13, to kick off Respect for All week, an annual city-wide initiative by the Dept. of Education to promote respect for diversity through skits, art projects, readings and performances. Van Bramer spoke to students at an assembly about the importance of treating everyone as equals. He used his own experience at Bryant High to accentuate the need to be accepting to all people. “When I went to Bryant High School, I was absolutely terrified that anyone would know I was a gay man,” he said. “I didn’t come to class as often as I should have, and I didn’t do as well as I should have. I was afraid to come to school because I thought that kids would make fun of me. That is wrong.” He said that despite the school having an enrollment of more than 4,000 students when he graduated in 1987, he was sure that he “was the only gay man in the whole school.” More than two decades later, Van Bramer said he is proud that Bryant High School has a gay-straight alliance and that students can be openly gay at the school. The DOE started this initiative in the hopes to continue to make City public schools safe and supportive for all stu-

dents. The Citywide Standards of Discipline and Intervention Measures prohibit harassment and prohibit any students from bullying other students for any reason. In recent years, and with the increased usage among children of social media like Facebook and Twitter, instances of bullying — or cyberbullying — have led to increased numbers of adolescent depression and teen suicide as a result of the bullying. Van Bramer said there are many things the government can do to help fight all types of bullying. For more information or assistance, email respectforall@schools.nyc.gov.

Cross Is. Y Wants Kids Moving On Feb. 3, the Cross Island YMCA in Bellerose launched the Strong Kids Campaign, an annual fundraising campaign that seeks to engage more children in physical activity. Strong Kids Campaign funds given from individuals in Queens go back to support Queens. Campaign leadership is made up of a group of outstanding YMCA volunteers from throughout Queens. This year, Mel Walker of Pfizer is working with the Cross Island Y to meet its Strong Kids Campaign goal of raising $221,000. “The Y is a fixture in Queens and a beacon of hope to many,” Walker said. Jamé Krauter, Director of Communications and Fund Development, said that the funds raised go toward providing financial assistance for families in the neighborhood and providing affordable programs for the community. Ideally, the Cross Island Y wants to raise the money in a 12-week period, but since they are nonprofit group, they are raising money all year around.

Seniors Learn Heart Health On Valentine’s Day, 100 seniors came to the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center in St. Albans where Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) co-sponsored a Healthy Heart Forum with Metro Plus and Queens General Hospital. Representatives from Queens Hospital conducted blood pressure screenings and diabetes tests while the attendees enjoyed healthy snacks and music. The hospital also gave out brochures with information about diabetes, prostate tests, heartburn, breast cancer and nutrition. Metro Plus gave presentations to the audience about the Medicare plans they have for the seniors which allow them to receive discounts at restaurants and the theatre. In addition, Metro Plus gave out water bottles to promote the importance of staying hydrated. Francis Rene, a Care Coordinator at Metro Plus, led a discussion on how people can stay healthy and reduce their risk of heart disease. She also emphasized watching one’s blood pressure, being careful of stress levels, getting regular checkups, and exercising, in order to keep your heart strong.

Brief Us! Mail your news brief items to: PRESS of Southeast Queens 150-50 14th Rd. Whitestone, NY 11357


Presstime

Schools Protest Turnaround Model

BY VERONICA LEWIN

On Saturday mornings when many people are spending time with their loved ones, Michelle Robertson leaves her children at home to teach someone else’s kids at Grover Cleveland High School. As vice president of the English Dept., Robertson is one of the many teachers at the Ridgewood school who rolls up their sleeves to give her students the best education possible. The school was also one of a handful chosen by Lenovo to design Android phone applications. Still, that may not be enough to save the school

from closing, leaving students and teachers in jeopardy. “Yes, we know there are schools in New York City that needed to close, but I’m here to tell you Grover Cleveland is not one and we are not giving up!” Robertson exclaimed at Borough Hall Monday night. Borough President Helen Marshall held a town hall meeting Feb. 13 at Borough Hall to get feedback on a new controversial Dept. of Education proposal. The DOE recently proposed what they call a “turnaround” plan for eight schools in the borough. If passed, the following

Community Calls For Principal's Ouster

edged there was a reason their school ended up on the PLA list, but that the administration is actively trying to change things at the school. “Yes, we are not dealing with students who are the cream of the crop. We happen to take who we get, and we make them the cream of the crop,” Robertson said. August Martin High School began their school improvement plan in September 2011 and is already seeing progress. Regents test scores are on the rise, while crime is decreasing. Seventy-five percent of students comply with the new uniform policy, according to the school. State Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica), who represents the community surrounding August Martin, said it is a shame that the city is playing politics instead of doing what is best for the students. “It’s just amazing how we’re closing schools. I would say instead of closing them, give them more resources. Help them to get where they need to be,” she said. It is reported that implementing the turnaround method will help the DOE secure $58 million in School Improvement grants from the federal government. “We’re not a balance sheet. We’re not a business. We’re a school,” said Bette Cassaro of Community Board 2. Requests for comment from the DOE were not returned as of printing. Reach Reporter Veronica Lewin at vlewin@queenspress.com or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123.

Christian School To Close This June

BY VERONICA LEWIN

The Allen Christian School in Jamaica started out in the basement of the former home of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral with a little more than 200 students. It soon grew to become a top school in Southeast Queens with a waiting list of about 150 students a year. With the popular institution closing its doors just seven months shy of its 30th anniversary, those students will now have to set their sights on other schools. The Rev. Floyd Flake announced Tuesday that Allen Christian School will be closing in June due to financial constraints. The school, located at 171-10 Linden Blvd., taught grades pre-K through eighth. It will now only teach pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes. When the news was announced at Community Board 12’s monthly meeting Wednesday night, many audience members gasped at the thought of losing the school. Flake said the decision was one of the most difficult he has made in his life. He and his wife, the Rev. Elaine Flake, opened the school on Sept. 10, 1982. The school gained a good reputation early on and helped give children the foundation to

attend some of the top colleges and universities in the country. The Allen Christian School prided itself on small class sizes for individualized attention and a strict dress code. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said he was disappointed to hear the news, as all four of his children attended Allen Christian School. “Although this is a sad day, Allen Christian leaves a legacy of high quality education, a legacy that we will remember as we continue our work to create excellent schools for all of our students,” he said in a statement. Though Allen Christian School is leaving the community, the building will not remain vacant for long. Flake is currently considering leasing the facility to the Dept. of Education, who will then pay to house a public school on the property. One school eyed is the Eagle Academy for Young Men, a school designed to improve life outcomes for at-risk males. President and CEO David Banks said moving the facility from 132-55 Ridgedale St. to the former Christian school will allow them to better serve Southeast Queens. Reach Reporter Veronica Lewin at vlewin@queenspress.com or (718) 3257-7400, Ext. 123.

Feb. 17-23, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 3

Sequestered on an island in the middle of Hillside Avenue, parents and community leaders joined State Sen. Tony Avella (DBayside) in demanding a change of leadership at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village. "I hate to have to be doing a press conference against one individual, it's not something I would nor- A Martin Van Buren parent protests the practices of Prinmally do," Avella said. "In cipal Marilyn Shevell. all my years of being in public service, I have never come across a said her friend's son was stabbed in the principal so immediately uninvolved in face in a school bathroom. The assistant principal who handles school safety, acthe school." Marilyn Shevell, Van Buren's principal, cording to Young, said there had never was the target of the parents' and Avella's been an incident in the bathroom. wrath. The high school received a "D" on Neighbors and residents lamented Van its Dept. of Education Progress Report for Buren's decline as a gathering place for the the 2010-11 School Year. The controver- community. Kirby Lindell, a Van Buren sial reports are used to justify whether the alumnus and vice president of the Bell DOE should intervene in the rehabilita- Park Manor-Terrace co-op adjacent to the tion of the school or, as Van Buren parents school, said that the school used to be a fear, ultimately shutter it. In 2009-10, Van place where people always wanted to be. "I went to Van Buren in the 1970s and Buren received a "C" rating. Especially troubling for parents, as well it was always a place where neighborhood as students who wandered by the press kids would go," he said. "That's not true conference, is the "F" rating Van Buren anymore. We need someone dynamic to received for its "School Environment." lead Van Buren. The community doesn't Out of 15 possible points, Van Buren know who she is." The press conference was originally earned 2.3, and none came from the categories of "Academic Expectations" or intended to be held on the sidewalk out"Safety and Respect." The report does not side the high school, however police would delve into the causes, but PTA president not allow it to take place on school propHelen Young was eager to recount her erty. After pleas from Avella failed, the grievances with Van Buren's leadership. conference was moved to a cement traffic "[Shevell] stays bolted up in her office island in the center of the large avenue. and uses AP's [assistant principals] to Students streamed in and out, and they speak for her," Young said. "She sets very were allowed to hold protest signs that their elders had brought. low expectations for our kids." Marge Feinberg, a DOE spokeswoman, Common complaints about Shevell, echoed by Avella, were her seeming lack of did not offer a comment about Shevell and involvement in a school that in the DOE's directed all Van Buren-related inquiries to eyes is trending downward. Parents com- the DOE website. Reach Reporter Ross Barkan at plained that Shevell can rarely be found and does not communicate with parents rbarkan@queenstribune.com or (718) 357about issues occurring in the school. Young 7400, Ext. 127.

PRESS Photo by Ross Barkan

BY ROSS BARKAN

high schools will be closed: Flushing, William Cullen Bryant, Long Island City, Grover Cleveland, August Martin, Richmond Hill and John Adams. The schools would reopen later, but under a new name and with half of the original staff. “Mayor Bloomberg might think he’s doing the right thing, but he’s not doing the right thing when it comes to education,” Marshall said. The eight schools were already pegged by the State Education Dept. as persistently low achieving schools and given the task of implementing school improvement plans. The plans were rolled out this past September, but schools were then told the anticipated funding fell through. More than 20,000 students would be affected by this change, causing communities across Queens to fight to keep the historic institutions open that have taught generations of families and celebrities alike. “Mayor Bloomberg, I want to tell you that you ought to turn around,” said Robertson, who by chance delivered the most moving testimony at the meeting’s finale. “You ought to turn around what you’re thinking about doing because I’m here to tell you that we are going to turn around what we’re doing.” Her speech caused the crowd to erupt in cheers. Grover Cleveland was the most represented high school at the meeting, but dozens of people from across the borough implored Marshall to do something to save their schools. Many of those who testified acknowl-


Old Rail Line Could See Renaissance BY DOMENICK RAFTER

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PRESS Photo by Domenick Rafter

The distance between Ozone Park and Midtown Manhattan is less than seven miles. In a rural setting, it would take less than ten minutes to travel that distance. In New York City however, you are lucky if it takes an hour, whether by car or by public transportation. It wasn’t always that way. This June will mark 50 years since the last Long Island Rail Road train ran down the old Rockaway Beach line that runs parallel to Woodhaven Boulevard from Rego Park to the Rockaway Peninsula. Since then, the old railroad tracks that once gave South Queens residents a 30minute commute to Penn Station- as opposed to the hour on the “A” train- have become a relic. The viaduct in Ozone Park is now home to auto body shops; rusted signal towers stand like Roman ruins, reaching high into the neighborhood skyline or getting swallowed up in Forest Park’s greenery. The elevated overpasses over Liberty, Atlantic and Metropolitan Avenues have begun new lives as makeshift billboards. Few residents from Rego Park to Howard Beach can recall a time when trains ran there. Now, with the opening of a new casino and planned convention center at Aqueduct Racetrack, two state legislators are seeking to return the old line to its former glory and give a new option to the communities of Central and Southern Queens faced with few options.

