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Volume 13 Issue No. 8 Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012


PRESS Photo by Ira Cohen


After a months-long battle to save the Rosedale Post Office from closure, the U.S. Postal Service announced this week that the branch will not be shuttered. By Veronica Lewin…Page 3.

Online at

News Briefs Casino Hosts Jazz Exhibit Resorts World Casino New York City is hosting an exhibit featuring jazz musicians who called Queens home, along with artwork depicting the creativity of jazz music that has affected Queens and the world. The exhibit, located in the Times Square Casino Atrium, runs through March 3. The Times Square Casino Atrium is adorned with photos of several jazz legends who have made a lasting effect on the borough, including Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and Billie Holiday. Alongside these portraits, there is also a full-color, illustrated map of the famous Queens Jazz Trail. Contemporary art from some of New York’s finest African American artists is on display as well. Work from artists such as Frank Frazier, Brent Bailer, Willie Torbert, and Sir Shadow reflects the African American experience as well as the impact of African American art throughout New York City. The prints came courtesy of the Louis Armstrong Museum and Queens College, while the fine art and photographs are provided through Galleria Noire. This celebration of African American History Month at Resorts World Casino New York is sponsored by several local organizations, including the Council for Airport Opportunity (CAO) in partnership with Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL), Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC),York College, Flushing Town Hall and Flushing Council on Culture and Arts.

Page 2 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012

Families Rally Against Beacon Closure The kids almost got too carried away. Their protests to save their Beacon nearly led them to the street, and away from the politicians and civic leaders who needed them for their cause. The rally was nearly out of control, and Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) did not want it that way. He and the other elected officials gathered around him to make their point as succinctly as they could: the Parsons Beacon Community Center must be saved. Calling this the “first salvo” in an effort between now and the end of the City Council budgeting process to save Beacons, Gennaro was joined by Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (D-Flushing), Assemblyman Rory Lancman (DHillcrest), and State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing). Beacons are public after school programs under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Youth and Community Development. They feature literacy programs, tutoring and college prep classes, and athletics, among other services. Beacons also offer adult programs in parental skills, familial relations, tenant advocacy, and classes for English-language learners. Beacons were created during Mayor David Dinkins’ tenure in the early 1990s as a remedy against increasing crime and violence, especially among the City’s youth. The City has targeted 16 Beacons for closure. Of the 16 targeted, seven could be closed by July. Queens houses seven of the targeted Beacons. The DYCD’s 2013 budget will shrink from $39.1 million the year before to $34.4, according Heriberto Barbot, chief of staff of DYCD.

“I love the Beacon programs because they recognize that our commitment to our young people in particular and their development isn’t just nine to three during the school day,” Lancman, once the chair of Community Board 8’s Youth Committee, said. CB 8’s current Youth Chair, Marc Haken, as well as Ken Cohen, president of the Flushing Suburban Civic Association, also rallied along with the politicians, Beacon leaders, students, and parents. “The Beacon is like my home,” said Karim Ahmed, an eighth grader who attends the Parsons Beacon. “My parents are always working. It’s also great for learning English, I go there to improve my skills.”

Pol Calls For Intersection Redesign The strange Y-shaped intersection of 88th Street and 153rd Avenue in Lindenwood looks more like a page on a driver’s test. Scattered around the converging roadways are signs straight off the test page; yield, stop, one way, merge ahead. The roads meet at a right angle, but the intersection, situated in the valley between Lindenwood’s trademark seven-story apartment buildings, also allows traffic heading south on 88th Street to merge west onto 153rd Avenue without stopping, and allows the same for traffic heading east on 153rd Avenue when merging south on 88th Street. The merging lanes are separated from the actual intersection by triangular-shaped striped medians that residents say are sometimes ignored by drivers. “I’ve seen cars drive right over [the medians], especially late at night on the weekends,” said one resident who lives in an apartment overlooking the intersection; though she admits she’s never seen an accident there. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Far Rockaway) has pushed the Dept. of Transportation to redesign the interchange he calls a hazard for pedestrians. The community has a large population of elderly residents who have to cross the intersection to access the main shopping center a block away. There is only one crosswalk, along the north side of the intersection on 88th Street. There is no stop sign along 88th Street at the intersection, just signs warning of crossing pedestrians. “This intersection is a constant danger and eyesore for the community,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “Our families should not have to deal with unsafe conditions as they go about their daily lives. The intersection creates a dangerous environment for motorists and pedestrians alike.” Goldfeder suggested redesigning the intersection as a traffic circle or adding actual medians where the painted medians exist now, a project he said could be coordinated with the Parks Dept. to create green space. DOT said the intersection is normalized and has no record of being dangerous. A DOT survey showed the intersection, which is not very busy, recorded no accidents or injuries in a four year period between 2006 and 2010. But Goldfeder said he wanted a change at the intersection before something bad happens.


spurred anger from affected communities and caused them to take action. Since last Thanks to the vocal opposition of resi- summer, four borough post offices have dents and elected officials alike, the been saved, including the Arverne and Rosedale Post Office will remain open. Rosedale branches. “This is truly an example of citizen Councilman James Sanders (DLaurelton) announced Wednesday that government, democracy at its best, doing the branch, located at 145-06 243rd St., is what our founders intended,” the councilno longer in danger of closing. This past man said. “Let this send a message not summer, the federal government an- only to the United States Postal Service, nounced it would consider closing 3,700 but to people everywhere: you do have a post offices across the country due to a voice, and your voice can make a differloss of revenue and financial troubles. ence.” Thirty-five branches in the City were on Sanders partnered with the Rosedale the chopping block, including four in Civic Association to hold several rallies last Southeast Queens. The announcement summer in an attempt to save the post office. In a neighborhood where so many people walk to get where they need to go, residents argued it was unrealistic for them to travel to another branch in Southeast Queens to take care of their mailing needs, especially during the busy holiday season and winter months. According to the councilman, the area surrounding the post office was filled with boarded up buildings and vacant properties in the 1980’s. Now, the area on 243rd Street is bustling with businesses that many of the residents The Rosedale Post Office will remain open to serve the depend on. Sanders worried closcommunity. ing the Rosedale post office

PRESS Photo by Ira Cohen


PRESS Photo by Veronica Lewin

Rosedale Residents Save Post Office

Councilman James Sanders Jr. (c.) stands outside of the Rosedale Post Office last August encouraging residents to keep fighting to save their post office from closing. would put the neighborhood at risk to seeing boarded up buildings once again. Sanders was also concerned about the older residents in his district. “Our residents trend older and aren’t necessarily all tuned into email, text messaging, and all the gadgetry of modern life. Our community still depends on the postal service, and uses it daily,” Sanders said. He added closing the Rosedale branch would have been a “grave mistake” for the community.

Despite saving four branches in Queens, the borough still faces a great loss. State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Whitestone) announced Wednesday night that the College Point processing and distribution center will be closed. Mail will now be sorted in Brooklyn and the borough will lose more than 1,000 jobs. Reach Reporter Veronica Lewin at or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123.

Pol Pushes For Affordable College as elementary and high school education. “The key to making college affordable for students is keeping the tuition increases reasonable and not excessive as it compares to the cost-of-living increases in the rest of the economy and making sure kids have the opportunity to pay for tuition in a way that is not going to saddle them in their college career,” Lancman said. Reach Reporter Ross Barkan at or (718) 3577400, Ext. 127.

Assemblyman Rory Lancman

PS 118 Teachers Picket in Bayside


Three weeks since the protest on the steps of PS 118, the fight continues to oust Principal Cynthia Ofori-Feaster. This time, parents and teachers took their complaints to Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott himself. Faculty, staff and parents of the St. Albans school picketed outside of MS 74 on Feb. 15 during the District 26 Town Hall meeting. Walcott, a Queens native, came to Bayside to discuss school closures in the borough. PS 118 parents took it as an opportunity to voice their long-ignored concerns to the head of public schools. For the past two years, teachers and parents have pleaded to the DOE to fire Ofori Feaster. Teachers have sent several

letters to Walcott, including one sent Jan. 16, 11 days before the first protest. During the 2008-09 school year, PS 118 earned an “A” on its Progress Report. Since Ofori-Feaster took over the St. Albans school two and a half years ago, the grade has been a stagnant “C.” Parents, teachers and staff blame the principal’s intimidation tactics as the reason for the elementary school’s decline. They allege OforiFeaster fired a teacher in front of the elementary school students. Despite the plunge in performance, the fight continues. “It is very hard for us to do our job and to create the progress our students need when we have a leader who is unprofessional and whose decisions are erratic and irrational,” the letter states. Teachers were

hesitant to speak on the record for fear of retaliation by Ofori-Feaster. PTA President Jasmin Farrier organized the Jan. 27 protest on the steps of the school. Farrier, who has two children at the school, said Ofori-Feaster ended a reading and writing workshop and took away new materials from teachers, forcing them to use outdated materials. During last month’s protest, DOE officials met with school administration and union leaders to aid their investigation of Ofori-Feaster. Parents were then invited inside to voice their concerns to the DOE. Still, the DOE’s investigation is ongoing and no decisions have been made yet. Reach Reporter Veronica Lewin at or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123.

Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 3

Assemblyman Rory Lancman (DHillcrest), who last week announced he was interested in challenging Congressman Bob Turner (R-Middle Village) for his 9th district seat, continued to focus on Washington by calling on Congress to pass college affordability measures in President Barack Obama’s budget. Lancman’s announcement occurred on the campus of Queens College, his alma mater, which like all CUNYs and SUNYs is experiencing ongoing tuition increases. “Kids are graduating college with the equivalent of a mortgage in debt with no house to show for it,” Lancman said. “How important is it to be able to get a college degree to achieve the American dream? Consider that the average salary of a high school graduate is $30,000 a year and the average salary of a college graduate is $52,000 a year.” Lancman cited figures from the U.S. Census Bureau from March 1998 through 2000. Obama’s proposal would link a school’s receipt of federal aid to keeping tuition costs from continuing to rise. He advocated increasing Pell Grant funding by $14 billion over the next three years, providing an additional $900 per student per year, as well as ensuring that students can have access to post-graduation employment data about colleges online. Lancman criticized the Republicans in Congress for not fighting to control tu-

ition costs and not supporting Obama. According to a 2011 College Board report, the cost of living and studying at the average public university rose 5.4 percent for in-state students over the course of a year, to $21,447. Students at CUNY and SUNY schools have openly contested tuition increases, and Lancman did not say he was against them; rather, he supports New York State’s “rational tuition policy.” Lancman said that he believed a college education should be viewed as essential for every American, in the same way

PRESS Photo by Ross Barkan


Town Hall Turns Against Chancellor BY ROSS BARKAN

Page 4 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012

PRESS Photo by Ira Cohen

All it took for the raucous cries of “no!” and “oh god!” to erupt from MS 74’s packed auditorium was for Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott to praise Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “The Mayor has been extremely supportive of teachers,” said Walcott at the Oakland Gardens middle school. “There has been a 43 percent base increase in salary during his tenure.” In an intermittently heated town hall meeting for District 26 on Feb. 15, Walcott addressed and parried a wide range of concerns from parents and teachers. No one issue dominated the approximately two-hour town hall meeting, though anger about the perceived failure of Martin Van Buren High School, the Dept. of Education’s intentions to implement the second phase of their special educational policy, and potential school closures took up a large portion of the dialogue between Walcott and the town hall attendees. District 26 covers a swath of northern and eastern Queens, including Martin Van Buren as well as Bayside High School, Francis Lewis High School, and Benjamin Cardozo High School. Recently, State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and Van Buren’s PTA president called for the ouster of Van Buren’s principal, Marilyn Shevell, after the school received a “D” rating on its Progress Report for the 2010-

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. 11 School Year. The school declined from a “C” rating from the previous year. Walcott, himself a graduate of Francis Lewis High School, said he would not address specific personnel, but insisted Van Buren was on his radar. When pressed further, he would not elaborate on why Van Buren’s evaluations were so poor—“F” is the worst rating a school can receive—but said it would be important to promote the programs that Van Buren excels at so highachieving students will come to the school. According to Walcott, there has been a “demographic breakout” at Van Buren, meaning many District 26 students opt not to attend and more students pour in from neighboring districts. Teachers and parents from Van Buren and Francis Lewis at the town hall feared that the Queens Village school is on the road to closure. Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little

Neck), who along with State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), was in attendance, challenged Walcott about the DOE’s plan to close eight underperforming schools in Queens. “With all these schools being closed down, what are you doing to relieve overcrowding?” Weprin asked, citing schools with 4,000 plus enrollments like Benjamin Cardozo in Bayside. “Closing down and phasing out poor performing schools gives parents more options,” Walcott said. “We need to make more quality seats available. With more seats, people will migrate to different schools.” Walcott said new schools like Queens Metropolitan High School in Forest Hills will eventually be popular and abate overcrowding. Critics of Walcott and Bloomberg-directed school closures have attacked the process for being disruptive and counterproductive. The DOE’s push to integrate all students with special needs—excluding District 75, a special education district—into a general education setting by this September drew condemnation from several teachers. Susan Kahan, a special education instructor, sparred with Walcott and Shona Gibson from the DOE’s Division of Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners about the implementation of the second phase of the DOE’s twoyear special education reform, arguing the

emotional and behavioral needs of special education children will not be sufficiently met because “support for children” will be provided only “during periods when they are being instructed in major academic areas.” Gibson countered that an overwhelming number of studies have shown that the inclusion of special needs students in mainstream classes leads to greater academic success. Though he had answers for virtually everyone, Walcott was stymied when a member of MS 74’s School Leadership Team, Cathy Cahn, challenged a discrepancy in the middle school’s progress report. According to the DOE, 39.6 percent of MS 74 students earned high school credit for the integrated algebra and earth science regents, as opposed to 53.2 percent of “peer schools.” Cahn said 100 percent of the students actually passed these Regents exams, and the DOE’s statistics are misleading: 36.9 percent is the percentage of students who took these tests from a pool of the 331-student eighth grade. The remaining percentage of students, Cahn pointed out, did not even take the tests yet was counted against the school. Walcott, caught off guard, said he would be looking into the matter further. Reach Reporter Ross Barkan at or (718) 3577400, Ext. 127.

Old Firehouse Now Houses Clinic


A former firehouse is now being used to provide healthcare to everyone in the borough. The Firehouse Health Center, an extension of Damian Family Care Centers, will be opening in the next few weeks at 89-56 162nd St. in Jamaica. The firehouse was built in 1925, but has since been taken out of service. To commemorate the historic beginnings of the health center, a grand opening event was held Jan. 20. The event included a ceremony dedicated to Queens’ FDNY members who died on Sept. 11. Firefighters who worked at the firehouse

in Jamaica were honored last month as well. When three borough hospitals closed in 2008, many worried what it would mean for healthcare in Queens. Damian Family Care Centers tried to offset this. After receiving a $1.6 million HEAL grant from the state, the company began constructing the clinic. Southeast Queens is an area with few nearby hospitals. Access to non-emergency care is also limited in the area. According to a New York Lawyers for Public Interest study, 21 percent of residents in Jamaica do not have a primary care physician. Because of this, one out of 10 people head to the emergency room

whenever they need medical care. Twenty percent of adults in Jamaica lack insur ance and 13 p e rcent are underinsured. People being treated at a hospital for non-emergency matters puts a greater strain on a hospital system suffering from limited resources to quickly provide people with quality care. The Firehouse Health Center hopes to address this need. Services offered at the clinic include geriatric care, dentistry, mental health services and OB-GYN care. A podiatrist will be on site a few days a week. King said the clinic is considering adding more services once the Firehouse Health Center is open.

As a Federally Qualified Health Center, the Firehouse Health Center accepts all patients, including people underinsured or those who lack insurance altogether. Registered nurse Elizabeth King said while many medical centers get upset when people do not have insurance, the Firehouse Health Center is actually targeting people without insurance who may not know where to go. Damian Family Care Centers has been operating clinics throughout the five boroughs for more than 10 years. For more information, call (347) 505-7000. Reach Reporter Veronica Lewin at or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123.

Teacher Accused Of Abusing Two Students Photo courtesy of the Firehouse Health Center


The new Firehouse Health Center will provide care to all patients regardless of insurance.

A Rego Park teacher has been arrested and indicted on charges of sexually abusing two young boys in his classroom on multiple occasions in 2010 and 2011. Wilbert Cortez, 49, is accused of abusing the two boys while he was a computer teacher at PS 174 on Dieterle Crescent in Rego Park. According to the criminal charges, on multiple occasions between Sept. 7, 2010 and June 3 0 , 2 011, t h e d e fe n d a n t a l l e g e d l y placed his hand over the clothing of a now 9-year- old boy who was one of

his students and rubbed the victim’s genitals. He is also accused to have, on multiple occasions, placed his hand over the clothing of another boy, who is now 8-years-old and rubbing his genitals and buttocks. He is charged with two counts of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. “These are serious accusations in which a school teacher – who should serve as a role model to students – is instead accused of using his position to gain access to children for his own gratification,” said

District Attorney Richard Brown. Cortez has been teaching in New York City schools since 1986. In 2000, he was reprimanded after he was accused of touching two boys at a school in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott issued a statement last week promising a crackdown on teachers who abuse children. Cortez’ arrest is the fourth incident involving school employees this month. Reach Reporter Domenick Rafter at or (718) 357-7400 Ext. 125.

Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 5

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

Steven J. Ferrari Contributing Editor:

Marcia Moxam Comrie Production Manager:

Shiek Mohamed Queens Today Editor

Regina Vogel Photo Editor: Ira Cohen

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

Rhonda Leefoon Candice Lolier Barbara Townsend Advertising Director Shanie Persaud Sr. Account Executive Shelly Cookson Advertising Executives Merlene Carnegie Shari Strongin

Page 6 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012

A Queens Tribune Publication. © Copyright 2012 Tribco, LLC

Michael Schenkler, President & Publisher

Michael Nussbaum, Vice President, Associate Publisher

A ‘F’ For Our School System A story about a teacher allegedly sexually abusing a student does not need additional facts to surface to make it horrifying. The news coming out of PS 174 in Rego Park, however, doesn’t just stop at a teacher sexually abusing one student. When you add in the news that the accused teacher had previously been found to have inappropriately touched students as far back as 12 years ago, the story actually manages to get worse – not just for the City school system, but also for the countless parents who send their children to school every day. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott has said that he plans to do everything in his power to remove individuals who may have a history of sexual abuse from the classroom. While that is an admirable goal, it misses the point. With a history of abuse allegations, the accused teacher should have been removed from the classroom when the first incident occurred. Walcott should make every effort to understand how this individual was put in a position where these young children were available to him and he must make sure that a situation like this never rises again. If parents can’t feel secure in sending their children to school, which should be a safe, nurturing environment for them, there is something seriously wrong with our schools. While focusing on standardized tests, has someone forgotten the real basics?

Letters Unclean Hands To The Editor: It is gratifying Vinson & Elkins, a prominent law firm well-versed in condemnation matters, submitted an amicus brief in the Willets Point litigation now pend-

ing in the New York State Appellate Division Second Department in support of the opposition to the City’s claim it has the right to exercise eminent domain because of the alleged blight of the area. The issue in Willets Point tran-

Letters scends a mere claim of blight. For years, the City of New York collected sewer rent taxes from the owners of Willets Point property notwithstanding there were no sewers. For years, the City of New York collected real estate taxes from Willets Point property owners and other taxes from the businesses located there, notwithstanding its failure to address the area’s infrastructure. To the extent there is blight, it is clear it was occasioned by the willful neglect, indeed malfeasance, by the City of New York. It ill behooves the City, as the culprit to claim blight entitling it to usurp this private property for the benefit of private real estate developers. The City of New York comes into this issue with unclean hands and apart from all other reasons, equity demands the court reject its claim. Benjamin M. Haber, Flushing

Coverage Needed To The Editor: People with Parkinson’s disease often have a medical need for physical and speech therapy. I was caregiver to my mom as she battled the disease and the therapy she received was an essential part of her treatment. The costs of these therapeutic services often exceeded the annual Medicare therapy reimburse-

ment cap of $1,880. While I and others are grateful that Congress repeatedly has authorized exceptions to this cap for those with medical necessities, I fear these exceptions will go away, forcing individuals to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket every year for therapies that allow them to function on a daily basis. Parkinson’s limited my mom’s ability to work, so Medicare was something she relied on heavily. Waiting every year to find out if the therapy-caps exception will be extended is stressful and unnecessary, and may interrupt treatment. As a New York assistant state director for the Parkinson’s Action Network, I urge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez to pass the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (H.R. 1546/S. 829), which will eliminate Medicare therapy caps altogether. This is critically important to people with Parkinson’s and other diseases and disorders who rely on outpatient therapy services. I thank Sen. Charles Schumer for his support of this important legislation. I recognize Medicare is a hotbutton issue, but I hope our nation’s elected officials will do the right thing and pass this critical legislation. Sarah King, Woodside

