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Volume 15 Issue No. 15 April 11-17, 2014

PRESS Photo by Natalia Kozikowska

TIME TO CLEAN UP

Community leaders gather to call for a greater focus on keeping Southeast Queens clean. By Natalia Kozikowska ‌ Page 3.

ONLINE AT WWW.QUEENSPRESS.COM


Page 2 PRESS of Southeast Queens April 11-17, 2014

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News Briefs Galante Avoids Indefinite Leave of Absence

Despite protests from elected officials, Queens Library head Thomas Galante will continue to serve the organization. The Queens Library Board of Trustees had a split, 9-9 vote during their meeting Thursday night. The tie meant that the body did not reach the majority vote needed, throwing out the option of forcing Galante to take a leave of absence. The board was voting on a resolution that would have taken Galante out of his Queens Library job while investigations of the system were ongoing, including an audit by Comptroller Scott Stringer. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz had previously called for Galante to take an indefinite leave of absence. According to the resolution, Galante would have been placed on leave from his duty with pay and the board would have revisited the situation three months after the date of that meeting, which was April 3. “…at this time, his continued critical role in the Library’s capital program is not in the best interests of the Queens Borough Public Library, since this investigation impacts upon his ability to effectively represent and lead the Library,” the resolution read. But the tied vote allows the embattled Queens Library head to keep his job. After the meeting, Queens Library released a statement announcing that the Board of Trustees has adopted several reforms to its policies, including an audit committee, which will add oversight to the library’s finances, and a review of Galante’s contract. They said that an evaluation will be made of his deal and compare it to other similarly-sized not-for-profit organizations. “In the last six weeks, the Board of Trustees has moved very swiftly to implement a series of significant changes in policies and governance that strengthen the institution,” the library said in its statement. The reforms are similar to that of a bill, aptly named the Queens Library Reform Bill, that was announced earlier that day by State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Katz.

Rosedale Library To Close For Renovations

At the end of the business day on April 17, Rosedale Library, located at 144-20 243rd St., will temporarily close for renovations. To make up for the interruption of services, Queens Library will have a mobile library

that will provide limited service every Wednesday, beginning April 30. During the closure, the community is invited to visit any of Queens Library’s other locations. The closest are at 169-09 137th Ave. in Rochdale Village and at 134-26 225th St. in Laurelton. For more information, please visit www.queenslibrary.org. When the library re-opens in early fall, customers of the Rosedale Library will enjoy new HVAC, new ceilings and new lighting. The renovation project cost is $895,000 and approved in large part because of the efforts of Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) who helped secure funding for the upgrade. The Laurelton Library will also be closed on April 17 and 18 so that a 24/7 exterior self-service kiosk can be installed. The Laurelton Library, located at 134-26 225th St., is expected to open during regular service hours on April 21.

Results Are Tallied For Participatory Budgeting

The results are in from the participatory budgeting project and five areas within Community Board 9 will get much-needed money. Councilman Eric Ulrich (ROzone Park) announced the participatory budgeting, which allows residents to spend around $1 million of capital funds to improve facilities throughout the community. This year was the first that residents living within CB9 got to participate, and five projects will be funded through the initiative. The proposals include: upgrades to multiple schools throughout the district, including new fencing around the school yard at JHS210 and technology upgrades at PS273 and PS60; installing real-time bus countdown clocks at four bus stops within CB9; paving two miles of road along Woodhaven Boulevard; repaving paths adjacent to the Schaffer Memorial in Forest Park; and a full interior renovation to the Richmond Hill Library. The school upgrades received the most votes and the most money allocated from the pot of money available, $376,000 in total. The upgrades received 137 votes in total. Paving Woodhaven Boulevard and repaving paths in Forest Park will cost $300,000 and $150,000 respectively. With 112 votes, the bus countdown clocks received the second-most votes. Almost 1,000 residents voted between Ulrich’s two participatory budgeting projects, which included Rockaway for the second consecutive year.