(From right): Assemblymen Phil Goldfeder and Mike Miller and District Leader Lew Simon want the old Rockaway Beach LIRR line (background) to be put back into service. Assemblymen Phil Goldfeder (D-Far Rockaway) and Mike Miller (DWoodhaven) are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the MTA to find a plan to resurrect the line and are presenting them with options on how to do it. “With the opening of the casino at Aqueduct and the proposed convention center, having adequate transportation to and from Queens must be a top priority,” Goldfeder said. Some of the options they proposed include connecting the line to the LIRR main line in Rego Park as it did before 1962, when the line ran from Penn Station

to Ozone Park. The line south of Ozone Park was taken over by the Rockaway branch of the “A” train in the 1950s. Also included in their plans is the possibility of a spur along the Atlantic Avenue LIRR line, which terminates at Flatbush Terminal in Brooklyn. Stations may be reopened where the shells of former ones exist; at 101st Avenue in Ozone Park, Atlantic Avenue in Woodhaven, Brooklyn Manor near Jamaica Avenue, Parkside near Metropolitan Avenue and Rego Park along the main line of the LIRR. Under their plan, the line would continue to Rockaway sharing the tracks with the “A” subway line and

make stops for Aqueduct and JFK Airport. The line would also improve intra-borough transit- a common complaint among South Queens residents. Connections would allow commuters to access other parts of Queens like Flushing, Jamaica and Astoria by rail. Whether the line is a branch of the LIRR or a separate subway line is up for debate, but Miller said he’d prefer a subway line because of the cheaper fare. One of their proposed plans calls for the possibility of extending the R or M trains from Queens Boulevard at the 63rd Drive station in Rego Park. Goldfeder and Miller said the line would not be too difficult to rebuild because most of it already exists and would have been renovated with new tracks, stations and some rehabilitation work. But some of line, including around the Forest Crescent apartment building in Glendale, has been built over and would require taking some private land. The line has also been eyed for a greenway project similar to Manhattan’s High Line. The idea is favored by Community Board 9 Chairperson Andrea Crawford. Goldfeder said he would not be opposed to finding some way to accommodate a transit line and a greenway, but his first priority would be using it for transportation. Reach Reporter Domenick Rafter at drafter@queenstribune.com or (718) 3577400 Ext. 125.


Council Calls For School System Changes BY ROSS BARKAN A swell of local politicians, parents, educators, and teacher union officials packed the Queens High School Presidents Council legislative breakfast last week, searching for ways to combat the myriad challenges facing high schools in Queens. Over coffee and donuts in a conference room just off the Whitestone Expressway, the question asked repeatedly was: Why are children in New York City schools not college-ready? It was announced last month that 75 percent of City high school students had Regents and SAT scores low enough to suggest they would require remedial classes in college. Politicians at the meetings, including Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), openly attacked Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s emphasis on standardized testing at the expense, in their own words, of the school curriculum itself. A popular theme of the meeting, at least from a political standpoint, was calling for the end of the centralized, mayoral-steered school system. “It was a mistake giving the school system mayoral control,” Weprin said. “The profession of teaching is being degraded. Who would want to teach in this environment?” Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (DFlushing) disparaged the standardized testing trend as well, saying that he would “forget almost everything he studied right

after taking a test.” State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), a former teacher herself, along with Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), Councilman Peter Koo (DFlushing), Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck), Assemblywoman Barbara Clark (D-Queens Village), Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-Corona), and Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) were among the other politicians to show up and lend their opinions. Jane Reiff, Queens High School Presidents Council President, led the presentation. According to the Presidents Council’s findings, lack of consistency with Dept. of Education edicts and lowered expectations of students have led to failure. Grade inflation is encouraged and test preparation overtakes classroom time, the Council maintained, and budget cuts are depleting the resources teachers and students require. David Solano, legislative committee project leader and Bayside High School PTA co-president, assisted Reiff, addressing the issue of the DOE shifting requirements for Title I funding, federal money that is intended to provide additional financial resources for schools with higher percentages of impoverished students. In Fiscal Year 2012, Queens high schools needed a poverty rate of 60 percent or higher to receive Title I funding, up from 40 percent in 2011. Another issue unique to City schools and Queens especially is the amount of immigrants flowing into the classroom.

Queens has the highest percentage of English Language Learners in the City. Reiff said that it is unfair for ELL students to be held to the same standard as students who speak English as their first language. Reiff and Queens United Federation of Teachers leaders like Dermot Smyth and James Vasquez questioned Bloomberg’s initiative of creating a leadership academy for principals. Newly-minted principals under Bloomberg do not necessarily need to have prior education experience; Smyth blasted Bloomberg for previous DOE chancellor hires Joel Klein and Cathleen Black. Neither had worked in education before becoming chancellors.

Melissa Hubbard, a graduate of the since closed Andrew Jackson High School in Cambria Heights, echoed Reiff’s attacks on school closures as “temporary BandAids” that do not work. Eight schools in Queens may close. “We need a new high school campus,” said Hubbard, a member of the School Leadership Team at Humanities & Arts Magnet High School, one of the schools that replaced Andrew Jackson. “We need quality programs. Our kids depend on that.” Reach Reporter Ross Barkan at rbarkan@queenstribune.com or (718) 3577400, Ext. 127.

Safety Series: State Sen. Joe Addabbo (D- Howard Beach) visited students and staff at PS 273 in Richmond Hill for a special program conducted by the American Red Cross of Greater NY. Pictured (from left) are Principal Brenda Ward, ARC representative Christian Jimenez and Addabbo.

Feb. 17-23, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 5


Letters

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 Managing Editor:

Steven J. Ferrari Contributing Editor:

Marcia Moxam Comrie Production Manager:

Shiek Mohamed

New Plan Needed The education system in New York City is failing our children, and it’s time to start looking at new ways to fix a system that has been broken for too long. Closing failing schools does not solve the problem. Basing financial resources on rising test scores or poverty statistics is nothing more than a political game. The focus on raising standardized test scores does nothing to engage students or encourage them to learn more than what is necessary to get by. In the end, our students suffer. Instead of punishing students and communities by closing struggling schools, we should find ways to give them more resources. Making students feel engaged and interested in learning requires new methods, new technology and better resources. The only chance our schools have to improve is if we stop playing games with the education system and start spending the money needed to give students what they need. In order for students to have a chance to succeed, the City needs to take politics out of education.

Queens Today Editor

Letters

Regina Vogel Photo Editor: Ira Cohen

Reporters: Harley Benson Veronica Lewin Domenick Rafter Ross Barkan Jason Pafundi Intern: Brianna Ellis Art Dept:

Rhonda Leefoon Candice Lolier Barbara Townsend

To The Editor: As the Grammy Awards were telecast this Sunday, the music industry is mourning the loss of one of America’s true music icons - Whitney Houston. Her albums and individual hit songs have been heard by millions over her long career and hopefully will continue to be heard by millions more for generations to come. She truly was a wonderful entertainer who also had to deal with

many personal problems. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends and all of her fans. She will be sorely missed by everyone, including this writer. John Amato, Fresh Meadows

Sad News To The Editor: I heard the sad news today that “The Voice,” Whitney Houston, as she has been known, has died. We have lost an icon and a music legend. Her career was laced with many highs and lows

What Values? To The Editor: Just when you think you’ve seen them at their lowest, the White Wing Conservatives drop the bar even further. Yes, the White Wing is in fact a faction of the Right Wing. As much as they attempt to appear otherwise their true “values” were shown at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2012 in Washington DC. On the CPAC program, “The failure of Multiculturalism: How the pursuit of diversity is weakening the American identity.” It was hosted by Robert Vandervort, ex leader of the White Nationalist group and his fellow White Nationalist, Jared Taylor. Another panelist, head and founder of the White Nationalist group VDARE, Peter Brimilow and author of writings such as, “Jews Are Weakening America’s Historic White Majority” and “A White Nation For White People” among other noble observations, was lauded

by Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa. It begs the question, with Conservatives welcoming such overt racism, how can anyone of conscience, especially of color, including the 14 black congressmen running for office, not know that they are looked down upon as inferior beings? It can only be that the wily feel that there is an advantage being a big fish in the Republican Party’s exclusive pond as opposed to an equal fish in the Democratic inclusive pond. It is pitiful that after all the humane progress made in our country through time, there are those attempting to “Take our country back” - yes back to the most shameful periods of our history. Nicholas Zizelis Bayside

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Another Shocking Celebrity Passing

Sr. Account Executive Shelly Cookson

A Personal Perspective BY MARCIA MOXAM COMRIE

Advertising Executives Merlene Carnegie Shari Strongin

Every time a celebrity dies from suspected drug-related causes the world expresses shock, which is probably a natural response. No one knew Michael Jackson had a quack-tor on staff putting him under with drugs meant for the operating room, so his death was shocking as far as that goes. But when Whitney Houston passed away last weekend and reporters kept referring to “Whitney Houston’s shocking death,” I wondered why. To those of us who have known of the singer’s drug use over the decades, her death is not “shocking,” just really sad. Houston’s vocal chords must have been kissed by the angels even before she came into the world. She had one of those voices that reached to the heavens each time she held a note. Tragically she did not appreciate it as much as her fans did. How else do you explain her use of alcohol and the smoking of all kinds of crazy mixtures? All that partying wreaked havoc on her vocal chords, her personality and

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Michael Schenkler, President & Publisher Page 6 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 17-23, 2012

Remembering Whitney

and was plagued with abuse of drugs and a dysfunctional marriage. But her music lives on and still means a lot to many of her fans like myself. Let me say as in the words of her hit song, “I will always love you.” And we all truly will. Frederick R. Bedell Jr. Glen Oaks Village

Michael Nussbaum, Vice President, Associate Publisher

even her beautiful face. Whitney’s visage was prematurely aged and her figure disproportionately bloated. Nonetheless, she just kept on hurting herself. She tried rehab, but it didn’t stick. Maybe she just wasn’t ready. You have to be ready to get clean in order for it to work. People blame Bobby Brown for Houston’s substance abuse problems. But we were reading about her drug use even before she met Brown. Knowing how drug users are, she was probably drawn to him for his more convenient access to drugs. We all know he was no choir boy, but Whitney literally was a choir girl and should have known better. A music journalist once said of Johnny Cash, who was also a struggling addict, that he “held the devil in one hand and God in the other and it’s a constant battle for his soul.” It seems the same held true for our girl Whitney. Users just refuse to believe that they too can die from substance abuse. It was only six months ago that Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning. She was trying to clean up from drug use. But the ironically-named singer didn’t

stop drinking and she overdosed on the sauce. So many people don’t realize that alcohol isn’t just a slow killer. You can also overdose on it in one sitting. About 20 years ago, there was a gifted country singer named Keith Whitley. He was one of Nashville’s rising stars, with several hit songs on the charts. But he was a heavy drinker and soon died of alcohol poisoning. It also happens on college campuses across the United States during dumb hazing rituals. Houston is suspected of having consumed alcohol with prescription anti-depressants. That’s a deadly combination. It seems her death isn’t so much a shock as it was a tragic inevitability. We hoped that she would clean up her act so it would not happen to her. But she’s become another celebrity causality of substance abuse. She’s another Elvis, Heath Ledger, Billie Holiday, et al. It pains us to add her to the list. Whitney Houston had a lot to live for and a lot for which she should have been clean and sober. She had an aging mother who adored her and a daughter to whom she meant the world. But

this weekend, a mother will bury her daughter, and a daughter will bury her mother. Gospel singer Cissy Houston tried to save her beloved Whitney from the negative influence of Bobby Brown. When Whitney finally dumped him, her own influence was still as dangerous to her life as his had been to her. Her drug supplier was no longer the dealer making home deliveries. The supplier became the “respected” physician with a prescription pad and the reluctant bartender. We won’t know for weeks what exactly caused her death; but we do know that even if it wasn’t an overdose per se, it will be determined to have been the cumulative effect of decades of selfabuse. We loved Whitney and will miss her. But the take-away is for everyone else to heed the warning that even prescription drugs are dangerous if abused and if mixed with alcohol. We also know that alcohol even by itself can be dangerous on many levels. We hope she finds the peace that eluded you on this side of the ground. Whitney, we loved and will miss you, girl.


Feb. 17-23, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 7


Tom Allon: A Citizen Candidate For Mayor

By MICHAEL SCHENKLER Last Thursday, I spent the morning with the New York City political Don Quixote. Now I’m not trying to offend; Don Quixote has always been a hero of mine. He was different, not part of the broken system and a creative thinker – unlike anyone else. His adventures — tilting at windmills — were a bold attempt to right society’s wrongs.