City Libraries: Not Just For Books A Personal Perspective BY MARCIA MOXAM COMRIE

The mayor’s recent announcement that he would be opening up Workforce 1 Centers to help job seekers couldn’t have come at a more urgent time. Workforce 1 career centers have been around for a while, but they are just now being taken into the public library system. Thus far, two have opened up in the Brooklyn Library system and one in Queens at the Flushing branch of the Queens Public Library. This is an idea whose time has definitely come and if resources weren’t so restricted, there should be one in almost every library in the city. People are suffering and many don’t know where to turn. Queens’ Central Library in Downtown Jamaica, has long been a great place for job seekers to learn resume writing, interviewing skills and other job searching tips. But having a dedicated Workforce 1 Center in most or all of the libraries will make for even more success for job seekers. According to published reports, over 500 people have found jobs through the partner-

ship since launching last fall. A site is now slated for the Bronx library system. Nineteenth century essayist Thomas Carlyle ably summed up the plight of the unemployed in his day with the statement, “A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune’s inequality exhibits under this sun.” Even when you modernize it with the gender-neutral noun, “person,” the sentiment is the same: People of working age need to be gainfully employed. It’s not just a matter of paying the bills and putting food on the table. It is also about self-worth and contributing, through our taxes, to the fiscal well-being of our city, state and nation. We see so many young people graduating from college without being able to find a job to pay off their student loans. Many are just postponing graduation to stay in college another year or two to earn a master’s degree. They figure there’s no point in rushing out of school when there are no job opportunities awaiting them. Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich got into hot water last year for saying urban children

should be required to help clean the schools so they can learn the value of work because many don’t grow up in households where the adults have the responsibility of a job. No, we are not going to allow the teachers to hand our children a mop and broom to clean their schools. There are custodians being paid to do that job and they take pride in a job well done. We respect them and we’re not interested in taking away their jobs. What the former House Speaker did not address is the reason many of those parents don’t have jobs isn’t because they’re lazy. Rather it is because for many, their options have been limited. Many have not had the opportunity to get job-readiness training. In fact, even a college degree can’t guarantee you will find lasting employment. What Gingrich should have been saying is that under his potential administration there would be job training in the high schools like there used to be in the old days. He should have been saying that he will try to guarantee that every student graduating from high school is able to afford a

community college education. You help people by preparing them for life. His proposed solution is an insult. The Workforce 1 plan for our public library system is a convenient way to help people get back into the workforce. As Carlyle says, “being willing to work and unable to find work” is among the saddest sights under the sun. Everyone willing to work should have a fair opportunity to do so. Putting a Workforce 1 center in the neighborhood public library is a step in the right direction. It should also be noted that non-profits such as Dress for Success are available to help provide suits for interviews and hair and makeup tips. They have helped thousands of men and women to get back on their feet even after domestic abuse, prison sentence, welfare and a litany of other impediments to gainful employment. And for anyone who simply wants to help, Dress for Success counts on the donation of professional clothing and shoes for men and women. Whether new or slightly used, they are always happy for good donations to the cause of empowering people through employment.

Not Such A Quiet News Weekend

By MICHAEL SCHENKLER It was a weekend off. The news was merely incidental to everything else. I decided to take it easy and this news junkie could wait for his fix until Monday morning. Not so easy. The newspaper

headlines, the TV, Facebook, and email kept on delivering story lines too good for this addict to ignore. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoes the gay marriage bill. Why just a year or so ago, the Governor of his neighboring state, Andrew Cuomo, led the charge for passage of a gay marriage bill in New York. Is Christie out of touch with east coast values? Will these two goliaths from neighbor states, with differing values, face off in four years in the President ial sweepstakes? Mar yland’s House of Delegates passes same-sex marriage law, state poised to be-

come 8th in nation to allow. After it passes the State Senate, as it has previously, Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley will sign it. It is strange that in 2012, an issue of civil rights and equality will be (one of) the major distinctions between the parties nationwide. The Dow closes at 12,949.87, the highest level since May 19, 2008 poised to break 13,000. Is it a sign of recovery? General Motors chief tells CBS that w it hout the steps Obama took on autos, “You could have written off this company, this industr y, and this country.” GM was bankrupt and bailed out only three years ago. Dan Akerson, GM CEO and chairman said: “We got a second chance here, a million jobs were saved, the industrial infrastructure and the manufacturing base of America in large measure is still intact. In fact it’s prospering. All three of the big automakers are now profitable for the first time since maybe the ’60s or ’70s. At the risk of alienating a whole lot of potential customers, I would say the Obama administration did a good job.” GM just announced 47,500 blue collar workers in the U.S. will each get a profitsharing checks next month — checks of approximately $7,000 a piece.

Is this more insurance that there is an economic recovery and the President will survive the attacks of the divisive and divided Republicans to lead us for four more years? Rick Santorum. Talk about divisive, it is hard to believe that the Republicans nationwide seem to be leaning towards a guy who leans so far right that those of us from the center to the left can’t even understand how he can rationalize his positions. The entire Presidential Primary system should be called into question when extremists control the process and a majority of the party – centrists – don’t par t icipate. Both par t ie s have been challenged by fringe or extreme elements of their party’s showing up at primaries while the solid and much larger center is outgunned by the fringe. City Announces New Policy After Three Separate Sexual Abuse Charges. After three school employee s were charged with sexually molesting children in the last two weeks, the city’s Education Department announced it will tell principals if job applicants have records of misconduct. In two of the cases, school employees had previously been accused of having inappropriate contact with students, and investigations substantiated those allegations. But in

only one of t hem was a let ter placed in the person’s file. Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott said that going forward, whenever a school employee is investigated and the allegations against him are upheld, all principals and the Educat ion Depar tment’s huma n resources staff will be able to see the report. Prolific Facebooker, Councilman Peter Vallone Junior posted the story and this comment: “are

Not 4 by Dom Nunziato

Let’s Comfort the Afflicted A quarter century ago, when I entered the hallowed halls of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, we were taught a credo that sticks with me to this day: “Good journalism comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.”

ing inequality that has essentially trampled the American dream of upward mobility. Nowhere is this more evident than in New York. The number of people below the poverty line has increased in the past decade and is now above 20 percent for the first time. In children, it’s more than 30 percent. Shame on us. And our current leaders. At the same time, the elite who run New York (aka “the comfortable”) cont inue to thrive because they have elected leaders who gladly feed at the trough of their campaign contributions in their pursuit of even more power. This must stop. We have to restore real democracy and reinvigorate the dream of upward mobility that this great city was built upon. A 15-year-old African-American woman in the Bronx needs to wake up each morning with hope that her future will be brighter than her parents. An 18-year-old Russian immigrant in Brooklyn has to feel that his parents move here a number of years ago was the right one: from a corrupt oligarchy to a city where hard work and equal access to qualit y education and high-paying careers is the pay-off.

How to do this? Radical reform of public education from universal Pre-K to expanded charter offerings to tax credits for private and parochial schools so ALL kids and their parents have access to great schools. We must marry sec-

you kidding me?? people with SUBSTANTIATED charges of inappropriately touching children are IN our shcools NOW? and you WERENT telling principals or parents about it???? as public safety chair and on behalf of parents everywhere i demand answers – now. Go get them Peter. There was more news – lots more. But I was taking the weekend off.

side of their purview, campaigning and fundraising when they should be working for their constituents. They make deals with unions that garner big blocks of votes but don’t serve the overall body politic because taxpayer s become burdened with onerous pension costs that eat up an ever increasing part of our budget. And they rush breat hle ssly from campaign fundraisers to public events and miss the fact that their staff and bundlers are actually skirting the campaign finance laws right under their noses. Politics is such a brutal business that it has scared off the best and the brightest and has unfortunately become so devalued by citizens that we have low turnouts at the polls and little public engagement in crucial public policy issues. But we can change that. Concerned citizens can insist that their local elected official stop worrying about their next job and stop paying disproportionate at tention to New York’s 1 percent. Every vote is equal. The “afflicted” can catch up to the “comfortable.” We just need to reform our 20th century, tired ideas — and the leaders who perpetuate them.

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Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 7

By Tom Allon This mission is a good one for politics and public policy, too. For too long, the wealthy cronies of politicians have rewritten the rules and gained an advantage that has allowed the “comfortable” to have too much power while the “afflicted” have remained just that. Occupy Wall Street, now a quieter movement, has this t ype of message as its mission: the largest problem in our society is grow-

ondar y and higher educat ion to growing industries like green energy and technology so that our children train for 21st century jobs that will be there when they graduate. And we need to start by radically reforming our political system. The proce ss of fundraising and non-competitive elections corrupts our system and our leaders. Elected officials, many of whom start off idealistically, veer off track as they try to climb the electoral ladder. They take donations as pay to play quid pro quo from the monied class of Ne w York. They forget that their constituents need a hospital facility rather than another expensive luxury condo. They spend taxpayer paid time in boroughs out-

Co-op Outcry:

Fee Hikes Enrage Residents BY ROSS BARKAN

Page 8 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012

A (Similar) Tale Of Two Co-ops A cooperative, abbreviated as co-op, is a private housing enterprise in which individuals, known as shareholders, own shares in what is in essence a private corporation — their apartment complex. By the 1980’s, co-ops became quite prevalent in New York City, built around the theory that if an individual owns an actual stake in where they live, they will take better care of their property. Some co-ops do permit renters, though this is usually when an apartment complex did not begin its life as a co-op. Meadowlark is outwardly calm and quiet, with tree-lined paths snaking through its verdant, 288-unit development. Few would suspect the dissatisfaction that is pulsing underneath. But Meadowlark is Parkway without an opposition quite as united. Both have been hit with maintenance increases far above the typical rates for Queens co-ops, and both cannot understand why their cost-of-living continues to surge. While assessment increases handed down from the Dept. of Finance have dominated co-op-related news in 2012, it is the decisions of the co-ops’ boards of directors that have angered Meadowlark

PRESS Photo by Ross Barkan

The Parkway Village protesters could not quite decide how they wanted to publicly deride their co-op board of directors. Years of alleged impropriety and mismanagement had left ringleaders like Ralph Newman tongue-tied. More than five years of perceived malfeasance does not easily lend itself to a few choice syllables. “How about liar, liar, pants on fire?” Newman suggested. “No increase! No debt!” was what the group, around 30 in number, settled on, their protest signs dampening by the minute. The rainy Feb. 16 evening did not readily lend itself to outdoor excoriations. They had not succeeded in their intended goal of disrupting the Thursday night co-op board meeting because the board, according to several protesters, had heard of their uprising and fled for another location. It was another frustrating day and night at a seemingly bucolic Queens co-op development. A little less than a month earlier across the street from Meadowlark Gardens in Fresh Meadows - a co-op like Parkway Village in Kew Gardens Hills - dozens of enraged residents packed an informational session at PS 26’s auditorium to protest skyrocketing fees the co-op board of directors were forcing upon them. Each co-op now faces exorbitant maintenance fee increases—8 percent for Parkway and 9 percent for Meadowlark— shareholders say they will struggle to pay. Each will pay far more in increases, percentage-wise, than almost all other coops in Queens. The board of directors at Meadowlark did not return calls for comment as of press time.