April 11-17, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 3

Presstime

Wildcat Clean-Up Initiative Expands In SEQ BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA On April 7, Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) joined community leaders, the Dept. of Sanitation and the Wildcat Service Corporation, to announce the expansion of the Clean Streets, Safe Neighborhoods, Strong Communities initiative in Southeast Queens. In addition to the expansion of the clean-up initiative, the Councilman and those gathered called for support for three newly introduced City Council bills – Intro 183, Intro 204 and Intro 121, which would strengthen regulations on illegal dumping and the misuse of a litter basket. The City is currently budgeted to spend approximately $1.4 billion to meet sanitation needs this year. But while Borough officials touted the budget allocation, many said they feel that money is not all that is needed to resolve the community’s garbage problem. “This is something that has

plagued Southeast Queens for a moment and there are many folks who recognize the problem,” said Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans), who was also on board to throw his support behind the initiative. “Money alone will not solve the problem. We need to invest in policy that addresses these issues.” If passed by the City Council, Intro 183, authored by Wills, would increase fines for illegal dumping and allow for vehicle seizures and a misdemeanor offense for violations. Intro 2014, authored by Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), calls for a fine increase for those who discard their garbage in public litter baskets. Intro 121, also authored by Wills, suspends the issuance of sanitation tickets on Sundays. “We are no longer playing games with people coming into our community and robbing us of a decent quality of life,” Wills said. As part of the initiative, the cleanup program incorporates the DOS’s “Adopt a Basket” program, an addi-

tional day of basket pick-up and regular weekly Wildcat Service Corporation clean-up services. Businesses along commercial strips in areas of Community Boards 9, 10, 12 and 13 are given the opportunity to maintain litter baskets close to their business to prevent illegal dumping and the overflow of garbage. Employees of Wildcat and the DOS will conduct garbage pickups from the litter baskets. “The Department looks forward to participating in the improvement of cleaning such a vibrant community in Queens,” said DOS community affairs officer, Ignazio Terranova. “The last four to five years, we’ve really been trying to make an impact in helping cleaning up these areas, and with this initiative, we really feel that we can make an impact on peoples’ lives,” said David Saturn, director of facilities management of Wildcats. The Wildcat program, which is entering its third year in Southeast Queens, will help clean-up communi-

ties in City Council Districts 27, 28 and 31. Leaders and residents from the participating districts were on hand to express their gratitude. “We wish to thank Council Member Wills for including the commercial areas in Board 10 as locations where the Wildcats will be helping our merchants and residents stay ahead of the never-ending cycle of litter and waste that ends up in the wrong places,” said CB10 chair Betty Bratton. “We all need to join in the effort to make sure the waste ends up where it belongs.” “Our community has several abandoned houses, squatters, dumpers and it’s not attractive. We, as the Block Association of 198th Street, are willing and physically able to help pick up garbage,” said D27 resident Yvonne Morgan. “We just need some of this help to get this organized so we can keep our neighborhood clean.” Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or nkozikowska@queenspress.com.

Queens Airport Workers Rally For Better Pay In September of last year, Wendy Arellano, a Queens mother of two, had to make one of the most difficult decisions in her life. “I had to send my kids to live with my mother in Long Island. They were spending too much time by themselves,” she said. “I couldn’t be a good mother because I had to make money. I couldn’t do both. I had to do one or the other.” Arellano, a cabin cleaner at LaGuardia Airport, is just one of 12,000 Queens airport workers who say they are struggling to make ends meet with their low hourly wages from the airport subcontractors at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airports. “It’s hard for me because I do miss them a lot, but I know they are doing fine and at least this way, they are not struggling with food. When they lived with me, it wasn’t fair to them because I couldn’t buy them what they needed,” she said. “We have families we have to take care of and $9 an hour is just not enough – especially for me, being a single mother.” Tapping into the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement marches, on April 4, hundreds of airport passenger service workers, including Arellano, rallied from JFK Airport to LaGuardia