Remember the story of The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha? Alonso Quijano, the protagonist of the novel, is a retired country gentleman nearing fifty years of age, living in a section of La Mancha with his niece and housekeeper. Tom Allon, the protagonist of this story, is a parent, an educa-

tor and a publisher of community newspapers, probably nearing fifty, and lives on the Upper West Side with his wife and three kids. While mostly a rational man of sound reason, reading romances, or books of chivalry, in excess has had a profound effect on Quijano, leading to the distortion of his perception. In essence, he believes every word of these books of chivalry to be true. Otherwise, his wits, in regards to everything other than chivalry, are intact. While mostly a rational man of sound reason, reading the news, and following city politics, in excess, has had a profound effect on Allon, leading to the distortion of his perception. In essence, he believes he is able to fix what is wrong with New York City government. Otherwise, his wits, in regards to everything other than government and politics, are intact. Quijano decides to go out as a knight-errant in search of adventure. Tom decides to set out as a candidate for New York City Mayor. For the record, Tom is bright, creative and of sound mind. Tom and I have also been good friends

for the past two decades. In 1990, when I became president of News Communications, a publically traded media company, Tom became the vice president. We spent the better part of the next decade together, growing and supervising the community newspaper group throughout metropolitan New York. Lil and I attended his wedding; he was at my son Lee’s Bar Mitzvah a nd my 50 th bir thday party. Tom is family. I know Tom Allon well, and when he sets out tilting at windmills, those windmills better look out. Elsewhere in this paper, you’ll read a report on the interview with Tom. What you find here is my brief analysis as to why Tom Allon is a perfect choice for Mayor of New York City. “I’m the only person who is not a career politician. People are sick of career politicians,” Tom, who runs a big, small business, told us. Yes, he is as tuned into the city and its people and neighborhoods as anyone, but he is not one of those “elected officials,” who have spent the past number of years catering to and selling their soul to special interests. Big money and professional

vote delivery operations have elevated lobbyists, big business and unions to a par tnership with government – a partnership which is clearly not in the best interest of the people. When the people evaluate the performance of their elected officials, the bottom keeps getting lower. Congress is at a 10% approval rating; the dysfunctional State Legislature is attempting to push through an undemocratic, self-serving redistricting; and we’ve lost track of the number of times that member item scandals have damaged Old Friends: Mike Schenkler & Tom Allon the City Council. No, our government stars state area – he had a good teacher. don’t come from government. As Tom knows how to listen and a matter of fact neither have our think and act. past t wo Mayor s. Rudy Giuliani Public financing of campaigns was a federal prosecutor and Mike in the city, has to some degree, Bloomberg, a media entrepreneur. leveled the playing field. One need Career politicians, for the most not come from within the system part, don’t listen to the people. to run a competitive election. The special interests, the big bucks Read our interview on page 4 and the political machine s have with Tom. their ears. And as 2013 gets closer, learn Tom is a former teacher, a to differentiate between the career parent, who has education on top politicians and the citizen who of his priority list. He has helped wants to serve. create two new city high schools. Tom Allon is in this for the Tom is a businessman; I’ve watched long run and the career politicians him as CEO build the largest hyper and windmills better watch out. local media company in the tri- MSchenkler@QueensTribune.com

Page 8 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 17-23, 2012

Can Government Pay For Services People Want? By HENRY STERN One recurring problem in government is the shortage of funds needed to meet reasonable demands for services by the public. This situation occurs for a number of reasons. One, when payment is Henry made by a third par t y demand for services increases substantially; the more that is provided, the greater the level of expectat ion for additional services. These demands, although costly, are not inherently unreasonable. But the question is where to draw the line? At what level does one provide or discontinue treatment for autism, spectrum disorders, dialysis or other serious medical conditions? To what level of existence is it ethical to condemn the patient because either he is uninsured or has exhausted his benefits? It may also be asked, how can society support the steady increase in heath costs which is far above the GNP? Even if 90 percent of the waste or inefficiency were eliminated, wouldn’t society be engaged in a game of desperate catch-up with the rapid advances in medical science, which greatly increase our life-span without adequately addressing the complicat ions that arise from advanced age? The conquest of certain disorders has led

to an increase in death rates from other causes. Ultimately, the bottom line is that sooner or later everyone dies. One might live for ten years on a respirator, but that doe s not answer t he questions: who turns it on, who turns it off, Stern whose consent is required and what is the quality of life? That is why people, although blessed with good faith intentions and capability, often move away from the field of medicine to pursue other endeavors after early participation. When I visit pediatric wards, I am struck by the relative cheer of the patients and staff even though some children are suffering from terrible disease s. The situat ion New York City faces is similar to the problems of many other cities. Unless health care becomes a recognized reimbursable right, the situation becomes more serious over the years to come. This is not a question of wrong-doing by one group of individuals, although there are professional parasites that prey on people’s fears for their own private profit. If you care for an elderly or disabled person, you know the steady toll it takes on the rest of us (or, as the politically correct, now refer to the majority somewhat dismissively, the temporarily able-bodied). When Sarah Palin sounded

what became a national alarm on “death panels”, which she falsely said would empower federal bureaucrats to determine the life or death of every American by their authority to prioritize medical care, she struck a sensitive chord, which becomes more important to people as they grow older and begin to feel the ravages of physical and mental deterioration. Behind many big lies, there may be a small truth. The fact that decisions on life or death may be made in part by unrelated professionals, rather than family members, alarmed not only the Tea Par ty crowd, but other conservatives who believed that they would have the last word as to whether they and their elderly parents continued to live in comfort and dignity. For how long should lives be extended by increasingly artificial means and substitute organs? How should we take into account the nature and the consequences of age-related illness, the possibility, if any, of recovery, and the depth of the pockets of the afflicted and their putative heirs? Even though in fact the survivor s’ a nd dep endent s’ choice s would be severely limited by the same market forces they extol in principle, it is par t of American exceptionalism to believe that we can do whatever we really want to do. Many people’s views on issues

of health are heavily influenced by the amount of physical and emotional pain they are enduring. Also, since people’s pain thresholds are believed to differ widely, it is difficult to set standards for human suffering. The role of government in measuring or postponing the death of particular individuals is an area wh ich requires both bet ter monitoring and sound judgment. The religious or philosophical views of the person dying should also be given more credence and respect than they receive today,

where seniors are often infantilized by their caretakers and hospital staff. Speaking only for myself, I want to determine when my life should end, rather than leaving the issue to strangers who may have economic interests which conflict with my wishes and those of my family. Some day American society will advance to the level when my wife and I will receive the same consideration that we gave our dog Boomer in 2004. StarQuest@NYCiviv.org

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH Page 10 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 17-23, 2012

Celebrating Black History Educators and parents working together safeguard the interests of students and prepare them for the challenges of tomorrow.

Richard C. Iannuzzi, President Andrew Pallotta, Executive Vice President Maria Neira, Vice President Kathleen M. Donahue, Vice President Lee Cutler, Secretary-Treasurer

Representing more than 600,000 professionals in education and health care.

WWW.NYSUT.ORG 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110-2455 t 518-213-6000 t 800-342-9810 t Affiliated with AFT / NEA / AFL-CIO


Black History Month was established in 1976. Its roots, however, date back to 1926, when historian Carter G. Woodson established “Negro History Week” the second week of February. Woodson chose that particular week to coincide with the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and former slave Frederick Douglass. The history of the borough of Queens is filled with prominent African-Americans. From the beginnings of American Jazz to the key members of the Civil Rights movement to a number of popular modern rap artists, many notable AfricanAmericans made their home in Queens at one time or another. The landmarks of their accomplishments can be found throughout the borough. From the Louis Armstrong House Museum to the Langston Hughes Library to the home where Malcolm X lived in East Elmhurst, the residents of Queens have everyday reminders of the effect these men and women had in the lives of not only the residents of the borough, but of the entire nation.

can Americans to lead a Queens community, on Sept. 11, 1982, New York Boulevard—which runs through his old district— was renamed Guy R. Brewer Boulevard, a street which at the time was considered the longest in the city to be named in honor of an African-American. It trails 3.7 miles from Rockaway Boulevard near JFK Airport to the business district and transportation system in Jamaica. This intersection was chosen because it was where Brewer purchased a building to hold the United Democratic Club, an organization he founded when there were no black elected officials in Queens. It is now called the Guy R. Brewer United Democratic Club. - Joanna Gonzalez

only black scientist. In 1955 to 1959, she assisted Dr. Quentin B. Deming as a biochemist associate at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, studying the causes of heart attacks. Daly worked as an investigator for the American Heart Association from 1958 until 1963. She was an active member in several professional associations, including the NAACP and the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women. In 1988, Daly established a scholarship fund at Queens College in memory of her parents, for minority students studying physics or chemistry. Marie Maynard Daly died on Oct. 28, 2003 at age 82 in New York City. - Brianna Ellis

Lewis Howard Latimer Eric Holder Eric Holder is the 82nd Attorney General of the United States and is the first African-American to hold the position. Originally from the Bronx, Holder grew up in East Elmhurst. While most of his friends attended Queens public schools, Holder was accepted into the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan and continued his higher education at Co-

Langston Hughes

James Mercer Langston Hughes, best known as Langston Hughes, was a phenomenal American poet and author. Born in Joplin, Mo. on Feb. 1, 1902, Langston became a rolling stone due to his constant traveling throughout states and countries. He eventually resided in Harlem, and became a vital voice of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. In 1925, Hughes won first place in the Opportunity magazine competition for his poem, “ The Wear y Blues.” White novelist and critic Carl Van Vechten discovered Hughes, declaring him “the Negro Poet Laureate of Harlem.” In 1926, he aided Langston in the publication of his first book of poetry, The Weary Blues. Hughes attended Columbia University as an engineer for one year, then gradually Eric Holder (Continued on page 12)

Let us celebrate Black History Month by honoring our past and keeping our legacy alive for our children

from New York State Senator Malcolm A. Smith 205-20 Jamaica Avenue Hollis, NY 11423 718-454-0162

Feb. 17-23, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 11

Inventor Lewis Howard Latimer established his legacy here in New York by working for the most notable invention firms in the country, with inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell (telephone), Harim Maxim (U.S. Electric Lighting Company) and their rival William H. Booth Thomas Edison (namesake William H. Booth was a of ConEdison). Latimer’s former New York City main focus: patenting disjudge who challenged racoveries through his talcial discrimination in emented and perfect sketches, ployment, housing and which were a necessity to eseducation. tablish in any firm during a Booth was born in time inventions and inventors were booming and comQueens on Aug. 13, 1922. At the tender age of 16, he peting. became president of the With Edison, Latimer Jamaica youth chapter of wrote the first engineering Lewis Howard Latimer hand book called, “Incanthe NAACP. He graduated from Jamaica High School and then descent Electric Lighting: A Practical DeQueens College in 1946. He also earned scription of the Edison System.” In 1918, a law degree and a master’s in law from Latimer became one of the 28 fundamental members of the Edison Pioneers, the New York University. Booth served 13 years as a judge on only African-American in this reputable, the Criminal and State Supreme Court. A extremely selective group. Latimer was one of the founders of black Republican lawyer and Civil Rights advocate, he was best known as Mayor the Unitarian Church in Flushing. John Lindsay’s man at the helm of the Originally from Chelsea, Mass., his Human Rights Commission from 1966 to home has been moved to a small park in Flushing, which was turned into a mu1969. Booth forcefully fought the ongoing seum in honor of his accomplishments, injustices of racial discrimination, even located at 34-41 137th St. A set of apartleading to one arrest in 1963. He protested ment houses in Flushing, located 34-45 in Rochdale Village by blocking trucks at Linden Pl., are called “Latimer Gardens” a construction site to demand the employ- in his honor. ment of black workers. In 1987, Gov. - Joanna Gonzalez Mario Cuomo assigned him to a task force on bias-related violence. In 1991, Mayor Marie Maynard Daly David Dinkins appointed him chairman Marie Maynard Daly, a brilliant black of the watchdog Board of Correction. woman, was the first African-American William H. Booth died on Dec. 12, female to receive a Ph.D in the field of 2006 at his home in Kissimmee, Florida Chemistry. at age 84, a year after suffering from a Daly was born on April 16, 1921 in stroke. Corona. She earned a Bachelor of Sci-Brianna Ellis ence degree, as Magna Cum Laude, at Queens College in 1942. She was named Guy R. Brewer a Queens College Scholar for academic Guy R. Brewer, originally from Harlem, achievements and was inducted into the was one of the earliest African American Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi honor sociAssembly members of Jamaica. He served eties. She also earned a master’s degree the community in Albany from 1968-74. at New York University in 1943 and a His goal was to establish a black subur- Ph.D at Columbia University in 1947. ban community in Queens where whites After graduating, Daly instructed at predominantly ran the floor and still did Howard University from 1947 to 1948. not have district leaders of color like Man- Next, she entered the Rockefeller Instihattan was already amounting to. tute of Medicine, now Rockefeller UniSince Brewer was one of the first Afri- versity in Manhattan, where she was the

lumbia University for both his undergraduate and graduate school years. Holder was featured in the 2007 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, and in 2008 he was named by The National Law Journal as one of “The Most 50 Influential Minority Lawyers in America.” - Joanna Gonzalez