and Parkway residents. At glect from when we Meadowlark, maintenance transitioned to a co-op fees—the amount of money, around 1982,” Sherman in lieu of rent, that is supsaid. “Parkway Village is posed to be channeled toover 60-years-old. In all fairward repairs and the general ness, we have to deal with upkeep of building services— a complete overhaul of our have soared from the previroofs and heating systems. ous year. At 685-unit ParkWe can’t always deal with way, the same is true. Typia Band-Aid approach.” cal co-ops, according to Parkway financial Anne Donohue of the records for 2010 appeared Bayside-based Anne later than expected, in AuDonohue Real Estate—a cogust 2011. Parkway resiop and condo specialty dents had filed a complaint firm—usually have year-towith Attorney General Eric year maintenance increases Schneiderman’s office beof 1 to 3 percent. fore the records were fi“It’s unusual in my expenally released. 2011 rience to see maintenance Parkway residents rally in the rain last Thursday, seeking to get the financials are expected to increases that high,” be released next month. attenion of their co-op board. Donohue said. “An attorney Disappearance of who represents someone inshareholder-led financial, terested in buying a co-op in a place like Goldman’s words, the board president grounds, and maintenance committees, that would want to look at the latest did not like the old ones. explained Parkway S.O.S organizer Gina “They totally destroyed the front of Ross, is another troubling development financials. They would question that type the co-op,” she said. Her apartment is lo- over the past year. S.O.S, short for “save of increase.” Meadowlark resident Amy Goldman cated at Meadowlark’s entrance on 197th our site,” is a group dedicated to keeping confirms this. People living in other co- Street. “They ripped out bushes. It’s like, Parkway financially sound and communiops, she said, are shocked to hear about there’s Versailles, and the ghetto going cating with residents. increases at Meadowlark. Budget short- up to Versailles. It’s not a joke. We’re the Though the co-op board informed her falls, much-needed repairs and labor costs beginning of Meadowlark.” that not enough people had signed up to are cited as reasons for the maintenance fill the once vibrant committees, Ross said Occupy Parkway hike. But many residents disagree with this was impossible — she knew at least “People are pissed,” said Linda five people who had signed up for the that logic. Carlino, a Parkway resident and ex-board grounds committee. member at their rally a week ago. “Debt is Follow The Money “How many people does it really take A co-op board of directors, elected by speeding up, spending is speeding up. We to run one committee?” Ross asked. the shareholders, is tasked with manag- will go bankrupt.” Glen Oaks Village Owners Inc. PresiParkway, once the target of a federal dent Bob Friedrich has consulted with ing a co-op’s sometimes byzantine budget. Since no prior financial experience asbestos investigation, was originally de- Parkway’s board in the past about ways is necessary to sit on a board, the poten- signed to be an integrated development to alleviate their financial struggles. Actial exists for massive miscalculations. to house United Nations members. An cording to Friedrich, his advice has been inspiring history meets a murkier present, ignored. Board members are unpaid. Board members claimed that the co- with Parkway now facing a budget deficit “The problem with Parkway Village op has a budget deficit of $115,000 and a of $500,000. A letter to shareholders from is that if you look at the maintenance maintenance increase amounting to ap- the Parkway Village Equities Corporation that shareholders pay on a monthly baproximately $90 more per month was states that following an “in depth review sis and look at the co-op conditions, needed. According to longtime resident of all expenditures,” a maintenance in- there’s a disconnect,” Freidrich said. Marilyn Profita, her maintenance fees crease is required because of needed elec- “They’re in desperate need of exterior have risen nearly 50 percent in the last trical upgrades, heating system failures, repairs. They pay substantially higher decade. A 9 percent increase means a and roof repairs. Individual boiler repairs maintenance fees than similar types of one bedroom apartment can cost approxi- or replacements, the letter states, will cost co-ops. It makes you wonder, is it just mately $40 more per month, and a two an average of $5,000. Though Parkway poor management? The problems need bedroom apartment would rise to roughly protesters often sounded like Washing- to be addressed. Those shareholders are ton politicians during the debt ceiling rightly concerned.” $85 more. “It’s been years of special assessments showdown of last summer, bankruptcy for Yvonne Cutrera, a Parkway resident and maintenance increases,” she said. Parkway would arguably be more immedi- and protester, said in the four years she “It’s very disturbing because I don’t see ate and devastating. If savings are de- has lived at Parkway, her monthly charges the purpose as a shareholder and some- pleted, shareholders lose their equity— have jumped from $600 to $900 a month. one who has worked in organizations what they paid for their apartment. Their She struggles to imagine people wanting with budgets. What’s the purpose of mak- property becomes worthless. to move to Parkway. Lack of disclosure about how money ing a budget if you’re over it every year?” “No young people are moving in Profita claims the co-op board has with- is being spent over the course of the year, here,” she said. “It’s highway robbery.” held particulars of the 2011 and 2012 Parkway residents argue, is what makes As the Parkway rally reached its end budgets. Co-op boards are theoretically this co-op board of directors, led by Dou- and residents parted ways for the night, a supposed to be transparent, holding an- glas Sherman, so frustrating. Resident resident said, in half-jest, that “we are ocnual (or more than annual) meetings to Abigail Brown enlisted Councilman James cupying Parkway,” invoking the Occupy disclose exactly where the shareholders’ Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) to write a Wall Street protests that overtook the money is being funneled. Profita was told letter to Sherman asking that he comply nation last fall. she needed to pay $50 for a copy of with her request to disclose a list of shareFor better and worse, the Parkway and holders and all financial transactions of Meadowlark protesters will likely continue Meadowlark’s budget. Describing landscaping gone terribly the co-op, colloquially referred to as the to occupy their co-ops. wrong near her own apartment, Goldman “books.” Sherman said he has not yet Reach Reporter Ross Barkan at can only laugh. Several years ago, bushes seen the letter. or (718) 357“The deficit comes from years of ne- 7400, Ext. 127. were pulled up and replaced because, in

Police Blotter


Missing Persons Squad Girl Missing Detectives from the Missing Persons Squad are requesting the public’s assistance in locating 16-year-old Christy Marcelin. She was last seen on Jan. 20 at 6:53 a.m. leaving her residence at 118-26 219th St. and has not returned home since. She is reported to be in good physical and mental condition. Marcelin is described as being 5-foot6 and approximately 130 pounds with brown eyes and a medium build. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers’ website at or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), and then entering TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

105th Precinct Robbers Wanted The NYPD is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating three suspects wanted in connection with an armed robbery and the criminal impersonation of police officers. On Feb. 14 at approximately 8:10 a.m., three men entered the Pay-O-Matic check cashing business located at 247-12 South

Conduit Ave. The suspects identified themselves as detectives and removed cash from the premises. The suspects then fled in a dark colored, late 90s model Ford Expedition with a broken rear passenger window that was covered by black plastic and secured with silver-colored duct tape. The vehicle possibly had Virginia plates. The suspects are described as three white males, all wearing dark blue jackets with an embroidered “NYPD” logo on the left chest, with police-type shields hanging around their necks. Two of the suspects were wearing blue jeans; one was wearing tan khaki pants. All wore sunglasses. Two suspects also wore New York Yankees baseball caps.

Borough-wide Robberies

The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect wanted in connection with four robberies in Queens. The first took place on Jan. 15, at 4:55 a.m. The suspect, armed with a silver semi-automatic handgun, entered the JFK Inn, located at 154-10 South Conduit Ave., and demanded money. The victim, a 42-year-old man, complied and the suspect fled with an undetermined amount of money. There were no reported injuries. Then, on Jan. 22, at 5:25 a.m., the suspect, armed with a silver semi-automatic handgun, entered the Giant FarmMissing Girl ers Market, located at 138The NYPD is seeking the 13 Queens Blvd., and depublic’s assistance in locating manded money. The victim, Nadaysia McWhite, who was a 43-year-old man, complied last seen on Feb. 19 at approxiand the suspect fled with an mately 6 p.m., leaving her resiundetermined amount of dence at 103-44 Springfield money. There were no reBlvd. in Queens Village. ported injuries. McWhite, 16, is described as The third incident took being 5’2" tall, 110 lbs, with place on Feb. 2 at 4 a.m. The brown eyes and black hair. She suspect, armed with a silver was last seen wearing black semi-automatic handgun, enpants, a black hooded coat and Nadaysia McWhite tered the Gulf Stadium black Ugg boots. She is reDunkin Donuts located at ported to be in good physical 133-44 150 St., and demanded money. condition, but poor mental health. The victim, a 44-year-old man, complied and the suspect fled with an undeter-

mined amount of money. There were no reported injuries. Lastly, on Feb. 8 at 5:30 a.m., the suspect, armed with a silver semi-automatic handgun, entered the Gulf Gas Station located at 118-11 Atlantic Ave., and demanded money. The victim, a 23-year-old man, complied and the suspect fled with an undetermined amount of money. There were no reported injuries. The suspect is described as a black man in his 20s, between 5’7” and 5’9” tall with a thin build. The suspect wears a hooded sweatshirt and a multi-colored bandana (green, yellow and red) over the lower half of his face. Anyone with information in regards to any of these robberies is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.


Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 9


Remembering Pat

Southeast Queens Events Edited By Harley Benson

Assemblywoman Grace Meng recently hosted a workshop to discuss MWBE opportunities at the 41st annual Legislative Conference in Albany. Pictured (from left) are Assemblyman Karim Camara, Meng and New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

Helping Out

Page 10 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012

US Rep. Bob Turner recently met with leaders from the American Red Cross to discuss the organization’s mission and assistance to residents in Turner’s district. Pictured (from left) are Alexander Lutz, senior director of government and external affairs for the American Red Cross; Tu r n e r a n d C o r w i n S m i t h , Brooklyn assistant director for community development.

Photo by Ira Cohen

Legislative Meeting Queens civic leaders gathered at the Kew Gardens Hills Library last week to unveil a plaque memorializing Pat Dolan. Dolan, who was killed last November while crossing the street, fought for the funding necessary to renovate the Kew Gardens Hills branch. The plaque will stay in a secure location until the renovated library opens, projected to be the end of 2014 or early 2015.