Airport, a 10-mile walk, of City councilmen and the to protest for higher wagadministration standing es and work benefits. with you, understanding the The rally, organized value of working people.” by the advocacy group The LaGuardia and JFK 32BJ SEIU, comes just airport workers have begun a weeks after the Marcountdown to April 28 – the tin Luther King Day expiration date for a 90-day civil disobedience massdeadline set forth by the Port arrest of protestors on Authority of New York and the 94th Street Bridge New Jersey for major carriers across from LaGuardia and their contractors to come Airport. In commemoraup with a plan to offer emtion, workers at the proployees sustainable wages. test held up signs readThe workers have already ing “I am a man” and “I On April 4, hundreds of JFK and LaGuardia Airport workers seen some progress in their am a woman” in English joined together to protest for better pay and work benefits. efforts. Most recently, the and in Spanish. Port Authority implement“Every step that we took is a step said Assemblyman David Weprin (D- ed a policy to reform worker wages towards our goal and it’s without a Fresh Meadows). “Dr. Martin Luther and benefits for the employees of doubt that we will see change,” said King died fighting for workers [and] some contractors. speaker Shareeka Elliott, one of the what you did today by walking 10 miles, Delta was the first to sign on to the 32 protestors taken into police cus- something that the bosses at the airport plan, offering its JFK airport employtody at the Jan. 20 march. “Dr. King would never have done, you stood up for ees a $1 raise as of March 1. American did more than I did, so to do this is your rights and for justice – for men and Airlines soon followed, but its workers not great sacrifice – just like it was women to be treated fairly.” have not yet received the $1 raise. “Dr. King said you should not no great sacrifice to get arrested here, In contrast, JetBlue Airlines has have a full-time job and receive part- refused the policy and United Airjust over this bridge.” A number of elected officials time salaries,” echoed Councilman I. lines, the region’s most dominant from the Borough also took part in Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans), who carrier with 70 percent of the pasthe rally to show their support and chairs the City Council’s civil service senger traffic at Newark Airport, has urge airport subcontractors to offer and labor committee. “He said that remained silent on the proposals. more than 40 years ago, and we’re their employees livable wages. Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikows“I’m here to say that I’m with you 100 still fighting the same fight today. The ka at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or percent. You’re making history today,” difference is today, you have a group nkozikowska@queenspress.com. Photo by Natalia Kozikowska

BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA


Page 4 PRESS of Southeast Queens April 11-17, 2014

Letitia James Talks Public Advocate Plans BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA

Photo by Luis Gronda

Earlier this week, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James sat down with the PRESS of Southeast Queens staff, where she discussed a number of issues relevant to Queens residents and offered her feedback on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first 100 days in office. James began the interview by describing the way she perceives herself as the City’s Public Advocate, expanding on her role as a checks and balances to de Blasio. “I see myself as a thorn in the side of the Mayor,” she said. “Even though the Mayor and I are part of the same party, I have criticized Mayor de Blasio.” The Public Advocate went on to highlight some issues she feels the Mayor has not addressed correctly or in a timely fashion, touching upon affordable housing, the City’s poor snowstorm response and the mishandling of school co-locations. She also criticized de Blasio, a former Public Advocate himself, for not allocating her office the proper funds that she believes she needs to operate most effectively. She noted that her $2.2 million budget is significantly less than former Public

Public Advocate Letitia James sat down with the PRESS staff to talk about her role. Advocates Mark Green, whose offices were allocated $8 million, and Betsy Gotbaum, whose offices were allocated $5-6 million. “For a Citywide office, that’s unacceptable. The charter mandates that we be treated as a Citywide office and unfortunately, we’re not being treated the same,” she said. “Borough Presidents have a larger budget than we do and I believe this is a violation of the charter.” Despite her many criticisms, James said that she would give de Blasio an overall letter grade of B + for his performance during his first 100 days in office. She touted the Mayor’s progress in initiatives like universal pre-kindergarten, the advantage programs for the homeless

and Stop and Frisk reform. But, while explaining why she docked de Blasio a few points, James playfully took a jab at the Mayor’s reputation for tardiness. While discussing issues relevant to Queens, James shared her opinions regarding embattled Queens Library CEO Thomas Galante, who has been under fire by media and elected officials alike for his $391,994 annual salary and $140,000 in office renovations. “Mr. Galante should resign. I know it’s unlikely that he will walk away from $2 million [severance pay], but right now, it’s a distraction,” she said. James also took the time to discuss her controversial lawsuit against the City, which seeks to block the 36 charter school co-locations approved by de Blasio and the Dept. of Education earlier this year. “I’ve supported charter school co-locations while in the Council, but the difference there was that the stakeholders came to the table,” she said. “With these co-locations, all the voices of the parents have not been heard.” The Public Advocate similarly noted that many of the City’s approved co-location plans did not take classroom size and building capac-