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Queens Celebrates Black History


BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Queens Celebrates Black History (Continued from page 11) readings and exhibitions. - Brianna Ellis completed his education at Lincoln University in 1929. Archie Spigner Hughes’ play, Mulatto, had a District Leader Archie successful run on Broadway Spigner has long been a in 1935. During his writing household name in Southcareer, Hughes wrote more east Queens. Spigner served than 10 volumes of poetry, in the City Council from over 60 dramas and operas, 1974 to 2001, where he repand two autobiographies. On resented the 27th District. May 22, 1967 he died of During his near three decongestive heart failure. cades as a councilman, The Langston Hughes Spigner fought for what was Community Library and best for Southeast Queens Cultural Center was Langston Hughes and helped secure major founded in 1969. Located on 100-01 Northern Blvd., the center projects in the area, including bringing hosts theatrical presentations, literary York College to the community. He even-

beyond. He was one of tually rose to Deputy Majoreight delegates chosen ity Leader, the second highfrom the 6th Congressional est position in the Council. District to attend the Spigner also helped start Democratic National Conthe political careers of many vention this September in Southeast Queens politiCharlotte, NC. cians, including his former Earlier this month, he chief of staff, Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans). stood on the steps of BorThe St. Albans post office ough Hall with members of branch, located at 195-04 the Jamaica NAACP branch Linden Blvd., was named afto protest the State Senate ter the former councilman in and Assembly district proMay 2005, a tribute to his posals. “You’ve got to keep work in the community. doing the right thing for your Archie Spigner Though he is no longer a community and your city,” he councilman, Spigner has maintained his said. “That’s what life’s about.” political clout in Southeast Queens and -Veronica Lewin

Tshaka: Enslaved Built White House

BY ROSS BARKAN

Page 12 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 17-23, 2012

Mr. Tshaka may be going back to Washington. Bayside’s one-of-a-kind activist, Mandingo Tshaka, wants the truth that enslaved Africans helped construct the White House to be recognized at last. After he and Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) researched the history of the White House’s genesis, they discovered

Tshaka’s original suspicions were indeed correct. Ackerman has penned a letter to President Barack Obama urging that the White House acknowledge the forced labor that made the magnificent building’s rise possible. “This is not about me,” the velvet-voiced Tshaka, now 81, said. “This society is not teaching it in the schools. I remember when I got the phone call confirming it was true. I felt like the old spiritual, ‘Go

As We Celebrate BLACK HISTORY MONTH Let us Honor Congressman the Past and Gregory W. Embrace the Meeks 6th Congressional District Future

Paid for by Friends for Gregory Meeks

Tell It On a Mountain.’ Go tell it to the hills, everywhere, I thought.” This is not the first time Tshaka, who was celebrated for his lifelong neighborhood activism by the Bayside Historical Society on Feb. 5, has discovered that a federal building has a troubling past. In 2010, Ackerman honored Tshaka at the U.S. Capitol building for his discovery of enslaved labor’s role in its construction. Visitors at the U.S. Capitol can now find plaques that recognize the once forgotten efforts of countless Africans—not African-Americans, as Tshaka will tell you. Though he is very thankful for Ackerman’s effort on his behalf, Tshaka took issue with the term “African-Americans” being used in Ackerman’s letter, as well as the usage of the word “slave” instead of “enslaved.” Tshaka explained that during the time of the White House’s construction in the last decade of the 18th century, non-whites were considered property and not American citizens. Therefore, they were not Americans. “Enslaved” is a more accurate word than “slave” because it conveys more vividly that Africans were stolen against their will from their own country and forced into labor in a new one, Tshaka said. When the White House was burned down in the War of 1812, enslaved labor

resurrected, too. Slavery was not outlawed in the United States until 1865 with the passing of the 13th Amendment. “The history of this country is not all that antiseptic. They need to tell it. There’s not a society that’s ever lived that’s been without shame,” Tshaka said. Ackerman and Tshaka discovered that the enslaved dug the foundation for the White House, quarried stone for the walls, cut timber, sawed lumber, and performed carpentry duties. According to Ackerman, slaves served on the White House domestic staff from its completion through the Civil War. Tshaka suspects the construction of the White House, then more harrowing because of the lack of modern machinery, could have cost lives as well. Perhaps Tshaka’s greatest victory as an activist came when he stumbled upon documents that revealed a small park north of Flushing Cemetery, Martin’s Field, had been a 19th century burial ground for African- and Native-Americans. Despite years of opposition, Martin’s Field has been officially recognized as a historic gravesite and was transformed into a memorial park. Reach Reporter Ross Barkan at rbarkan@queenstribune.com or (718) 3577400, Ext. 127.

Honoring Black History Month, let us honor our legacy through education Assemblyman WILLIAM SCARBOROUGH 129-32A Merrick Blvd. Jamaica, NY 11434 718-723-5412 Fax: 718-723-5465


An Overview Of Queens’ Fields

John F. Kennedy International Airport OPERATED BY John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is operated by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey under a lease with the City of New York since June 1, 1947. LOCATION JFK is located in the southeastern section of Queens County on Jamaica Bay. It is 15 miles by highway from midtown Manhattan. The Van Wyck Expressway terminates in the airport. SIZE The airport consists of 4,930 acres, including 880 acres in the central terminal area. It has more than 30 miles of roadways and is 12.7 feet above sea level. HISTORY Construction began in April 1942, when the City of New York contracted for the placing of hydraulic fill over the marshy tidelands on the site of Idlewild Golf Course. Planned at first for 1,000 acres, the airport grew to five times that size. First commercial flights began on July 1, 1948. The airport was formally dedicated as New York International Airport

on July 31, 1948. It was re-dedicated on Dec. 24, 1963, as John F. Kennedy International Airport, following action of the Mayor and New York City Council and a resolution of the Commissioners of the Port Authority. LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT SYSTEM On Dec. 17, 2003, AirTrain, a fully automated Light Rail Transit System, opened to link JFK’s central terminals with the Long Island Rail Road and the New York City subway and bus systems in Jamaica and Howard Beach. CENTRAL TERMINAL AREA The Central Terminal Area consists of nine airline passenger terminals surrounded by a dual ring of peripheral taxiways. (Terminal 6 has been demolished to make way for the expansion of JetBlue’s Terminal 5.) Initially 655 acres, the Central Terminal Area was enlarged to 880 acres by relocation of the taxiways to provide space needed for expansion of the passenger terminals. To further assist travelers, a new colorcoding system (green, blue, orange and red) is used on all signs relating to each terminal—from the entrances to the airport to parking near each terminal.

Photos by Ira Cohen

New York is the largest city in the United States and the self-dubbed the “Capital of the World.” And as an integral influence in fashion, technology and all global and national industries, it is no wonder why over 48.7 million tourists flocked to New York in 2010. And many of those tourists first stepped foot in New York by way of Queens. This borough is home to two of the three major metropolitan airports – John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport (Newark is in New Jersey). Two years ago, the airports signed a 99-year lease agreement ensuring their continued dominance as a hub for dozens of airlines, their commitment to growth and improvements and their commitment to Queens. As part of the new lease, some $100 million will be invested over the next five years to improve roads, allay noise concerns and reduce emissions in and around the airports.

SALUTE TO PORT AUTHORITY

Our Airports Take Off:

Planes maneuver their way around JFK’s tarmac. operated by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey under a lease with the City of New York since June 1, 1947. LOCATION LGA is on Flushing Bay and borders Bowery Bay in East Elmhurst. It is eight miles from midtown Manhattan, adjacent to the Grand Central Parkway.

PARKING The airport’s total of nearly 15,000 public parking spaces includes the employee lot, two 1,400-space parking garages, the long-term lot and an additional 3,200 spaces in the central terminal area. In response to the increased demand for parking, new parking facilities have been constructed and are presently in use. Additional parking garages are also planned. JFK is also home to a “cell phone lot” near the airport’s entrance. The free 373space lot is used by people picking up passengers to wait for the people they’re picking up to deplane and get their baggage and be ready for pickups, rather than drive to the airport, pay for parking and wait in the terminal. The lot aims to give people a more comfortable place to wait and control traffic in the airport.

SIZE The airport consists of 680 acres and 72 aircraft gates. It is 12.7 feet above sea level.

LaGuardia Airport OPERATED BY LaGuardia Airport (LGA) has been

CENTRAL TERMINAL BUILDING The Central Terminal Building was dedicated on April 17, 1964, and serves most of the airport’s scheduled domestic airlines. It is 1,300 feet long and 180 feet wide, with 750,000 square feet of floor space. Originally constructed at a cost of $36 million, the six-block-long structure consists of a four-story central section, two three-story wings and four concourses leading to 40 aircraft gate positions. The Central Terminal Building completed a $340 million expansion and modernization in the mid-2000s. The centerpiece, a $47 million project for a complete redevelopment of the center section, included new elevators and escalators to accommodate the elderly and disabled as well as a new shopping concourse. –Facts and figures courtesy of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Planes come and go at LaGuardia Airport.

Feb. 17-23, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 13

Photo by Kaitlyn Kilmetis

Air Traffic controllers in Nassau County control the air space over Queens.

HISTORY The site was first occupied by Gala Amusement Park. Transformed in 1929 into a 105-acre private flying field, it was first named Glenn H. Curtiss Airport and later North Beach Airport. Taken over by New York City, it was enlarged by purchase of adjoining land and by filling in 357 acres of waterfront along the east side. Ground was broken on Sept. 9, 1937 for a new airport, which was built jointly by the City and the Federal Works Progress Administration. It was dedicated on Oct. 15, 1939, as New York City Municipal Airport. On Nov. 2, 1939, the name was changed to New York Municipal Airport—LaGuardia Field. On Dec.

2 of that year, it was opened to commercial traffic. In 1947, the year the airpor t was leased to the Port Authority, it was renamed LaGuardia Airport. A new Central Terminal Building was opened in 1964 and enlarged in 1967 and 1992. Two new terminals were constructed in 1983 and 1992.