Belated Valentine Sen. Malcolm A. Smith (D-St. Albans) held his 12th annual Send-A-Vet-A-Valentine program at the St. Albans Community Living Center and the New York State Veterans Home at St. Albans. Smith distributed more than 200 goodie bags filled with socks, clothing, fun games and exercise equipment. All items were donated by WellCare, Healthfirst and V ietnam Veterans of America Chapter 32.


Laurelton Man Fights For Locale BY VERONICA LEWIN

arships for Laurelton students. Johnson prides himself on being able Four years ago, Dwight Johnson noticed to address the needs for everyone in the things were a little different in Laurelton. community, especially for people who His normally quaint community was start- may be too busy to voice their concerns. ing to see an influx in traffic, robberies and “The Federated Blocks of Laurelton trash around major thoroughfares. When is here to assist people in the community talking to his wife about the changes, she with everyday life type situations that said “Stop complaining about come up,” Johnson said. it and get involved.” So he did. He worked with CounJohnson has served as the “The Federated cilman James Sanders Jr. President of the Federated (D-Laurelton) to prevent Blocks of Laurelton for the Blocks of so-called “hot-sheet” mopast three years. He started Laurelton is tels on Springfield Boulegoing to civic association vard and North Conduit meetings before getting in- here to assist Avenue. The shor t-stay volved with the Federated people in the motels raised concerns due Blocks of Laurelton. Since to its close proximity to joining the organization, community with schools. Johnson has helped bring everyday life type One of the ongoing isseveral changes to the comsues the organization has situations that munity to make it safer. been trying to find soluHe said new stop signs tions to the never-ending come up” have been sprinkled around water table problems in —Dwight Johnson Southeast Queens. While the neighborhood, along with no U-turn signs to make intermost of the borough was sections safer for drivers and spared during Hurricane pedestrians. The organization worked Irene, Laurelton and surrounding areas with the Local Development Corp. of were most impacted by the late-August Laurelton to make sure residents and busi- storm. nesses were getting proper Sanitation pick“We really got hit pretty hard when ups. The organization also conducts an Hurricane Irene came in and we had a lot annual fundraiser to raise money for schol- of houses go underwater,” Johnson said.

His organization held a meeting last fall, where the community brainstormed ways to fix the rising water table problem. Until 1996, Jamaica Water Supply would pump millions of gallons of water out of the ground daily. When the City Dept. of Environmental Protection took over, the agency started bringing water from upstate, leaving the excess water underground with no place to go. Over the past 15 years, the standing ground water level in Southeast Queens has risen to 30 feet, leaving many homeowners to deal with saturated basements each time there is heavy rainfall. Johnson hopes to find a solution soon. Within the last two years, the Federated Blocks of Laurelton has been successful in rezoning Laurelton to make it more inclusive and saving the Laurelton Library this past June. Now the organization is hoping to convince Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to give them a new precinct in Southeast Queens, a fight Johnson said is at least 30 years old. Currently, the 105th Precinct serves the Laurelton community. The precinct stretching from JFK Airport all the way to Floral Park - spans 12.6 miles, making it the largest precinct in Queens. While crime is down citywide, the precinct has seen an increase and Johnson said the

community can be served better if police off icers were not spread so thinly. Johnson said the addition of the Resorts World New York Casino at Aqueduct has increased the amount of people passing through in his community and there are not enough police officers to oversee what is happening. To temporarily address complaints, a satellite precinct was placed at 242-20 North Conduit Ave. Johnson would like to see the station converted into its own separate precinct serving the southern part of the 105th Precinct. “We really need this,” Johnson said. On March 28 at 8 p.m., the 105th Community Council will be hosting a meeting at the satellite precinct to allow the public to voice their concerns about a precinct they say is too large. Reach Reporter Veronica Lewin at or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123.

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Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 11


Temple Tikvah Hosting March Events BY VERONICA LEWIN For nearly four years, Temple Tikvah in New Hyde Park has been serving the former congregations of Temple Israel of Jamaica and Temple Emanuel in New Hyde Park. Now, Temple Tikvah hopes to extend its reach to the communities the church surrounds. Temple Tikvah, located at 3315 Hillside Ave., serves people in both Queens and Nassau County because New Hyde Park lies in both counties. The Temple says bringing the two congregations together will reinstill Tikvah, the Hebrew word for hope. In addition to worship, Temple Tikvah hosts several events throughout the month to engage members and the community. Beginning next Wednesday, Feb.

29, Temple Tikvah will offer evening Zumba classes. On March 3, the Temple is hosting a murder mystery night beginning at 7:30 p.m. Guests are encouraged to wear Members Only jackets and join the congregation for a night to die for. Admission to the event is $35 and includes dinner and dessert. Temple Tikvah is hosting a Women’s Seder on March 25 beginning at 12:30 p.m. Grandmothers, granddaughters, mothers, daughters and sisters are invited to come share the story of the journey of women. Admission is $18. To register for any of Temple Tikvah’s upcoming events, call (516) 746-1120. Reach Reporter Veronica Lewin at or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123.

Word “Everybody prays whether [you think] of it as praying or not. The odd silence you fall into when something very beautiful is happening or something very good or very bad. … Whatever words or sounds you use for sighing with over your own life. These are all prayers in their way. These are all spoken not just to yourself but to something even more familiar than yourself and even more strange than the world.” —Frederick Buechner

Notebook MS 72

Old And Young Celebrate History BY VERONICA LEWIN

Respect Yourself: From left: Sixth graders Bhaninie Kataria and Ariyah Dacosta sit with dancehall star Mr. Vegas last Friday at MS 226. In honor of the citywide Respect For All Week, Vegas came to speak to the students about respecting themselves and each other. Principal Michelle Rushell White and Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) kept Mr. Vegas’ visit a surprise until the afternoon assembly.

Photo by Veronica Lewin

Page 12 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012

students were required to interview four senior mentors to learn more about their lives. Resident Mae Machicote said the conversation was influential for both the students and seniors. The student volunteers also provided room service to residents, including shut-in residents who do not get to interact with others often. Machicote said the seniors enjoyed the time with the students as much as the students enjoyed learning about past genera-

tions. Machicote said when the students go to senior programs in the future, they are less hesitant to approach them because the gap has been filled. Some students do not have grandparents they can talk to about their family history, and speaking with the seniors can be helpful to understand. Reach Reporter Veronica Lewin at or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123. PRESS Photos by Veronica Lewin

In honor of Black History Month, middle school students from MS 72 put on a performance for people who lived through the civil rights movement. Students went to the Northeastern Towers, located at 131-10 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., for their annual Heritage Month celebration at the senior residence. Seniors filled the building’s community center to watch students recite famous poems and dance. Participants won gift bags for being able to identify prominent black figures after hearing just a few clues. Zonadon Livingstone, 93, was so moved by the students’ performance that she stood up and recited a poem f ro m m e m o r y. I n b et we e n p e r fo rmances, students walked around the community center and introduced

themselves to the seniors. Teacher Gloria Pantone said her students have been participating in Heritage Month for years. The program is another way Pantone tries to bridge the generation gap between students and seniors in District 28. Outside of Black History Month, the Northeastern Towers is involved in other programs encourage students to interact with seniors. A few years ago, the program Changing Tomorrow Today began as a way to connect seniors with a younger generation. The program gives high school students the opportunity to have senior role models, while also counting towards their required community service credits. The pilot program received student volunteers from nearby August Martin High School. In order to bridge the generation gap, the

Above: Eighth graders Divya Raghubir and Sandhya Raghubir perform in front of the seniors during the Feb. 10 Heritage Month celebration. Right: MS 72 students greet seniors during the annual Heritage Month celebration.


Red Storm Blows Over UCLA


The St. John’s Red Storm, down to using a six-man rotation, pulled out a gutsy win over the UCLA Bruins at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 18. D’Angelo Harrison led the Johnnies with 22 points in a game where neither team had a lead of over six points. St. John’s snapped a four-game losing streak by holding off a Bruin comeback. Harrison’s final points of the game gave St. John’s a 64-58 lead with two minutes to go, but the Bruins cut it to 64-62 with four points from Travis Wear. With 42.7 seconds left, St. John’s had the ball and Bruin coach Ben Howland decided not to foul, a decision which seemed to work when Harrison missed a shot with the clock running out, but Phil Greene’s tip-in put the Red Storm up by four. After UCLA’s Jerime Anderson split freethrows with 4.7 seconds left to cut it to 66-63, Moe Harkless was fouled with

three seconds remaining. After Harkless missed the front end of a one-and-one, David Wear’s last-ditch half-court shot fell short and St. John’s had their first win since February 1st. The play of the game came with a little over 13 minutes remaining with the game tied at 45. After a St. John’s miss, Red Storm freshman Sir’Dominic Pointer threw down a goahead dunk assisted by Harkless. “We play scrappier than they do,” Harkless said. “I think we played harder than they did.” Harkless recorded a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Harrison had eight rebounds to go along with his 22 points. Pointer and Greene also reached double-digits in scoring. Even thought St. John’s Head Coach

Restaurant Review

The Place To Eat

Pete’s Grill 39-14 Queens Blvd., Sunnyside (718) 937-2220 CUISINE: Standard diner, breakfast all day HOURS: 24 hours a day CREDIT CARDS: Yes – All major

daughter to cancer in 1991. Vallely brought the first event to UCLA, teaming up with Bruins coach Ben Howland, before bringing it to St. John’s with Lavin last September. “We’re having a nice event just to kick it off. We’re excited about drawing more people in the from the community, high schools and junior high schools.” Craig Latshaw, the co-chair for St. John’s Dribble for the Cure, and father of a cancer survivor, said he was ecstatic about how well the event went. “This was a fantastic event. To have it during the UCLA-St. John’s game, the two major colleges that started the Dribble for the Cure, was great. A St. John’s victory is always nice, but it’s everybody willing to get behind the cause. As Coach Lavin said no other parent or child should go through this because it affects the whole family, so that’s my long-term goal.” The Dribble for the Cure was the idea of the late Al Mcguire, who won the 1977 NCAA Championship while coaching Marquette, before moving on to an equally legendary broadcasting career. The St. John’s alum passed away in 2001. St. John’s will host its second annual Dribble for the Cure in September. For information, visit

Drama Group Presents MASH The Monsignor McClancy Tyros Drama Group is gearing up to present Tim Kelly’s “M*A*S*H,” March 9 and 10 at the high school, located at 71-06 31st Ave., East Elmhurst. Kelly’s “M*A*S*H” is the stage play written from the first three seasons of the long-running popular television sitcom, whose final episode was one of the most-watched TV shows in history. The students at Msgr. McClancy MHS have been preparing since the early fall for their version of this popular high school play and there are more than 40 students involved in the show. This year, starring as Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce is Sergiu Barcaci. Sergiu is an incredibly talented actor, having played the role of Randall Patrick McMurphy in last year’s Tyros production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Joining Sergiu on stage once again is Bryce Mengus. Bryce is a seasoned veteran of the McClancy stage, having played Murray the cop in the 2010 production of “The Odd Couple,” as well as Harding in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” “We have the most talented and hardworking students in this show,” said Ann Smith, the play’s director and moderator of the Tyros. The play also stars Joseph Harvey as Duke Forrest, Sean Tracey as Radar O’Reilly, Michael Ramirez as Col. Henry Blake, Philippe DosSantos as Father Mulcahy and Jonathan Lacovarra as

Members of the McClancy MHS production of MASH prepare for the show. the infamous Frank Burns. “We are blessed to have a cast of dedicated girls in leading roles, such as Claire Spinetti, of St. Vincent Ferrer, as Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan with classmate Ashling Marie Heenan, Alexa Dayoan, of Christ the King HS, and Megan Weiss of Forest Hills HS. Last, but certainly not least, no production of “M*A*S*H” would be complete without Corporal Max Klinger, which is being played by T.J. Lukas, a junior at McClancy,” Smith said. She added that the incoming freshman class this September will include female students for the first time in McClancy’s history. The Tyros will be evolving once again to welcome the new “Lady Crusaders”. For information or tickets, email .

Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 13

One of the things I looked for when I moved from Florida to New York City when choosing what neighborhood in Queens to live in was the quality of the diners nearby. I settled on Sunnyside, partly because of a diner located on the corner of Queens Boulevard and 39th Place called Pete’s Grill. The 24-7 diner bills itself as “the place to eat,” and with a seemingly endless menu, one can see why. Since moving here almost a year ago, I have eaten at Pete’s over a dozen times and ordered delivery — from either or — more times than I can even remember. And the quality is the same whether eating in the restaurant or in my apartment. Like with all restaurants I frequent, I usually get the same couple of things every time. I am not one who likes to stray from things I know are good just to try something, because when I do that, there is a chance I will not like the new selection. When I have breakfast at Pete’s, my favorite choice is the standard dish of pancakes and scrambled eggs with a side of whole wheat toast. The two eggs are not very filling, but are two eggs ever filling? The same cannot be said about the pancakes — three giants that

cover the entire plate. It is impossible to not feel completely stuffed after a pancakes and eggs breakfast. Though if you are not in the mood for something so filling, Pete’s offers up 17 different omelets, including a Brooklyn (Nova Scotia lox, Bermuda red onions and sun-dried tomatoes) and a meat lover with bacon, Italian sausage and ham. For dinner, I choose between one of their 13 gourmet wraps, 10 different paninis or 17 different types of burger. When I choose a panini, I always go with the juicy turkey. It is served on toasted focaccia bread with plentiful bird and melted cheese. When I feel like a wrap, my choice is the chicken fajita with ample cheese. The wrap is always good; though the last time I got it delivered I felt that it was smaller than previous orders. Also, when getting a wrap delivered, it tends to get soggy quickly, so that is something to consider. You cannot go wrong with a Pete’s Grill cheeseburger. They are cooked to your liking and are always big and juicy. A side of curly or waffle fries go great with the burger, or any dinner meal for that matter, but when having fries delivered, they tend to not be as crisp and get a little soggy from the kitchen to your apartment. So if you are in Sunnyside or Woodside or anywhere outside, there are plenty of worse places you could go then Pete’s Grill. The service is always good, the food is always served the way you want it and they are open 24 hours a day. What’s better than that? Pete’s Grill is definitely the place to eat. –Jason Pafundi

Steve Lavin was not on the sidelines, the fact that he made five Sweet Sixteen appearances in seven seasons at UCLA before being fired was on many people’s minds. “The way they ended it at UCLA wasn’t to Lavin’s liking,” Harkless said. “We wanted to go out there and play hard and win this one for him.” After the game, Lavin made a surprise appearance at Stout’s on 33rd Street, during the kick-off event for the Dribble for the Cure. Lavin has been out of action since undergoing successful prostate cancer surgery. The Dribble for the Cure is an event meant to raise money for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. “You can tell there’s great energy in here,” Lavin said. “It’s great to see St. John’s and UCLA supporters here, fans supporting something more important than the final score.” John Vallely, who is on the Board of Directors of the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, is one of the leaders in branching out the Dribble for the Cure. Vallely, who won two championships playing for John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins, is a cancer survivor who lost his


Send typed announcements for your club or organization’s events at least TWO weeks in advance to “Queens Today” Editor, Queens Tribune, 150-50 14 Road, Whitestone NY 11357. Send faxes to 357-9417, c/o Regina. IF YOUR ORGANIZATION MEETS ON A REGULAR BASIS, SEND ALL DATES FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR.

MISCELLANEOUS METRO CARD VAN Wednesday, February 29 10-noon Howard Beach Senior Center and 1-3 Stop and Shop on Myrtle Avenue in Glendale.

THEATER AWAKE & SING February 24 through March 3 Awake and Sing at Zion Episcopal Church in Douglaston. $15. 482-3332 reservations. MURDER MYSTERY Saturday, March 3 at Temple Tikvah in New Hyde Park. 516-746-1120. RENT April 11-14, 18-20 at LaGuardia Performing Arts. 482-5151. KILLING KOMPANY 1-888-SHOOT-EM for information.

Page 14 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012

SINGLES SIMCHA SINGLES Sunday, February 26 prePurim part y at 2 for those over 30. $10. Little Neck Jewish Center. 516-4871466. SINGLES Wednesday, March 14 New member open house and “Make New Frie4nds & Keep The Old.” Wednesday Night Singles Group of the Samuel Field Y in Little Neck. 7-9. $7 Adult Center members, $9 others. Hot beverages and bagels. 225-6750, ext. 236.

TALKS MEXICAN MODERNISM Monday, February 27 at the Kew Gardens Hills library at 1:30. HOWARD BEACH Monday, February 27 at 6:30 “Black Like Me” discussed at the Howard Beach library. STEINWAY Monday, Februar y 27 “A Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forget fulness” discussed at 6:30 at the Steinway library. CALLIGRAPHY Thursdays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 appreciation of classical Chinese calligraphy at the Flushing library at 6:30.

ENTERTAINMENT MOVING IMAGE Through March 4 Jim Henson Screenings and Programs. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 th Avenue, Astoria. 777-6800. $15. TANGO Through March 18 world premiere musical at Thalia Spanish Theatre in Sunnyside. 729-3880. LUNAR NEW YEAR Saturday, February 25 at the Fresh Meadows library at 2. MUSIC ANDINA Saturday, February 25 at the Broadway library at 3. BENEFIT CONCERT Saturday, February 25 for the Poppenhusen Institute. Irish music with Mary Courtney and Morning Star. 358-0067 tickets. COMMUNITY CAFÉ Saturday, February 25 neighborhood conversation about life in Southeast Q u e e n s 8 : 3 0 - 1 2 : 3 0 . Yo r k College, 94-20 Guy Brewer Blvd., Jamaica. 347-8242301. INFLUX Saturday, February 25 Turkish dance performance by Influx at the Goldstein Theatre, Queens College. Free. 8pm. SPIRITUAL NIGHT Sunday, February 26 performances of Negro Spirituals in song, instrumental, dance and oration at 4 at the Amit y Baptist Church, 16412 108 th Avenue, Jamaica. $20. 516-241-9101. PIERRE MONTIEL Sunday, February 26 World’s Fair historian take a look at the People At The Fair at 2:30. $5 members, $8 others. Queens Historical Societ y. 939-0647, ext. 17. SCHOOL CARNIVAL Sunday, February 26 9-4:30 at Divine Mercy, 101-60 91nd Street, Ozone Park. Face painting, arts and crafts for kids, carnival food, shopping, more. LIVE JAZZ & R&B Sundays, February 26, March 4, 11 live jazz and r&b 6-10 at Déjà vu, 180-25 Linden Blvd., St. Albans. SYMPHONY CONCERT Sunday, February 26 Forest Hills Symphony Orchestra performs at the Forest Hills Jewish Center. 374-1627. $5. MAE C. JAMISON Monday, February 27 at the Baisley Park library at 6. Wednesday, February 29 at 4 at the Queens Village library. Learn about the life of Jamison, who followed her own ambition to become the first African-American woman ever to travel to space. MUSIC AROUND WORLD Tuesday, February 28 at the Briarwood library at 2. BINGO Tu e s d ay s 7 : 1 5 A m e r i c a n Mart yrs Church in Bayside. 4 6 4 - 4 5 8 2 . Tu e s d ay s 7 : 1 5 (doors open 6) Rego Park Jewish Center. 459-1000. $3 admission includes 12 games.

SCRABBLE Tuesdays Fresh Meadows library at 1 and East Flushing library at 3:30. CHESS Tuesdays 4:30 Rosedale library and 4 at LIC library. SPANGLISH SONGS Wednesday, February 29 love songs at the McGoldrick library at 1:30. DUO D’AMOUR Wednesday, February 29 at the Howard Beach library at 2. LOL Wednesday, February 29 break through the winter blues with shows of Laurel and Hardy and more at the Poppenhusen Institute. 3580067. 1-4. FILM & TALK Friday, March 2 an: book discussion at 1, followed by film at 2 at the Flushing lib r a r y. C a l l f o r t i t l e 6 6 1 1200. GAME DAY Fridays 4:30 Woodhaven library. BANANAGRAM/SCRABBLE Fridays Windsor Park library at 2. GAME PLAYERS CLUB Fridays 2 Hillcrest library. FOLKLORIC MUSIC Saturday, March 3 Folkloric music and tango of Argentina at the Flushing library at 2. MIENTRAS TANGO Saturday, March 3 Mientras Tango at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center. 6186170. ONE MAN SHOW Saturday, March 3 Blood Type: Ragu, a one man show, at St. John’s Universit y at 6:15. 990-7541. BAARIA Sunday, March 4 film “Baaria” shown at St. John’s Universit y. Reser ve by February 27 th . $15. CONCERT Sunday, March 4 Irish traditional songs at the Central library at 3.

RELIGIOUS TEMPLE BETH Friday, February 24 Shabbat service at 8. Saturday, February 25 Shabbat service and torah study at 10. Sunday, February 26 Jewish S t a r t a t 9 . Te m p l e B e t h S h o l o m , 1 7 2 nd S t r e e t a n d Northern Blvd., Flushing. 464-4143. REFORM TEMPLE F r i d a y , F e b r u a r y 2 4 dialogue during Shabbat service on “You Will Teach Your Children” at 8 at the Reform Temple of Forest Hills, 71-11 112 th Street. SHABBAT AMERICA Friday, March 2 Shabbat Across America at the Little Neck Jewish Center. 2240404. PURIM PARTY Saturday, March 3 Purim Par t y at the UUCQ, 149 t h Street and Ash Avenue, Flushing. 380-5362. WOMEN’S SEDER Sunday, March 25 at Temple Tikvah. 516-746-1120.