ity into account. She cited the Richmond Hill High School co-location proposal as a prime example of such an instance. “The school has 22 trailers all filled with children, mostly international children,” she said. “This is a big school that is being considered for a co-location and it’s unacceptable.” James also spoke to another hot-button issue in the Borough and the City – workers’ rights and workers’ compensation. Citing two recent rallies, the Borough’s airport workers protest for better pay and the United Parcel Service drivers’ protest against the termination of 250 employees, James said she feels that middle-class Americans are struggling to make ends meet. “Middle class families are fighting for survival,” she said. She vowed that, in the case of UPS, which receives significant funding from the City and has refused to sit down with James, disciplinary measures will be taken to ensure to that workers are treated fairly – even if it means cutting the cord on some of the City’s crucial funding. Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or nkozikowska@queenspress.com or @nkozikowska.


April 11-17, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 5

EXCLUSIVE:

Investment Groups Eye Holliswood Hospital

BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA The PRESS of Southeast Queens has learned that at least three investment groups have submitted proposals and are being considered for redeveloping Holliswood Hospital in Jamaica, which closed in August due to a significant loss in funding. According to a source close to the situation, the six-acre property located at 87-37 Palermo St., formerly a psychiatric hospital, is being managed by the Long Island-based Liberty Management Group and has sparked the interest of Park Nursing Home in Far Rockaway, Advanced Care Staffing in Brooklyn and another unidentified investment group interested in transforming the hospital into an assisted living residential building. According to multiple sources, at least two other investment groups, and possibly more, have also expressed interest in the property but have been shut out of the deal – despite offering Liberty Management more than $10 million – a figure which would have covered the debt the group has acquired upon purchasing the property last year. Though Liberty Management,

represented by MassaWhile the future of Holchusetts attorney Robliswood Hospital is still ert Eustis, is far from murky, Weprin said that he selecting the developer, will “monitor the process the Holliswood Civic very closely” to ensure Board has been in conthat whatever investment tact with the managegroup purchases the propment at Holliswood erty from Liberty ManageHospital, advising the ment will keep the commucivic that several businity’s interest and needs in nesses have expressed mind. interest. “We just want to make According to an sure that whatever the email obtained by the Three investment groups have submitted proposals and are being property is used for, that PRESS of Southeast considered for the redevelopment of Holliswood Hospital. it suits the neighborhood,” Queens, members of he said. “I believe that we Community Board 8 and the office need some facility that’s consistent of Queens Borough President Me- facility for nurses and other staffers with the services that have been linda Katz will be in touch with the interested in advancing their careers there previously.” Holliswood Civic Board “to schedule in the medical field. Weprin noted that a nursing home Though little information regard- would be a good option for the site, a meeting with the hospital management to discuss the various proposals ing the third player has been made whereas a drug treatment facility may for the site.” However, no date been public, a number of sources, includ- be met with opposition by residents ing Councilman Mark Weprin (D- who live near the hospital. scheduled as of press time. Katz said her offices are looking Oakland Gardens), have heard that “I do not think that the community into the situation, but had no new the unidentified developer has ex- would be receptive to a drug treatment information on the status of the hos- pressed their interest in transforming facility,” he said. “I think in this case, a the property into a residential build- nursing home would be a more acceptpital. The first key player, Park Nurs- ing, which will likely feature assisted able facility to put there.” ing Home, provides nursing care living. Reach Reporter Natalia KozikowsLiberty Management’s attorney ka at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or for seniors. The second key player, Advanced Care Staffing, is a health- Eustis has not responded to requests nkozikowska@queenspress.com or care provider and a medical training for comment as of press time. @nkozikowska.