SALUTE TO PORT AUTHORITY

Airfields Adapt To Industry Changes BY DOMENICK RAFTER When the two New York airports that call Queens home opened early last century, the industry they served looked very different than the one that exists today. Back then planes were small, the number of passengers using them were few and no one was worried about terrorism. But as the aviation industry grew over the years, along with the sizes of the planes, the number of people utilizing them and concerns about their safety, LaGuardia and JFK Airports have had to grow and adapt to those changes as well. Smaller terminals got bigger; new runways were built while old ones were extended and renovated; parking lots, trains and access roads were built. Adapting to a changing industry is an ongoing process and its continuing today. The JFK and LaGuardia of 20 years ago is either gone or will soon be good, replaced by new and improved air terminals aimed at serving a 21st Century market. JFK Airport Very little of what JFK Airport looked like two decades ago still exists. Perhaps the only notable constant in the city’s main air terminal is the TWA Flight Center building- the former terminal of nowdefunct airline TWA-near JetBlue’s much more modern terminal. But the TWA Terminal is no longer serves the function it was built for. In the last decade, many of JFK’s outdated terminals have been renovated, rehabilitated or completely demolished and replaced, including Terminal 1, one of the first of the airport’s nine passenger terminals; Terminal 5, which was completely reconstructed to serve JetBlue; Terminal 8, which serves American Airlines, and Terminal 4, the main International Arrivals Terminal, which was totally reconstructed. The introduction of the AirTrain system, which connects each

JFK’s Terminal 6, once home to National Airlines, TWA and JetBlue was demolished in 2011. terminals to subway stations in Howard Beach and Downtown Jamaica, required renovations and reconstruction of parts of the terminal area of the airport. Some of the older outdated terminals were demolished completely. Terminal 6 originally build in 1970 for National Airlines and later a terminal for TWA and JetBlue was demolished in 2011. Terminal 9, which once served United Airlines, was demolished and combined with Terminal 8. Much of the work done to the terminals was to adapt to new security needs mandated by the federal government. For example, TWA’s Terminal 5 building was deemed obsolete in 2001 because it did not offer the room for new security measures. That mandated a new terminal to be built. The airport’s main runway, which runs parallel to Jamaica Bay, was reconstructed and expanded in 2010. By 2011, almost every terminal at JFK had seen some kind of work done in the previous two decades, but new projects are in the works. Delta’s Terminal 3, once the homeport for Pan Am, will be

demolished starting next year as Delta plans to focus operations in an expanded Terminal 4. Attempting to find a new way to finance such work at a time of budget crunches, the Port Authority decided to partner with private companies, including airlines, to get the work done. The demolition of Terminal 3 and expansion of Terminal 4 is a $1.2 billion partnership between the agency and Delta Airlines, a move that helped the Port Authority save money while still funding airport projects. “Our agency is facing challenging economic times which demand innovative solutions, and private-public partnerships are possible arrangements the Port Authority must seriously explore as we move forward with the capital planning process,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. LaGuardia Airport Former Port Authority Executive Director Christopher Ward created some controversy in 2010 when he suggested LaGuardia Airport “be torn

down and rebuilt again.” But Ward was not and is not alone in thinking the airport, which opened in 1939, is in dire need of rehabilitation and thanks to major private investments, that’s what it’s getting. Delta Airlines announced last year that it entered a deal with US Airways to take over its LaGuardia terminal adjacent to the Delta terminal. Delta will invest $100 million to overhaul both terminals and increase its presence at LaGuardia. As for the 1964 Central Terminal, the Port Authority is exploring partnerships with private firms to replace the building. With the federal government limiting the number of flights LaGuardia can serve, airlines are planning to compensate by flying in a larger aircraft. A new terminal would be needed to serve those jets. “Fliers arriving and departing the New York metropolitan area deserve efficient, modern aviation facilities, not the crowded gate-areas designed for DC-9s at the current Central Terminal Building” said Pat Foye, Ward’s successor at the agency’s executive director. “We are working diligently in these times of economic hardship to make short-term and long-term progress towards improving our facilities.” Fifteen firms have submitted responses. The Port Authority did not name them but said they “represent a range of world-class airport and aviation, engineering and design, and finance firms.” The firms outlined their proposed concepts and plans to design, construct, operate, maintain and finance a new $3.6 billion, 1.3 million-square-foot Central Terminal Building, which houses half of the airport’s gates, to replace the obsolete structure. Port Authority officials will review the submissions and study the alternative plans, which could lead to the release of a formal request for proposal. Reach Reporter Domenick Rafter at drafter@queenstribune.com or (718) 3577400 Ext. 125

New Director Looks For Economic Growth

for what he called “much-needed improvements” to both LaGuardia and John The Port Authority of New York and F. Kennedy International airports. “The airports are the single most imNew Jersey will focus on a renewed commitment to improving transportation in portant economic engine and job creator the borough, an initiative that will hope- in Queens,” he said. “The Port Authority is committed to the role of fully see signif icant job growth over the course of the job creation and retention.” coming decades, according to With the Port Authority finits new executive director. ishing up its role in the conHaving most recently struction of One World Trade served as the deputy secretary Center – scheduled to be comfor economic development pleted near the end of 2013 – under Gov. Andrew Cuomo – Foye said the focus will then another Queens native – Foye turn to transportation. The said he knows how important Port Authority will experience the Port Authority is to the a “peace dividend” with the Patrick Foye borough. completion of the WTC that “I lived under the flight would allow for a greater focus path of LaGuardia Airport until I was on fixing perceived problems within the 18,” the Jackson Heights native said. airports, bridges and tunnels the authorFoye took over as executive director ity oversees. in November from Chris Ward. In his “I see us reinvesting in transportation first five months on the job, Foye said infrastructure,” he said. he believes the Port Authority will be Foye noted that plans for construction implementing short- and long-term plans at the Central Terminal at LaGuardia and

Page 14 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 17-23, 2012

BY STEVEN J. FERRARI

the Delta terminal at JFK were already underway. The Delta terminal at JFK was recently cited by Frommers Travel Guide as the worst terminal in the world. The terminal at LaGuardia was ranked seventh worst. Foye said, given the amount of people that come through New York City, those rankings were unacceptable. “LaGuardia and JFK need to be modernized,” he said. “We should be able to accommodate travelers in a world-class way.” With that in mind, Foye said the Port Authority was looking at plans to address customer service issues at the airport, including adding more representatives, improving the restrooms and fixing issues with taxis and livery cabs. He said plans for short-term improvements at the airports would cost around $10 million. Foye also cited Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s pronouncement that New York City would draw 50 million visitors in 2012 and noted that the City welcomed its 50 millionth tourist at the end of 2011. He said he believed that New York City would continue to attract more visitors

over the coming years. The continued growth in New York City tourism and the expansion and modernization of the borough’s airports would, over time, create more jobs in Queens. The Port Authority employs approximately 325,000 people, which Foye called “an extraordinary number.” Over the course of the next few decades, he said, that number could grow anywhere from 4 to 8 percent. “It’s hard to project with precision,” he said. “But jobs will grow significantly in the years to come.” The important thing, he noted, was that the Port Authority continue with a commitment to improve the quality of JFK and LaGuardia, which will in turn create significant job growth. “Expansion is a priority in the years to come,” he said. “The Port Authority is willing to spend the billions needed to make that happen.” Reach Managing Editor Steven J. Ferrari at sferrari@queenstribune.com or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 122.


SALUTE TO PORT AUTHORITY

John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia are more than just airports, they are economic engines for the region, directly employing about 43,000 people. Combined, JFK and LaGuardia bring in about $41 billion in sales to the region, supporting 330,000 jobs and $13.8 billion in wages. John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports: creating economic vitality for people and communities, businesses and industry.

An economic engine for Queens.

Feb. 17-23, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 15


A&E

Photographer Shows View Of Queens BY ROSS BARKAN As a borough of startling diversity and contradiction, Queens can be a playground for an artist with an especially astute eye. Dozens of nationalities may share a single square mile. New urban megaliths will cast their shadows on the edge of verdant and mesmerizing parkland. For photographer Audrey Gottlieb, Queens was always the perfect place to aim her camera. “I was drawn by light reflecting off the East River,” said Gottlieb, of Queens, from her new bucolic home in Maine. Queens is never far from her mind, and her vision will now be known to everyone who visits the Queens Botanical Garden’s new photography exhibit, “Vignettes from the Queens Project.” Gottlieb’s series of photographs of Queens, taken from the early 1990s onward, are meant to represent the diversity of the borough in all its color, energy, and exuberance. The 25-piece exhibit’s spiritual beginning came when Gottlieb, then living on Roosevelt Island, wandered across the bridge into Long Island City. She was

working at the United Nations as a photographer - in 1993 she was flown to Somalia to take photos during a time when the country was embroiled in a violent showdown with the United States. She had also never walked around in Queens. As a freelance photographer, she soon became acquainted with the borough, taking pictures of all the people, edifices, and events she could. “Queens had been a place where I didn’t go until I started exploring it, it was on the fringe,” she said. Queen’s architecture first transfixed Gottlieb. She could “see that there was an infrastructure that supported the big city in Manhattan.” This was a place where people lived, loved, and worshiped, and did not merely pile into office buildings. While she enjoyed her work with the U.N., she cherished the time spent outside of a sleek, impersonal tower. She took a leave of absence, studying photography and graphic art for a year. Afterwards, she threw herself into photography, working with the Queens Council on the Arts. A big break came with a 1991 exhibit at the Queens Historical Society. Some of the same images from that ex-

Restaurant Review

Real Italian In Corona

Page 16 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 17-23, 2012

Il Triangolo Ristorante 96-01 Corona Ave., Corona (718) 271-1250 CUISINE: Italian HOURS: 11:30 am to 10 pm Tue-Thur & Sun; 11:30 am to 11 pm Fri & Sat DELIVERY: Yes PARKING: On Site CREDIT CARDS: All Major There are many benefits to having an Italian buddy - loyalty, kinship, a deeper understanding of "The Godfather." But arguably the most underrated is grandma's cooking. Those of us blessed with a Tony, Vinny or Mikey in our lives know the delight in being invited to Nonna's Sunday feasts, where every uncle, aunt, cousin and family pet gathers to get a big helping of the good stuff from the Old Country, as Padre Pio inevitably watches on from the mantle. It is as much a rite of passage as any omerta oath, and makes you realize the slew of "Italian" ristorantes spread around our borough are faking it all the way. But the search for Nonna's best is what keeps us trying new places. Well look no further, for rising above all the cookie-cutter Italian joints comes Mario Gigliotti's Il Triangolo Ristorante. In an era when hotshot young chefs in Manhattan experiment fusing Italian with Far East cuisine, Gigliotti keeps it old school. Il Triangolo presents a triple threat fresh, homemade and delicious. My guest and I began our meal with some wonderful sautéed eggplant with

marinara sauce, fresh-baked bread with a black olive and anchovy spread, prosciutto and figs. The antipasti - hot, cold, sweet, tangy, sour - prepped the palate for the onslaught to come. First came a zucchini flower stuffed with spinach and goat cheese - a delicacy picked from Gigliotti's own garden. The subtle mix of unique flavors gave away why it's considered a treat. Next came the business of pasta - ey, this is Italian! Homemade gnocchi with pesto, a delicious take on an Italian staple, made with fresh basil. Also Fettucini Alla Triangolo - an absurdly delicious combination of parmesan cheese, peas, onions, and prosciutto in a gorgonzola cream sauce. For our main course, Angelo suggested his favorite - Vitello Mario's Style - veal with pancetta, peas and fresh tomatoes. The meat was perfectly cut and swimming in a sauce bordering on the divine. The pancetta lent flavor with gusto while the peas rounded out a playful texture. It was the most down-toearth yet delicious veal I've had in a long time. Thanks, Angelo. Il Triangolo follows the Italian tradition of making great food feel, taste and seem simple. It's a trick - these meals border on religious, a communal rite passed down for generations. It's almost too generous for anyone to share this food outside their home, for strangers no less. But Italy, in spirit, has been nothing if not generous to the world. Sit. Mangia! Every Nonna would be proud.

hibit are in “Vignettes from the Queens Project.” She would return to the U.N., but her artistic career was in motion. One photograph in the exhibit of several muscle-bound men straining to lift a two-ton structure illustrates the type of tension and precision that Gottlieb looks for as a photographer. The men are participating in a traditional Italian festival that celebrates the life of a saint Examples of Audrey Gottlieb’s work on display at the Queens who saved people from Botanical Gardens, “Bridesmaids In Green Satin.” a shipwreck off Naples. Gottlieb’s photograph depicts the Long Gottlieb has moved to Maine, a little bit Island City men straining to lift a massive north of Northern Boulevard. She enstructure called a giglio—there’s a 14-piece joys the serene life, but does miss the band and a singer on the giglio’s platform, bustle of the borough that first inspired her. not pictured. On May 19, Gottlieb will be coming “It symbolizes the saving of the people in the shipwreck, and also martyr- down from Maine to close the exhibit and dom. One person has the honor of stand- give an artist’s talk about the Botanical ing in front of them with a baton, calling Garden. If you want to see more of her work, check out www.audrey in Italian to lift the platform.” After more than 20 years in Queens, gottlieb.com.