EDUCATION/GAMES/CRAFTS DEFENSIVE DRIVING Saturday, February 25 in Valley Stream. 341-0452. SEWING CLASSES Saturdays 11-3 at Maria Rose International Doll Museum in St. Albans. 2763454. SCRABBLE CLUB Saturdays at 10 at Count Basie Jr. HS. 886-5236. PET OWNERS Saturdays (not on holiday weekends) from 1-4 free Doggie Boot Camp at Crocheron Park in Bayside (weather permitting). 4545800. Reservations required. Donations accepted. LIC CRAFT CLUB Monday, February 27 t the LIC library at 1. SHELL JEWELRY Monday, February 27 Cowrie Shell Jewelry at the Ar verne library. Register. JOB SEARCH Monday, February 27 job search strategies at the Central library. 990-5102. MOTIVATIONAL WORK. Monday, February 27 at the Laurelton library at 6. BALLROOM DANCING Mondays, February 27, March 5, 12, 19, 26 at the Forest Hills library at 6:30. JOB SEARCH Monday, February 27 Job Search at the South Jamaica library at 2. INTRO EMAIL Monday, February 27 at the C e n t ra l l i b ra r y. 9 9 0 - 5 1 0 2 register. BRIDGE CLUB Mondays except holidays 12-4 at Pride of Judea in Douglaston. Lesson & play $10. Partners arranged. 4236200. DRAWING CLASS Mondays National Art League in Douglaston. 3610628. LINE DANCE Mondays beginner to intermediate lessons in Bayside. 917-886-0519. ADULT CHESS Mondays and Thursdays Queens Village library at 5:30. COMPUTER CLASS Tuesday, February 28 at the Bellerose library at 10:30 and 11:15. INTRO COMPUTER Tuesday, February 28 at the Queens Village library. Register. BASIC COMPUTER Tu e s d a y s , F e b r u a r y 2 8 , March 6 at the Rosedale library at 10:30 and the LIC library at 11. ONLINE LEARNING Tuesday, February 28 at the LIC library at 1:30. INTRO WORD Tu e s d a y s C e n t ra l l i b ra r y. 990-0700 to register. OWN BUSINESS Every Tuesday Owning Your Own Business: The Nuts and Bolts of Getting Started 6:307:30 at the Central library. LI CHESS CLUB Tuesdays LIC library at 4. KNIT & CROCHET Tuesdays Windsor Park library at 2. PRACTICE LABS Tuesdays Arverne librar y at 10:30.

GET YOUR YARNS OUT! Tuesdays after evening Minyan at 8, knitters, crocheters, needlepointers, and others meet at the Forest Hills Jewish Center. 263-7000, ext. 200. RESUMES Wednesday, February 29 at the Central library at 10:30. SOCIAL NETWORKING Wednesday, February 29 at t h e C e n t ra l l i b r a r y. 9 9 0 5102. LEARNING LABS Wednesdays at the LIC library at 1:30. KNITTING CLUB Wednesdays Bayside library. Register. INTRO COMPUTERS Wednesdays Central library. Register. DUPLICATE BRIDGE Wednesdays 10:30-3:00 Re fo r m Te m p l e o f F o r e st Hills. $12 session, includes light lunch. 261-2900 DRAWING/WATERCOLOR Wednesdays Drawing and Watercolor classes at the National Art League.969-1128. OIL PAINTING CLASS Wednesdays Grace Lutheran Church in Forest Hills. 4724055. LEARN TO DANCE Thursdays ballroom smooth and Latin dances at the Samuel Field Adult Center in Little Neck. 2256750, ext. 236. BOOT CAMP Thursdays learn computer programs at the Arverne library at 10:30. COMPUTERS Thursdays Glen Oaks library. Register. Rosedale library at 6.

QUILTING CLASS Thursdays 10-2 Maria Rose Doll Museum in St. Albans. 276-3454 East Elmhurst library at 12:30. . COMPUTER CLASS Thursdays Queensboro Hill library. Register. KNIT & CROCHET Thursdays Fresh Meadows library at 6. Crochet at the South Hollis library at 6:30. BOOT CAMP Fridays through March 30 at the LIC library at 2. WORD Starting Fridays, March 2 Introduction and Intermediate Word at the Samuel Field Y in Little Neck. $100 for four 2 hour sessions. 225-6750, ext. 236. CHESS CLUB Fridays Auburndale library at 3:30.Tutorial Woodside library at 4. BEGIN COMPUTERS Fridays Poppenhusen and Middle Village libraries. Register. COMPUTER LAB Fridays practice time at the Arverne library at noon. KNITTING CLUB Fridays Maspeth library at 10. KNIT & CROCHET Fridays Fresh Meadows library at 10:30. COMPUTER COURSE Every Friday Ozone Park library. Register. HENNA PAINTING Saturday, March 3 at the Steinway library at 2. JOB SEARCH Saturday, March 3 at the Central library. Register.

HEALTH BLOOD DRIVES Sunday, February 26 Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Ridgewood and Our Lady of Mercy in Forest Hills. Monday, February 27 Avalon Riverside Apartments in LIC. LI Blood Services. 1800-933-2566. WAITANKUNG Sunday s at 2. Total-body workout. Flushing Hospital/ Medical Center. Free. Jimmy 7-10pm 347-2156. CHAIR YOGA Monday, February 27 at the South Jamaica library. Register. LEARN CPR Monday, February 27 learn CPR at the Rosedale library. Register. TAI CHI Mondays and Thursdays at 11 at the Cardiac Health Center in Fresh Meadows. 670-1695. $5. ALZHEIMERS Tu e s d a y, F e b r u a r y 2 8 Caregiver Support Group in Forest Hills. 592-5757, ext. 237. CAREGIVERS SUPPORT Tuesdays Western Queens Caregiver Network in Sunnyside. 5:30-6:30. 7846173, ext. 431. Also, 3:304:30 Selfhelp Clearview Senior Center, 208-11 26 th Avenue, Bayside. 631-1886. ZUMBA

Wednesdays 6:30-7:30 Cardiac Health Center in Fresh Meadows. 670-1695. $10 class. WILLING HEARTS Thursday, March 1 Willing hearts, Helpful Hands for caregivers at the Laurelton library at 6. CO-DEPENDENTS ANON. Fridays 10-11:45 at Resurrection Ascension Pastoral C e n t e r , 8 5 - 1 8 6 1 st R o a d , Rego Park. Women only. BLOOD DRIVE Sunday, March 4 at Young Israel of New Hyde Park. 552-6449.

EXHIBIT SOCRATES SCULPTURE Through March 4 Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition at Socrates Sculpture Park. 956-1819. NAL Through March 6 Small Works Members’ Exhibition at the National Art League, 44-21 Douglaston Parkway 14 Monday through Thursday and Saturday. Free. QUEENS PROJECT Through March 31 “Vignettes from the Queens Project” at the Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing.

What’s Up SATURDAY, FEB. 25 Walkers For Wellness Club

SUNDAY, FEB. 26 Black History Month Celebration

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.

The Maria Rose Doll Museum and Cultural Center is pleased to present a Black History Month Celebration. Come on out for a thrilling afternoon that will include: Naida Njoku speaking on Black Inventions by Black Inventors; Barbara Ezell speaking on Wilson Rantus; Ms. Karen Bowen speaking on The Underground Railroad; poetry by Barbara Scott; Najuma Weeks doing an impersonation of Josephine Baker; and Shirley Phipps speaking on the Smithsonian, National Museum of African American History and Culture. Tickets can be purchased for $10. This event will be held at The Maria Rose Doll Museum - 187-11 Linden Blvd., from 3 to 7 p.m.

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.

Black History Month Celebration Councilman Leroy Comrie invites you to celebrate Black History Month. This fantastic celebration will include performances by: Adrienne Adams; St. Benedict School of Dance; Colby Christina Myers; The Moriah Music Ministry; The Kerri Edge School of Dance; Ayana Cole and The Ensemble of Praise. Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, President of the NAACP NY State Conference. The Mistress of Ceremonies will be NY1 News Anchor Cheryl Wills. For more information, call (718) 776-3700 or visit This free event will be held at Black Spectrum Theatre,177th Street and Baisley Boulevard, from noon to 4 p.m.

Salute to Gospel

Art Exhibit Opening and Poetry Reading 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 4 p.m.

Participants will learn the basics: how to create an email account, how to log on, how to navigate your email account, send and receive email messages and attach documents. To register, 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.

TUESDAY, FEB. 28 Walkers For Wellness Club

Are you ready to apply for jobs? Are you avoiding common errors? Does your resume stand out? Participants will learn how to get started, types of resumes, what to include and what not to include on your resume, and tips for making your resume stronger. This free event will be held at Queens Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., at 10:30 a.m.

The Jamaica Neighborhood Center offers a free service to assist people from Southeast Queens with job-readiness skill sets in writing a professional resume and cover letter; interviewing practices and techniques; applying on-line procedures; elevator pitch and Microsoft Suite 2007. For additional information, contact Ethan Chazin, Job Coach, at (718) 7392060, Ext. 18 or 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.

Social Networking

CPR Training

Facebook, Twitter, Google+ ? What are these new websites everyone keeps talking about? Learn about social media and how you can use it to stay in touch with loved ones, keep up with the news and leverage your network for your job search. To register, please call (718) 9905102 or visit the Job Information Center. Basic Computer skills required. Participants must have an email address. This free event will be held at Queens Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., at 6:30 p.m.

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. In Queens, the classes will be held the fourth Thursday of every month at EMS Station 54, 222-15 Merrick Blvd. In addition, please visit for New York Sports Club locations offering free CPR classes starting in January. Please visit or call (718) 999-2413 for more information.

Learn About Resumes

See Tuesday’s listing. At 7 p.m.

Google Tips and Tricks In this single-session workshop, participants will learn about the different categories in Google; how to share documents online; organize medical records and much more. Participants 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 Queens Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., at 6 p.m.