Page 6 PRESS of Southeast Queens April 11-17, 2014

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

Editor-in-Chief:

Steven J. Ferrari Contributing Editor:

Marcia Moxam Comrie Production Manager:

Shiek Mohamed Queens Today Editor

Regina Vogel

Reporters: Natalia Kozikowska Joe Marvilli Luis Gronda Trisha Sakhuja

Art Dept:

Rhonda Leefoon Lianne Procanyn Barbara Townsend Maureen Coppola Advertising Director Shanie Persaud Director Corporate Accounts/Events Advertising Executives Shari Strongin Brenda Jones

A Queens Tribune Publication © Copyright 2014 Tribco, LLC

Michael Nussbaum Publisher Ria McPherson Comptroller

Full Campaign Reform Needed New York State’s campaign financing needs a severe overhaul. This is not a radical concept, and it is a concept that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has led us to believe that he supports. So what need is there to selectively enforce a campaign reform measure on just one office, that of State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli? While DiNapoli has been a proponent of campaign reform, and he stressed that his office should be included in the measure, it makes little sense to enact a “pilot program” for reform with just one office as a test run. If the state is willing to adopt a measure, it should be done state-wide. A more broad reform measure that was originally proposed by the Governor ended up as a political casualty as Cuomo faced opposition from State Senate Republicans. It is just another example of a governmental body that has long been considered broken. Many good government groups have expressed frustration with the pilot program, and with good reason. For too long, the State Legislature has been seen as a place for backroom deals and low on transparency. Gov. Cuomo had the opportunity to begin righting the ship with campaign finance reform this year. Instead, he agreed to continue the status quo and seemingly tried to punish only one office. Of course, many elected officials who have gone without these reforms would oppose it. It is Gov. Cuomo’s responsibility to force the issue and push these reforms through. It is time to stop letting the inmates run the asylum and introduce much-needed control into the state election system.

Letters Typical Situation?

To The Editor: UPS fires 250 workers yet CEO Scott Davis makes $11.5 million. They say these workers were terminated because they put children who need insulin at risk. Yet firing 250 employees and increasing the work load of the remaining employees makes sense to them somehow? This is the GOP template in a nutshell. Pay workers less, destroy their unions if possible and let the CEOs reap obscene profits. Robert LaRosa, Whitestone

World’s Fairs Too Costly

To The Editor: World’s Fairs generally end up costing the tax payers of the host city tens of millions of dollars. Financially they are a bad investment. With due respect, if John Catsimatidis and other millionaires wish to underwrite

a World’s Fair without taxpayer money, one would have no objection, provided it is understood its venue will not be Flushing Meadows Corona Park, or indeed in any other municipal park. Therein lies the rub. What non park land in New York City does Mr. Catsimatidis have in mind? (Why New York City Needs Another World’s Fair - Queens Tribune April 3-9. 2014). Benjamin M. Haber, Flushing

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

Officers Down, Teen Arrested For Starting Fire A Personal Perspective By MARCIA MOXAM COMRIE Our City is in mourning because one of New York’s Finest has lost his life in the line of duty, rushing to the aid of residents in a building where a fire was in progress. Outrageously, the fire was deliberately started by a teen one flight above his own apartment. Why? Because he was bored. So to undo his boredom, the 16 year-old decided to set a mattress ablaze. As the mom of a 16 yearold, I understand that the Coney Island fire starter is still a child. However, 16 is old enough to know that if you set something afire, it could go out of control and cause untold damage in property damage and in lives lost or bodies injured. And yet when he was arrested, the suspect was smirking. It’s infuriating that someone who has done such a horrible thing either doesn’t care enough to be remorseful

or not smart enough to know that he’s in big trouble. I won’t use his name here because it seems to feed some strange desire for fame and encourages others. I’d hate to think that someone that young could be so indifferent to the injuries he caused those officers, that it was the reason he was smirking as he was led away in handcuffs. I know even at my age I’d be hollering and screaming about being arrested. Officers Rosa Rodriguez and Dennis Guerra were found passed out from smoke inhalation in front of the elevators they took to the burning floor. Both were rushed to hospitals and Guerra lost his battle for life a few days later. He was 36 years old and now his four children are without a dad and their widowed mother has to explain that to them. Officer Rodriguez, also 36, is expected to survive and for that we are eternally grateful. But one can imagine the sorrow in her heart to know that her partner in crime-fighting did not make it. She too is a