New Show Brings Broadway To Queens “Dracula The Musical”), Ashley Loren (“Wonderland: Alice’s New Musical AdFeel like a night out on the town? How venture,” “Dracula The Musical”), Justin about a post-Valentine’s Day celebration? Matthew Sargent (“Rock of Ages,” Whether you’re a seasoned theater “Bonnie & Clyde”), Shelley Thomas subscriber or part of the MTV generation, (“Rent,” “Brooklyn The Musical”) and Jayou can experience the excitement and son Wooten (“Hair,” “Jesus Christ Superrazzle dazzle of the Great star”). White Way at the Queens No stranger to the limeTheatre – for a fraction of the light, performer Darren price of a Broadway show Ritchie, 33, sings baro-tenor ticket. in “Broadway Rox!” with, If you haven’t been here “Can’t Take my Eyes Off before, you’ll be pleasantly surYou,” from “Jersey Boys;” prised when you visit. “New York State of Mind” and Bridging the gap between “Word of My Body.” a traditional Broadway musiOn Broadway, he origical and a full-blown rock nated the role of the White show, ‘Broadway Rox!’ will Knight/Jack in Wildhorn’s bring down the house at “Wonderland: Alice’s New Darren Richie Queens Theatre in Corona Musical Adventure,” also origiPark for two days only, Friday nating the role of Jonathan and Saturday, Feb. 17-18. Harker on Broadway in “Dracula The MuThis interactive, energetic theatrical sical.” performance will have you singing along The Astoria resident has also apand tapping your feet to those cool rock peared in feature roles on Broadway in ’n pop Broadway hits we all know and “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “The Little love from shows like “Wicked,” “Jersey Shop of Horrors” and “Bells Are RingBoys,” “Rent,” “The Who’s Tommy,” ing,” and was in the original cast of “Les “Mamma Mia,” “Spring Awakening,” Miserables.” Ritchie also appeared in sev“Hair,” “Rock of Ages,” “Jesus Christ Su- eral films, TV shows and soaps, most noperstar,” and others. tably Days of Our Lives. On the theatre’s mainstage, singing a Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m.; mash-up of pulsating hits, the hip, super- Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets cost talented all-Broadway star cast will make $35. For information or for tickets, call you feel like you’re in the heart of Man- (718) 760-0064 or visit hattan: Celia Car vajal (“ Tarzan,” www.queenstheatre.org. BY TAMMY SCILEPPI


Borough Beat

Willets Point Workers Protest

BY ROSS BARKAN

PRESS Photo by Ross Barkan

Even if the words “muy cansado” were incomprehensible to English-speaking ears, the fury and indignity evinced from the faces of the rallying Willets Point denizens was not beyond comprehension: they were very tired. Dozens of Willets Point property owners, tenants, and their supporters marched down cratered Willets Point Boulevard demanding that the NYPD and Bloomberg administration cease harassing them. They argued, in Spanish and English, that there is a concerted and insidious attempt to force them off their property. Organized by the Willets Point Defense Committee, a coalition of Willets Point workers, tenants, and property owners battling alleged City government and NYPD abuse, the Feb. 10 rally snaked up and down Willets Point’s rocky, machineladen corridors. Marco Neira, WPDC’s president, led the protesters, culminating the rally at a press conference on 37th Avenue and Willets Point Boulevard. Yoselin Genao, chief of staff at Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst), also spoke in support of WPDC. “We stand here in solidarity with the workers of Willets Point to demand answers,” said Genao. “For more than two

years now there have been working papers, even constant marshal operations though he did. He said he in the area. Let us be clear, the was eventually cleared of council member (Ferreras) the charges. doesn’t support any illegal Shop owners also alactivities in the community. lege police have swooped However, if that is the case, in demanding reports for we want numbers.” what parts the owners have Genao said Ferreras would bought and sold, and the be drafting a letter to Police prices of these parts. If an Commissioner Ray Kelly deowner can’t produce a remanding to know what poport, they are arrested, lice operations are occurring Neira claims. With no reloat Willets Point and how many cation plan in place, Neira of them there are. She said said he does not know her office would be seeking a where the owners and tendialogue with the NYPD and ants of Willets Point will go also the Dept. of Buildings, if they are forced from their which has condemned vari- Willets Point workers protest on Willets Point Boulevard against alleged property. ous buildings in the Iron Tri- harassment by the NYPD and the Bloomberg administration. Neira has also taken isangle. sue with the Dept. of BuildWPDC is an ally of the equally-vocal ers, tenants, and property owners from ings condemning structures that have Willets Point United; WPU is a group Willets Point. been, in his estimation, illegal for 40 years dedicated to fighting the City’s long-term “Police come in here looking for stolen or more. Suddenly, they are a problem, plan to redevelop Willets Point. WPU has cars but they never find stolen cars,” said and he suspects it is because the City now argued repeatedly that the City is abusing Neira. “For two weeks, the police have desires the property. their powers of eminent domain. WPDC’s been coming in here every single day. A DOB spokesman said he would be protest adds another deep wrinkle to the Before, they used to come in every six looking into the matter further. The NYPD contentious and seemingly unending months, every four months, and now they said it needed to examine specific inciWillets Point saga; the NYPD, allege come every day.” dents before responding. Willets Point denizens, is staging a “camReach Reporter Ross Barkan at Rodrigo Arias, an auto repair shop paign of terror” against Hispanic migrant owner at Willets Point, said he was ar- rbarkan@queenstribune.com or (718) 357workers in an attempt to chase away work- rested back in September for not having 7400, Ext. 127.

Police Blotter Compiled by JASON PAFUNDI

100th Precinct Female Shot

to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

103rd Precinct

106th Precinct Robbers Wanted The NYPD is searching for information in identifying two individuals wanted in connection with a burglary on Thursday, Feb. 2. According to police, the two suspects entered a residence located at 107-12 125th St. between 2 and 7 p.m. and removed cash, jewelry and electronics. They then fled the scene. Both men are described as being either black or Hispanic. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Man Killed On Sunday, Feb. 12, at 4:05 a.m., police responded to a 911 call of a motor vehicle accident on the eastbound side of South Conduit Boulevard just east of Linden Boulevard. Police determined that Darren Green, a 41-year-old from Jamaica, was driving a 2006 white Lincoln Town Car when it

struck a utility pole while traveling eastbound of South Conduit Boulevard. According to police, Green was ejected from the vehicle as a result of the crash. EMS also responded to the location and transported the victim to Brookdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead. There is no apparent criminality suspected and the investigation is ongoing.

108th Precinct Man Arrested On Monday, Feb. 6, members of the Internal Affairs Bureau arrested 32-yearold Warren Taylor, of Bushkill, N.J., following an ongoing investigation for criminal impersonation of a police officer. According to police, during January and February of this year, the suspect, while driving a red 2010 Nissan Maxima, would approach prostitutes and identify himself as a police officer. The suspect would then threaten the females with arrests if they did not perform sexual acts for free. There were a total of four incidents during the time period, and in one instance, the suspect assaulted a female by striking her in the face. Taylor was charged with criminal impersonation of a police officer, criminal sex act, patronizing a prostitute, assault, forcible touching and kidnapping.

Feb. 17-23, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 17

On Feb. 13 at approximately 1:35 p.m., police responded to a 911 call of a person shot at 320 Beach 100th St. Upon arrival police discovered the vic- Man Killed tim, a 21-year-old black female, who was On Monday, Feb. 13, at approximately shot once in the head. EMS responded 6 p.m., police responded to a 911 call and transported the victim to Jamaica reporting a man shot in front of 204-13 Hospital where she is listed in critical but Hollis Ave. stable condition. No arrests have been Upon arrival, officers discovered the made and the investigation is ongoing. victim, 30-year-old Jerry Lodvill of JaThe NYPD is asking for the public’s as- maica, shot multiple times. EMS also resistance in locating the following suspect sponded to the scene and transported the wanted for questioning in victim to Jamaica Hosregards to this incident. pital where he was later The suspect, pronounced dead. Michael McBride, 52, No arrests have been 320 Beach 100th St., is made and the investigadescribed as being 6tion in ongoing. feet tall and weighing Anyone with infor220 pounds. He has mation regarding this brown eyes. incident is asked to call Anyone with inforCrime Stoppers at 1mation in regards to this 800-577-TIPS (8477). incident is asked to call The public can also subCrime Stoppers at 1mit their tips by logging 800-577-TIPS (8477). onto the Crime StopThe public can also subpers website at mit their tips by logging nypdcrimestoppers.com onto the Crime Stopor by texting their tips pers website at to 274637 (CRIMES) nypdcrimestoppers.com and then entering Michael McBride or by texting their tips TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.


Faith

Church Seeks To End Hollis Blight BY VERONICA LEWIN Though most of the attention has been taken off of Occupy Wall Street, its effects can still be seen. The protestors in Zuccotti Park caused communities to look inward and see what they can do to help the 99 percent. The Hollis Presbyterian Church, located at 100-50 196th St., held its second meeting of the 99 Percent Club on Wednesday evening. The meeting focused on what the Rev. Mark Chapman called “terrible blight” on Hollis Avenue. A YouTube video created by the club shows viewers how abandoned buildings can change the reputation of a neighborhood. The video begins with two women standing near the corner of Hollis Avenue and 204th Street. Just a few steps away are six buildings, with five of them unoccupied. The vacant buildings have graffiti, broken windows, boarded front doors and deteriorating concrete steps. The YouTube video has been posted since Jan. 25 and has around 850 views. The twominute video captured the attention of Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), who was invited to attend Wednesday’s meeting. The plethora of vacant buildings is troubling because they are located in what

The Hollis Presbyterian Church has been in the community since 1922 and has strived to improve Hollis. should be a desirable area. Hollis Avenue is a main thoroughfare and the boarded up buildings are down the street from the Queens Library Hollis Branch. Chapman said the area has a lot of foot traffic and it is time to finally fix the problem. He said the woman who owns the buildings owns “quite a bit” of property, but all of her buildings in Hollis have been left to fall apart. Chapman hopes enlightening the community about those five vacant buildings will push her to develop them. If not, the 99 Percent Club would like to see the owner sell the property to someone who will do something to improve the community. Ideally, the church group would like to

see low- and moderate-income housing Malcolm X. The guest speaker will be put in the empty buildings on Hollis Av- 107.5 WBLS host Gary Bird, who edited a book on Malcolm X. The disenue. “We have a great need for cussion will be held from 1 to 4 affordable housing,” he said. If p.m. at the church. Chapman housing is out of the question, a said a panel is planned for April community center for the chilto address the images of black dren who frequently pass by manhood in pop culture and the would be a reasonable alternamedia. Both events are aimed tive. towards bringing attention to Chapman said the club is curthe issues facing young males in rently brainstorming other ways the community. the buildings could be utilized. The Rev. Mark Reach Reporter Veronica “We’re going to continue to raise Chapman Lewin at vlewin@queenspress.com the issue of those abandoned or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123. buildings,” he said. The Hollis Presbyterian Church is celebrating its 90th anniversary in the community this year. Chapman and his small congregation have been trying to do what they can to improve the neighborhood. “It’s an effort on the part of our church to become more deeply involved in the com“One should not stand at munity,” he said. Some of the church’s projects include trying to save Jamaica the foot of a sick High School and improving the lives of black men in Southeast Queens. Chapman person’s bed, because hopes to improve the community by colthat place is reserved for laborating with other churches, businesses and business improvement districts that the guardian angel.” share the same goal. - Jewish Folk Saying On Feb. 25, the church is hosting a discussion on the life and legacy of

Word

Notebook Appreciation Breakfast

Parent Liaisons Honored By Senator

staff, parents and the community. Reach Reporter Veronica Lewin at vlewin@queenspress.com or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123.