Community Jam Session Established in 2006, the York College Community Jam Session is a chance for musicians to come together and strut their stuff! All instruments are welcome and the event is open to anyone in the greater York College community, including students, faculty, staff, members of the community, and beyond. Copies of The Real Book Vol. 1 will be provided in addition to a weighted keyboard, bass amp, and a newly purchased drum set! This is a low stress environment for all levels of musicians with high return! No previous experience required, just the love of making music. Audience members welcome! Think of it as a musical study break. And who knows, you may make a friend or two! See you there. Open to the public. Please arrive early; no reserved seating. This free event will be held at the York College Illinois Jacquet Performance Space at the Chapel of the Three Sisters, 94-15 159th St., at 7 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 29 Picture Book Storytime Enjoy picture books, stories, songs, fin-


THURSDAY, MARCH 1 Walkers For Wellness Club See Saturday’s listing. At 7 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.

FRIDAY, MARCH 2 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, call Simone Williams at (347) 731-1721 or email This free event will be held on the second floor of the Young Queens Loft, 148-14 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.

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

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

Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 15

Margert Community Corporation and Councilman James Sanders Jr. are pleased to present a “Salute to Gospel.”This event will feature performances by: McDonald’s “Faces of Black History;” McDonald’s Gospel Choir; Audrey DuBois-Harris; The Timothy Wright Memorial Choir; Rev. Hartley and Haven Ministries; Sheimyrah Mighty; Marguerit Holland; U4OURIA; J.R. Roberts; EC Dorsey and The Tehillah Project; and the York College Gospel Choir. Tickets to this event are free but are limited to two per person and are available on a first come, first served basis. This free event will be held at York College Performing Arts Center - 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., from 3 to 7 p.m.

MONDAY, FEB. 27 Intro to Email

ger 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.

People The Queens Jewish Community Council will launch Project Chaim (Committed to providing the Homebound Aged and Infirmed with Meals) at its member synagogues Feb. 25. All rabbis and presidents of the QJCC member congregations in Queens will be asked to make a Shabbat Appeal to continue the Kosher Meals on Wheels program for frail and homebound older Jewish citizens of Queens. Pledge cards will be available at

Auto Competition:

Shabbat services at all member congregations during services on Feb. 25. Donations can be sent to the Queens Jewish Community Council, 119-45 Union Turnpike, Forest Hills, NY 11375 or via credit card at

named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2011 semester at Wells College in Aurora.

Hawa Omar of Jamaica has been invited to join the Mu chapter of omicron Delta Epsilon, the international economics honor society, at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Va. To be invited to join, a student must meet the following criteria: a minimum 3.0 GPA in economics and overall, completion of 12 semester hours in economics and ranked in the top third of her class.

Natasha A. Bennett of Jamaica was named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2011 semester at SUNY Canton.

Local students were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2011 semester at SUNY Brockport. They include: Rosedale: Steven Robinson. South Ozone Park: Amanda Williams. St. Albans: Tysha Llewellyn. Raza Mohammad Wani of Hollis, Benjamin Adam Chu of Queens Village and Zachary Bernard Gale of Jamaica were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2011 semester at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. Amir Abraham and Rajiv Daniel, students at Thomas A. Edison High School, recently took second place in the Greater New York Automotive Dealer Association State Finals Competition. The students performed tasks ranging from precision measurements to diagnostics.


Amy L. Wise of Hollis Hills and Cindy Nervil of Jamaica were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2011 semester at SUNY Oswego. Haniyyah Bashir of Rosedale was


Junk Cars

Yeimmy Torrez of Jamaica was named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2011 semester at Ithaca College.

Millicent L. Rattray of South Ozone Park earned an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing degree during commencement ceremonies at Excelsior College in Albany. Allian Gentille of Queens Village was named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2011 semester at SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica. 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. 12-18. The following players each received a cash prize valued at $10,000 or more. Luis Fernandez of Hollis won $69,173 on the Take Five drawing Feb. 13. Fernandez’s winning ticket was purchased at M&P Tobacco & Stationery, 205-10 Hillside Ave., Hollis. Johnny Duff of Jamaica won $20,024 on the Quick Draw drawing Feb. 17. Duff’s winning ticket was purchased at Rochdale Junction, 165-90 Baisley Blvd., Jamaica.

Junk Cars

The New York Lottery announced the names of area Lottery players who claimed a winning scratch-off ticket Feb. 12-18 and received a cash prize valued at $10,000 or more. Timothy Powell of Jamaica won $25,000 on the Triple Million scratch-off game. Powell’s winning ticket was purchased at Turnpike Enterprises One, 315 Rockaway Turnpike, Lawrence. Mohammad Uddin of Ozone Park won $25,000 on the Bonus Spot Cash scratchoff game. Uddin’s winning ticket was purchased at Fortune Hut, 76-11 101 Ave., Ozone Park. Lillian Leslie of Jamaica won $100,000 on the Double Triple Cashword scratch-off game. Leslie’s winning ticket was purchased at Star 7, 2258 3rd Ave., New York.

Tell The PRESS Send notices of graduation, awards, anniversaries, engagements and honors to: PRESS of Southeast Queens 150-50 14th Rd. Whittestone, NY 111357 All announcements will be considered for publication without fee.

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Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 17


Models Of Queens

Full of Grace This Asian beauty began her modeling career about two years ago. Originally a singer/songwriter, Grace said she saw an ad on a website looking for models. Her interests had been expanding into fashion. “I thought, why not combine the two?” she said. Not long after, she found herself getting callbacks for photo shoots. And thus, her modeling career was launched. Her interests in fashion and modeling didn’t cancel out her desire to produce music, however. When she’s not doing a photo shoot, Grace said she is taking the time to work on music – for herself and for others. She gives music lessons on the side, teaching kids what it takes to be a pop star. “During lessons, I teach them both vocals and model walking,” she said. With her interests in music and fashion, it doesn’t sound like she would have much free time, but Grace said that when she has some down time, she enjoys walking around her community. When she came to the U.S. about 7 years ago, she first lived in Forest Hills. Now, though, Grace lives in Flushing, and if she has her way, she’ll be there for a long time. “I want to live here forever,” she said. “It’s very clean and quiet here, and my neighbors are friendly.”

Grace Shin Home: Flushing Age: 23 Height: 5’6" Weight: 115 lbs. Stats: 32-26-34

Nicki Minaj during her Grammy confession. Could she need an Exorcist?

Nicki Minaj stage – ofDemon? a major awards show like

Nicki Minaj must’ve received some inspiration from Madonna at the Super Bowl halftime show. The South Jamaica entertainer performed her song “Roman Holiday” on last week’s Grammy Awards in a five minute spectacle that included a confessional, an exorcism, and Minaj levitating. Catholicism has often been a target for female entertainers: Madonna burned crosses in 1989’s “Like A Prayer.” Lady Gaga gave Jesus cornrows in last year’s “Judas.” But neither took it to the

Minaj did. The Catholic Church took some time off from trying to dictate American political policy this week to criticize Minaj’s performance. “There are Catholic priests who are trained to perform exorcisms, and it seems plain that the time has come for Nicki Minaj to make an appointment,” said a church representative in response to the performance. We’d find her a lot less interesting if she did.

It’s Lin-Sane! Mets Bobble Schedule They may be the hottest games of the NY Met's 2012 season so get your ticketss now, and your Bobbleheads at the games.

Tom Seaver Bobblehead – Sun, Apr 22 at 1:10 p.m. vs. Giants • Rusty Staub Bobblehead – Sat, May 26 at 1:10 p.m. vs. Padres • Keith Hernandez Bobblehead – Sun, Jun 17 at 1:10 p.m. vs. Reds • Edgardo Alfonzo Bobble – Sat, Jul 21, 1:10 p.m. vs. Dodgers • Mike Piazza Bobblehead – Sat, Aug 25 at 1:10 p.m. vs. Astros

The dispute between Time Warner Cable and the MSG Network at the same time as the rise to prominence of Jeremy Lin, caused more demand for Knicks games, and one Queens restaurant was looking to cash in. Applebee’s, in the Sky View Center in Flushing, last week invited the media to the restaurant for the Knicks-Hornets game, but not to watch the game. A press release from the chain restaurant read “Come in during the game and see the reaction of many Asian fans as they watch everyone’s favorite player of the week, Jeremy Lin, who is of AsianAmerican descent…” The release went on to say that restauJeremy Lin rant managers would be available for comment, to give “the inside scoop on the chain, games, fans and more.” Coming soon to an Applebee’s near you: expert basketball analysis, free with every appetizer!

Page 18 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012

Confidentially, New York . . . Our favorite Mets Bobbleheads: Mr. Met and the late, great Gary Carter

Bobble, Bobble, Bobble The New York Mets, to the delight of millions, have released their bobblehead schedule for the 2012 season. Though the Mets are expected to not be so hot this year (we are still waiting on Ruben Tejada’s first homerun since 2010), bobblehead season is expected to set the borough on fire. Fkifty short years have passed since the Mets’ lovable but disastrous 1962 season, and the franchise wants to commemorate this anniversary with a series of legendary Met bobbleheads. Mike Piazza, Edgardo Alfonzo, Keith Hernandez, Tom Seaver, and Rusty

Staub will all have bobble heads given out to the first 25,000 fans in their honor – see schedule. There’s no problem with honoring past heroes—the Mets are actually making up for opening their stadium in 2009 with little reference to the great players who actually played for the franchise. Sadly for 2012 Mets fans, current Met bobblehead days seem to be in short (or no) supply. Somehow, it’s difficult to imagine 25,000 people knocking each other over for a Justin Turner doll. Almost as difficult as imagining this team winning 80 games.

The cards were for John Coccarelli, Groveland Correctional Facility

Holiday Hi-jinx Most of us remember making handmade cards during the holidays in elementary school. After making cards for our family and friends, we sent cards to seniors to brighten their holidays. One teacher at Corona’s PS 143 had her students make cards for a special person living in solitude- her incarcerated boyfriend. She said she was just trying to be nice. Hey, even prisoners get lonely during the holidays.

pm Friday, May 11, 2012 • 7:00 pm & 7:00pm Saturday, May 12, 2012 • 2:00 pm Sunday, May 13, 2012 • 3:00

$15.00 Gen Admission / $12.00 Seniors / $10.00 Group / $5 Students with ID • Suitable for mature audience only

THE YORK COLLEGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 94-45 Guy Brewer Blvd., Jamaica, NY 11451

L’APRILE CONCERTANTE Mezzo-Soprano Fri, April 20, 2012 • 7:00 PM


Box Office: 718-262-2840 PAC Information: 718-262-3750 Tickets are available online at:

Feb. 24 - March 1, 2012 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 19

The York College Big Band York College Theater presents Spotlights Series features TK BLUE HEARTBEAT in a Tribute to Stevie Wonder March 16, 17, 18, 20 & 22nd Friday, March 23, 2012 7:00 PM


pm Friday, May 4, 2012 • 7:00 00pm Saturday, May 5, 2012 • 7: pm Sunday, May 6, 2012 • 3:00

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