parent of four. She can relate to the tremendous loss that is to a family. We live in a time and place where there are no shortages of things to do to occupy our hands and minds and yet this young man chose to start a fire to alleviate his boredom. How about you pick up a book or go channel surfing and watch something new on television or go out and do some volunteering? The old saying that “the devil finds work for idle hands” couldn’t be truer than we see in this situation. Our young people have a lot to do and yet they claim boredom. They are over-stimulated and yet they have nothing constructive to do with their time. Those of us who grew up before the advent of the hand-held electronic gadgets didn’t seem to be as bored as this generation born into this craze. We played ball and jumped rope, developed balance by playing hopscotch and stimulated our imagination by reading detective series and

passed them around. Of course, some of us did get into mischief too. We were not perfect. But we seem to have cared more about the safety of our neighbors. Most of us did not deliberately set fires where we lived; and we certainly did not go to school with guns blazing against our teachers and fellow-students. We need more youthcentered activities in our city’s apartment complexes; and more conversations with our young people. It would be easy to condemn this particular boy for starting the fire, which has resulted in such tragedy in our City. What we need is to use this tragedy as the catalyst for change both from the perspective of our young people and in terms of policy to protect officers responding to fires in tall buildings. May Officer Guerra rest in peace, may his family find healing and may Officer Rodriguez make a full recovery. And may this young man get the treatment he seems to need.


April 11-17, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 7

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Page 8 PRESS of Southeast Queens April 11-17, 2014

The First 100 Days

New City-Wide Officials Have Been Busy April 10 marks the end of the first 100 days in office for the City-wide officials elected last year. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer have been involved in a number of issues throughout the City. Mayor Bill de Blasio Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first 100 days have been a mixed bag, with victories and missteps, praise and criticism along the way. When he was sworn in on Jan. 1, the Mayor outlined a liberal agenda for his term, with many goals that he hoped would address economic and social inequalities throughout the five boroughs. Although he has fought for and gotten some major policy changes, his office was also beset by several stumbles in the process of running the City. A significant portion of de Blasio’s first 100 days was dedicated to getting universal pre-kindergarten for New York City. The Mayor had planned to pay for the expense of this expansion by taxing the City’s richest members. This item caused some tension between him and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as the State would need to approve such a tax for City residents. While universal Pre-K was included in the State budget, it will be funded by other means, giving de Blasio a partial victory. Several other items of his agenda went through during his first few

months as well. The number of workers eligible for paid sick leave was expanded significantly. De Blasio also withdrew the City’s challenge to federal oversight of Stop and Frisk, the controversial tactic that has been labeled as discriminatory towards minorities. So far, new Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and the NYPD have continued to keep crime at a low rate under the new administration. Although de Blasio’s pick of Carmen Fariña was welcomed by parents and teachers, his educational policy has been uneven at best. While Hizzoner did veto nine charter school co-locations, he did allow another 36 co-locations to slip through. Public Advocate Letitia James responded with a lawsuit against the City to block those co-locations. De Blasio was also criticized for his handling of the never-ending snowstorms that hit the City continuously in January and February. He admitted that the City failed to plow several neighborhoods effectively during one of the storms and took flak for keeping schools open while telling people to stay indoors at the same time. The next few months will see the Mayor roll out his affordable housing policy, his Vision Zero plan to reduce pedestrian deaths and the continuing Superstorm Sandy recovery. -Joe Marvilli

Photo by Luis Gronda

Public Advocate Letitia James While Public Advocate Letitia James said that her job is to keep the Mayor on his toes, she noted that her first 100 days have shown that she is also dedicated to helping the City’s working class. Throughout the last four months, James and her office have been all over the five boroughs, protesting unfair work practices, announcing legislation and vocalizing her opinion on several key issues affecting the City. One of the biggest issues to come up recently in Queens is the firing of 250 UPS workers who walked off the job in February in protest of the termination of another former employee, Jairo Reyes. James Public Advocate Letitia James spent the start of her has warned UPS that term supporting workers’ rights. if it does not come to