Junior Knicks League:

Photo courtesy of Healthfirst.

Page 18 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 17-23, 2012

fering low- to no-cost healthcare in schools. The organization said they recognize the tremendous contribution Parent Coordinators provide to faculty,

PRESS Photo by Veronica Lewin

with a certificate of appreciation. She said she honored them for their dedication to Parent coordinators are often the miss- increase the quality of education for stuing link between school administration dents in Districts 27 through 29. Many and parents. While the job requires them Parent Coordinators work countless hours to stay busy making sure students are suc- and volunteer their time for the students ceeding, parent coordinators were asked and parents. Nearly 100 people filled the to slow down so their efforts could be rec- York College Faculty Dining Room at last ognized. Friday’s appreciation breakfast. The senaState Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica) tor said the annual breakfast has become hosted a Parent Coordinator Apprecia- something people look forward to. tion Breakfast on Feb. 10 at York Col“It makes me very happy to see how lege. She honored parent coordinators in people come together because we need her district and presented each of them to do more of that,” Huntley said. “It helps the children by them being involved.” Ten years ago, Mayor Mike Bloomberg created the role of parent coordinator to ensure there was someone in the school directly responsible for supporting families. Since then, many parents have come to rely on parent coordinators to get the most up-to-date information on what is happening in their child’s school. The senator partnered with State Sen. Shirley Huntley poses with parent coordina- Healthfirst and TD Bank for last Friday’s event. Healthfirst tors after they receive their certificates. plays a role in education by ofBY VERONICA LEWIN

Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) attended the first basketball game of the Jr. Knicks league Feb. 10. Elementary school P.S. 40 traveled to play P.S. 48 at their brand new school. District 28 schools will play each other once a week, with the season culminating in a championship game. Wills partnered with the Jamaica YMCA, which helped supply uniforms and equipment for the Jr. Knicks league.


Profile

Institute Helps People Start Over BY VERONICA LEWIN Sheila Flynn said it was her destiny to open a school to help people get back on their feet. Because she was passionate about opening a school, she never gave up on her goal despite being denied nearly 30 times for a state license. Each denial increased her fervor, which finally paid off when the New Life Business Institute held its first class in 2004. “Anyone else would have given up,” she said. The New Life Business Institute, located at 161-10 Jamaica Ave. in downtown Jamaica, specializes in medical billing and medical office administration. The school’s mission is to provide selfsufficiency and economic independence to communities in need. After a car accident left Flynn looking for a change in career, her doctor suggested that she learned medical billing. He came to her house with a computer and software, and two hours later, she was ready to freelance. Being a medical billing specialist turned out to be a lucrative career for Flynn, since she was doing medical billing for 10 doctors. While Flynn enjoyed her newfound career, she wanted more. She wanted to be able to help people.

The Freeport native came up with the any other school that just collects tuidea to start a school in Nassau County, ition,” she said. Some of her best students were hired but eventually ran into red tape. She said she had a difficult time getting people by Flynn to help continue the tradition on board for a school that would help of the budding school. Shanee Brown is people such as domestic violence vic- a domestic violence survivor who found tims and formerly incarcerated people herself homeless and did not know where to turn. She found the better their lives. “It was Jamaica school and dehard thing to face that cided to enroll in prejudice still exists,” classes. While she was a she said. student, Flynn helped Despite this, Flynn her with housing, instill taught people free of creasing her chances of charge. When the self-sufficiency after school moved to graduation. Brown was Queens, students received scholarships to —Sheila Flynn, surprised by her job when she attend New Life BusiFounder of New Life placement graduated in August ness Institute at no cost to them. Flynn prides Business Institute 2010. “She saw something in me and wound herself on being able to up hiring me here,” she supply students with free business attire and a job when they gradu- said. Brown added that Flynn did whatate. She said every one of her graduates ever she could to help her succeed and landed a job making at least $15 an hour. without her she would probably be homeIf possible, Flynn, known by her students less or in jail. After Marcia Finley got a divorce in as ‘Ms. Sheila,’ secures a job for a student before they even walk the stage. 2008, she found herself a single mom She attributes the school’s success to the with three kids. After being laid off, she individualized attention each student re- was looking for a career change. She did ceives. not have a lot of money at the time, but “We care. We don’t want to be like was able to attend the institute in 2009

“We care. We don’t want to be like any other school that just collects tuition.”

for free. She said Flynn always gives the best advice and pushed her to move forward despite her adverse situations. She is grateful for the opportunity to give back to Flynn by being an employee at the school. “I dedicate myself so much to her and her school,” Finley said. She added working at the school allowed her to be a good example to her children. The shortest program at the New Life Business Institute is 12 weeks. Twice a year, the school holds a graduation ceremony at the Black Spectrum Theater. Graduates get the chance to don a cap and gown and cross the stage, something Flynn said was a first for many of her students. Reach Reporter Veronica Lewin at vlewin@queenspress.com or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123.

Got a Profile? Send a photo with background and contact information to: PRESS of Southeast Queens 150-50 14th Rd. Whitestone, NY 11357 All announcements will be considered for publication without fee.

People Local students were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2011 semester at SUNY Cortland. They include: Astoria: John Ntzelves. Bayside: Jeanie Lam, Norgan Sapolsky, Rachel Wylie. Fresh Meadows: Angela Nigoghossian. Jamaica: Imani Sinclair. Little Neck: Samantha Ward. Middle Village: Aloysius Grogan, Lauren Hagen. Ozone Park: Rosemarie Tibball. Woodside: Daniel O’Brien.

The New York Lottery announced the names of area Lottery players who claimed a winning ticket from one of the Lottery’s live drawings Feb. 5-11. The following winners each received a cash prize valued at $10,000 or more.

Local students were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2011 semester at the University of Albany. They include: Cambria Heights: Sophonie Excellent, Altagrace Richiez, Simone Tavernier. Hollis: Marie Dallemond. Jamaica: Syed Pallab, Oluwatobi Ajirotutu, Fabienne Lamarre, Simone Arthur, Tenaya McDaniel, Seun Omotosho, Kevin Riley, Tiara Sanders, Tolulope Bamwo. Rosedale: Alyssa Alexander, Adeyemi

Ojudun, Geraldine Paul, Christina Vega, Tieisha Walters, Arianne Watson, Kristopher Wilson. Saint Albans: Natasha Cooper, Amadin Enobakhare, Karyn Pygatt, Thea Reid. South Ozone Park: Greg Halls. Springfield Gardens: Montee Tarpeh, Frances Uwechue, Fan Xia. Marie Edwards of Laurelton, a student at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ, has been inducted to the Phi Omega Epsilon senior honor society for the spring 2012 semester. Local students earned honors for the fall 2011 semester at SUNY Canton. They include: Rochelle Carter of Jamaica was named to the Dean’s List. Inez S. Cofield of Springfield Gardens was named to the Dean’s List. Brittany L. Johnson of Springfield Gardens was named to the Dean’s List. Abu Kamara of Jamaica was named to the Dean’s List. Adair C. Maxwell of Jamaica earned part-time honors. Adriana A. McFarlane of St. Albans was named to the Dean’s List. Terome S. Parham of Rosedale was named to the Dean’s List. Army Spec. Qaasim I. Jenkins has been decorated with the Army Achievement Medal, which is awarded to members of the US Armed Forces who have distin-

guished themselves by meritorious service or achievement while serving. Jenkins is the son of Yvonne Marie Jenkins of Hollis. Local students were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2011 semester at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ. They include: Cambria Heights: Ajah HawleyAlexander. Jamaica: Ronella Rodney. St. Albans: Gefferson Henriquez. Ashley Davis and Janice Timkee-Barrow of Cambria Heights qualified for the Honors List for the fall 2011 semester at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ. Local students were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2011 semester at Marist College in Poughkeepsie. They include: Laurelton: Brandon Brooks. Jamaica: John Lu. St. Albans: Alisha LaHogue. Army Private Latochia Carmichael has graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla. During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission and received instruction and training exercises. She is the daughter of Jennifer Carmichael and is a 2010 graduate of August Martin High School in Jamaica.

Feb. 17-23, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 19

The New York Lottery announced the names of area Lottery players who claimed a winning scratch-off ticket Feb. 5-11 and received a cash prize valued at $10,000 or more. The winners include: Neal Weathers of Jamaica won $10,000 on the Make-A-Cashword scratch-off game. Weathers winning ticket was purchased at Hari Om Hillside, 17829 Hillside Ave., Jamaica. Brenda Burwell of Queens Village won $25,000 on the Magic 8 Ball scratch-off game. Burwell’s winning ticket was purchased at the 206-16 Hollis Ave Food in Queens Village.

Michael Forgione of Ozone Park won $19,703 on the Take Five drawing Feb. 4. Forgione’s winning ticket was purchased at the Fortune Hut, 76-11 101st Ave., Ozone Park. Jiangshan Lin of Flushing won $10,000 on the Powerball drawing Feb. 1. Lin’s winning ticket was purchased at the Monalisa Wine And Liquor at 3490 Broadway in New York. Deborah Torruellas of Laurelton won $45,101 on the Take Five drawing feb. 3. Torruellas’ winning ticket was purchased at Excellent Enterprises in New York. Joseph Bertorelli of Astoria won $10,000 on the Mega Millions drawing Jan. 31. Bertorelli’s winning ticket was purchased at Blue Mood Food, 32-04 30th Ave., Astoria. Chatchavarn Purkosesa of Jamaica won $10,000 on the Mega Millions drawing Feb. 7. Purkosesa’s winning ticket was purchased at Hilltop Grocery of NY, 87-54 Parsons Blvd., Jamaica.


pix

I Do

Ballin’

Photo by Ira Cohen

Southeast Queens Events Edited By Harley Benson

Be Mine On Feb. 11, State Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica) visited and presented Valentine’s Day gifts and flowers to several female veterans at the State Veterans Nursing Home at the St. Albans Veterans Hospital. Rosaria Cracchiolo (Air Force-WWII), Mana Dejesus (Army-Vietnam), and Karen Mast (Air Force-WWII) all received roses, candy, cards, letters, balloons, and gift bags.

Harlem Globetrotters Legend Curly Neal tests out the basketball skills of a young visitor to the New York Hall of Science as part of a special event called “The Science of Basketball.”

Robert Schreibman of Forest Hills shared the story of his marriage to his late wife of 66 years, Marjorie, at an event at LIJ Medical Center on Valentine’s Day. Schreibman was one of six people who took part in a writing project detailing enduring marriages.

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• Pruning • Stump Grinding • Planting • City Permits Obtained • Prompt Storm Service 149-57 Beech Ave. • Flushing New York 11355 Ph: 718-463-7829 Cell: 917-337-4062

Plumbing/Heat

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Maurice Muir (l.) is being sworn in Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) as third vice chair of Community Board 12. An election was held Wednesday night at CB 12’s monthly meeting. Muir beat Education Committee Chair Adrienne Adams by just three votes to win the election.


Unlike many models, Alezia didn’t get her first break as an independent gal striking out on her own. No, she had a whole team behind her. “I’ve been modeling for a while now,” she said. “When I was 16 I was on a modeling team in high school. We did shows, we went to a competition in Washington, D.C.” This was, as you might imagine, not in New York. Though Alezia is Queens born and raised, she did go to high school in Maryland, but then came back home to Hollis. Having worked on a temp project recently at a law office, Alezia is now devoting herself fulltime to focus on the modeling – and music. “I’ve been traveling back and forth to a family music studio in Connecticut,” she said, and spending a great deal of time writing music and lyrics. “That’s what I do most of the time; I write, and that’s about it,” she said. Oh, and she has a “bad habit” of shopping. Though she admittedly doesn’t spend much time in her home borough, when she does, it’s usually to head out to a neighborhood restaurant or spend some time in the park. “I’m a very energetic person – high-spirited and trying to make it,” she said.

Models Of Queens

Alezia Session Home: Hollis Age: 20 Height: 5’ 8" Weight: 112 lbs Stats: 32-24-28

Pitching Powerball is Ozone Park songstress Cyndi Lauper

Powerball's Cyndi Lauper Good stereo systems are expensive, but a new Powerball ad tells you if you win the lottery, you don’t even need one. The ad shows a woman relaxing on her seemingly middle class couch flipping through some of Ozone Park native’s Cyndi Lauper’s hit songs on what is presumably her stereo: “Time After Time,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “True Colors” included. She ultimately decides to take a nap instead. The shot then cuts to Cyndi

Pop-Up Catch-Up goodies made by Astoria natives.

Some savvy Astoria business owners have found a clever way to avoid pesky commercial rent, and keep you from wanting a WalMart. Almost like a commercial flash mob, “pop up stores” have been…well…popping up all over the borough, sharing space with already existing commercial properties. Last week, the “We Love Astoria” Pop Up Market opened on folding tables at the Time Café, 44-18 Broadway, selling, among other things, trinkets and other

Page 22 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 17-23, 2012

Time For Spell Check At P.S. 201 in Flushing, teaching students how to spell the words “gun” and “rob” is apparently part of the curriculum. Which is a bit odd, considering the increased concern parents are showing about gun violence throughout Queens and the U.S. According to NY1, a 5-year-old brought home a spelling sheet for homework with those two words on it, in addition to a picture of a robber running with a gun and a bag of money. From the worksheet used by Perhaps the teacher wanted to in5 year-olds in P.S. 201Q still the message that if you do rob a bank, make sure you do not walk away, but “R”-”U”-”N” run. While it is somewhat suspect that the teacher chose the strange worksheet to send home, it appears to be equally strange that some educational company produced it and it is ordered and used by our schools. When someone sits and creates a spelling worksheet for 5-year-olds, do they really think that the words “gun” and “rob” are essential words to learn? If children are being taught how to be criminals in elementary school, imagine what they will learn in high school.

“They’re becoming popular because people like to feel they’re buying from somebody and not from a big department store,” one of the organizers of the We Love Astoria market told the Daily News. This gives an entirely new meaning to the term one-day sale. But we can’t help but wonder, haven’t these existed for decades in Manhattan on sidewalks selling books, hats and abstract paintings of New York City landmarks. A little late to the game guys.

herself and her band playing in her living room and the woman telling her to take a break while she snoozes, to which Cyndi responds in her trademark Queens; “seereeeuslee.” The message: win the lottery, have a Queens-bred musician perform for you in your own home. The jackpot grows quickly and the winner may be able to afford a home concert from Cyndi, 50-Cent and Simon and Garfunkel with the spirit of Louis Armstrong playing an interlude on the trumpet.

Dapper's Grandkid

Gotti's Grandson Carmine Agnello, Jr.

Confidentially, New York . . .

Carmine Agnello Jr., grandson of the late Queens mob boss John Gotti, was arrested recently for allegedly driving with tinted windows and a suspended license. Police stopped Agnello in Queens when they noticed the car he was driving was missing the front plate and discovered that he was allegedly driving on a suspended licence. He was arrested and taken to the 103rd precinct in Jamaica. Agnello, with his mom Victoria and brothers Frank and John was the subject of the A&E reality television series Growing Up Gotti. The head of the Gambino crime family was convicted of 13 murders in 1992, and was sentenced to life in prison. He died there in 2002. We await the release of a biopic with John Travolta and Al Pacino chronicling the Gotti family.

Bake Sale Eighth grade is a crazy time. Bake sales are not supposed to be a part of that crazy time. But one eighth grader at IS 208 in Bellerose sold marijuana-laced brownies to unwitting (and witting) students. They were $3 each, or two for $5, a great deal considering, well, the magical after effects. A student apparently tipped off the dean about the brownies. He wasn’t quite ready for High School.


What’s Up SATURDAY, FEB. 18 Walkers For Wellness Club Looking for a fun way to improve your health? Join the Walkers for Wellness Club at New Hope Lutheran Church of Jamaica. Under the guidance of a Walking Leader, you will walk two to three times each week at a comfortable pace with others along routes throughout Southeast Queens. The club is open to walkers of all ages and abilities. The walking schedule is Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m., and Saturdays at 8 a.m. Walkers meet at New Hope Lutheran Church, located at 167-24 118th Ave. T-shirts and pedometers will be provided. Contact Thurkessa Brown at (917) 553-1089 for more information.

Enrichment Classes The Queens Baptist Church is offering free reading and math enrichment classes every Saturday. Stop by the church and ask for Barbara Montgomery or Linda Day to register, or call (718) 465-2504. This free event will be held at the Queens Baptist Church, 93-23 217th St., from 10 a.m. to noon.

Hands-On History The King Manor Museum’s Hands-on History workshops are free drop-in programs designed for families with children. Rufus King loved making his house beautiful! Learn about architecture and the way houses were built hundreds of years ago. Enjoy crafts and stories about old houses and imagine what it must be like to live in one. This free event will be held at King Manor Museum - Rufus King Park, from noon to 3 p.m.

Sweet Sounds of Great Pianists The Ken Simon Quartet brings the sounds of America’s great pianist center stage in this performance and discussion of the music they made great. Hear the music of Count Basie, Errol Garner, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, and McCoy Tyner. This free event will be held at Queensborough Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., at 3 p.m.

This event will be held at Black Spectrum Theatre - 177th Street and Baisley Boulevard, at 8 p.m.

SUNDAY, FEB. 19 Frantz Fanon The National Association of Kwaida Organizations (NAKO) is pleased to present a film showing and discussion on Frantz Fanon. Frantz Fanon (July 20, 1925 – December 6, 1961) was a Martiniquo psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary and writer whose work is influential in the fields of post-colonial studies, critical theory and Marxism. Fanon is known as a radical existential humanist thinker on the issue of decolonization and the psychopathology of colonization. This free event will be held at Afrikan Poetry Theatre, 176-03 Jamaica Ave., from 3 to 5 p.m.

MONDAY, FEB. 20 Happy President’s Day! TUESDAY, FEB. 21 Walkers For Wellness Club See Tuesday’s listing. At 7 p.m.

Create an Email Account In this single-session workshop, customers will learn how to set up/open their own e-mail account. Must possess basic mouse and keyboarding skills. Classes are offered on Wednesday mornings (10:00 a.m.) and Tuesday evenings (6:00 p.m.) Preregistration is required in person at the Cyber Center Desk. For details, please call (718) 990-0769. This free event will be held at Queensborough Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., at 6 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 22 Picture Book Storytime Enjoy picture books, stories, songs, finger plays and crafts with your toddler. Recommended for ages 18 months-preschool. This free event will be held at the Queens Library Rosedale Branch, 144-20 243 St., at 10:30 a.m.

Before They Die!

The Tragedy of Tupac Was Tupac Shakur a hero or a thug? You might not ever know if you don’t see “The Tragedy of Tupac or Who Shot Me?” This play was written by George Carroll and Christina Tyler. Admission is $25 or $20 with a college ID.

Mock Interviews Are you ready for your next job interview? Participants will learn about; how and what to research before the interview, what to expect in an interview, answering some tough questions, and what to do after the interview. To register, please call (718) 9905102 or visit the Job Information Center. This free event will be held at Queensborough Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., at 10:30 a.m.

Computer Basics for Older Adults In this two-session workshop, customers will learn the basics about the computer, the keyboard and mouse and the Internet. Registration is required in advance at the Cyber Center Desk. For details, please call (718) 990-0769. This free event will be held at Queensborough Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

THURSDAY, FEB. 23 Walkers For Wellness Club

Social Media for Beginners Get an overview of and create accounts on today’s most popular online communities. This month’s class will give a tutorial of Facebook. You must have basic computer skills and an email account. Preregistration and a library card are required. To register, call (718) 990-8501 or email socialmedia@queenslibrary.org. This free event will be held at Queensborough Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., at 10:30 a.m.

Blood and Bone Marrow Drive In honor of Black History Month, a blood and bone marrow drive will be held at York College. Twenty-four percent of people who receive blood in the Greater New York area are black, yet blacks make up just 8 percent of blood donors. Just a small portion of your bone marrow can be used to save a life. Blood and bone marrow are best matched when the donor and recipient are from the same ethnic background. You could save a life. The event will be held at the York College Atrium. For more information, call (718) 262-2286. Donors are required to bring a valid photo ID with a signature on it. Donors must be between 16 and 76 years old and weight at least 110 lbs. People are encourage to eat and drink plenty of fluids ahead of time. Those with tattoos less than a year old are not eligible to donate. This free event will be held at 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd. from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Laptops For Students Laptops are available Monday through Thursday for teens and children to use from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on a first come, first serve basis. For more information, call (718) 528-2822. This free event will be held at the Queens Library Laurelton Branch, 134-26 225 St. from 3 to 5 p.m.

Entrepreneurial Thursdays The Financial Ministry of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York is hosting six workshops focusing on entrepreneurship/small business owners and individuals looking to start a business. This final workshop will focus on lending. A few micro lenders will discuss how to obtain financing, what line items are reviewed on tax returns, financials required to obtain financing, and how personal credit and assets affect your ability to obtain a loan. Hosted by representatives of TD Bank. At the end of these workshops you will have viable, useful tools and information to start and grow your business. For additional information, call (718) 206-4600 Ext. 3104. This free event will be held at Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York 110-31 Merrick Blvd. from 7 to 9 p.m.

FRIDAY, FEB. 24 Outreach and Assistance Are you a young woman 17-24 years of age and need assistance in applying for housing, completing college applications, financial aid or just need assistance and don’t know where to turn? The Daughters of Isis Foundation is available for support! Contact the foundation for information or

to schedule an appointment. For additional information, visit www.thedaughtersofisisfoundation.org, call Simone Williams at (347) 731-1721 or email isis.staff@gmail.com. This free event will be held on the second floor of the Young Queens Loft, 14814 Liberty Ave., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

APT Art Exhibit Opening The Afrikan Poetry Theatre is pleased to present the work of Samantha and her wide range of oil paintings, acrylics and charcoals. The evening will also feature poets and an open mic reading. The evening will also feature a wine and cheese reception. This free event will be held at Afrikan Poetry Theatre, 176-03 Jamaica Ave., at 7:30 p.m.

ONGOING Job Club The Jamaica Neighborhood Center offers a free service to assist people from Southeast Queens with job-readiness skill sets in writing a professional resume and cover letter; interviewing practices and techniques; applying on-line procedures; elevator pitch and Microsoft Suite 2007. For additional information, contact Ethan Chazin, Job Coach, at (718) 7392060, Ext. 18 or echazin67@gmail.com. This free event will be held at the Jamaica Neighborhood Center - 161-06 89th Ave. Services are available Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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

CPR Class Learn to protect yourself and others at Heron Care with a CPR class that includes a certification from the American Heart Association. Please call (718) 291-8788 for more details. Heron is located at 16830 89th Ave., Jamaica.

Feb. 17-23, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 23

JPAC will feature the documentary “Before They Die” in honor of black history month. Filmmaker Reggie Turner will present his documentary about the riot in Tulsa Oklahoma. The film chronicles the actions of May 31, 1921 and the Journey for Justice waged by the survivors since 2002. The screening will feature Mr. Turner in a Q&A. The schedule for the evening is as follows: 6 to 7:30 pm: film screening; 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Q&A; 8:30 to 9 p.m.: Reception. For additional information, contact the box office at jpac@jcal.org or (718) 618-6170. This event is presented in collaboration with Queens Library’s Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center. This free event will be held at Jamaica Performing Arts Center - 153-10 Jamaica Ave., from 6 to 9 p.m.

See Saturday’s listing. At 7 p.m.


We Treat You Like Family. Ridgewood Savings Bank is proud to celebrate Black History Month. We join in celebrating the contributions of black men and women in every area of endeavor in our nation’s history.

We believe that banking is not only the interest

As a true community bank, we remain dedicated to not only brightening the path of banking, but also enhancing the true meaning of caring for others.

our communities. We don’t think globally, we think

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from deposits or the interest on loans, but more importantly, the interest we devote to supporting locally. At Ridgewood Savings Bank, we don’t treat you like a stranger, we treat you like family.

Southeast Queens Press Epaper  

Southeast Queens Press Epaper 021712

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