Photo by Joe Marvilli

By PRESS OF SOUTHEAST QUEENS STAFF

While Mayor Bill de Blasio has won victories on universal Pre-K and Stop and Frisk, he has been criticized for his charter school policies and the City’s response to this winter’s snowstorms. the bargaining table to resolve this issue, she will push the City to look into revoking some of UPS’ tax breaks and privileges. One victory for James and a portion of the City’s workforce was the expansion of the paid-sick-time law, which the City Council pushed through earlier this year. Businesses with up to five or more employees will be required to provide up to five paid sick days per year to employees. Despite her public agreements with de Blasio on many subjects, like universal Pre-K, James came out strongly against the 36 co-located charter schools from the end of the Bloomberg era that the current administration let through. She has recently filed a lawsuit to block those co-locations. “Every CEC in the City of New York attended our meeting. I sat there for three hours and heard from every

CEC in the City and they all told me the horror stories of co-locations,” she said. “As a result of that, we decided to file a lawsuit.” James has also gotten involved with the controversy surrounding Queens Library Director Thomas Galante’s salary and his use of taxpayer money to build a private smoking deck for his office. James has asked Galante to resign. When asked what grade she would give herself for her first 100 days, James answered with a B +. Some of the positives she mentioned were keeping Long Island College Hospital open and introducing more legislation than any other Public Advocate to date. Still, she said the office could do better with more funding. “There’s a lot of issues and we just don’t have the staff to deal with all the issues. It’s really frustrating,” she said. (Continued on page 9)


April 11-17, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 9

(Continued from page 8) “The Mayor should restore the budget of the Public Advocate.” -Joe Marvilli Comptroller Scott Stringer In his first 100 days in office, Comptroller Scott Stringer said he has hit the ground running, setting the precedent for the role of the office for years to come. Earlier this year, Stringer made history when he announced that he has appointed Carra Wallace as the City Comptroller’s first-ever chief diversity officer of the City of New York. In her new role, Wallace will focus on increasing the number of contracts and sub-contracts awarded to minority and women-owned businesses. She will also be responsible for implementing and monitoring a new letter-grading system for all City agencies in an effort to determine whether goals for MWBE contracting are being met. “To expand opportunities for minority- and women-owned enterprises, I was proud to appoint the City’s firstever chief diversity officer overseeing City agencies,” Stringer said. In addition to his historic hire, Stringer has been keeping busy, au-

diting City-funded agencies, most notably the Queens Library system. The nonprofit and its CEO, Thomas Galante, have been in hot water after media reports alleged that taxpayer money was used to fund Galante’s $391,594 salary and his $140,000 in lavish office renovations, which included a private outdoor smoking area. In light of the scandal, Stringer, who gave the library notice of the audit last month, said he will be making sure New Yorkers are getting the best bang for their buck by auditing all three of the City’s library systems, which operate in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. “I think there have been some serious issues raised and some allegations that I think need to be addressed. We’re going to look at the financials, we’re going to look at performance and we will evaluate all the systems,” he told the PRESS in an earlier interview. “Eighty-six percent of their revenue comes from City money, so I expect them to cooperate with the City audit by the City Comptroller.” Stringer has also launched an audit of the New York City Housing Authority, following a series of reports that claimed the agency’s administra-

Photo by Luis Gronda

The First 100 Days

Comptroller Scott Stringer has launched an audit of all three library branches and the New York City Housing Authority. tors were sitting on millions of government dollars while repair request continue to pile up. While the Comptroller said he is proud of the progress he has made internally, he noted that in his first three months, he has also been dedicated to connecting with his constituents. “Over the last 100 days, I’ve been to every corner of the City, talking with

New Yorkers about issues that affect their families and neighborhoods,” he said. “While these are only a few highlights of my first 100 days, I look forward to continuing this work to find new and innovative ways to sharpen the tools of the Comptroller’s office so that New Yorkers get the best bang for their hard-earned money.” -Natalia Kozikowska


Page 10 PRESS of Southeast Queens April 11-17, 2014

Photos by Walter Karling

pix

Checking Jamaica’s Real Estate Market

Hosting a Hiring Event

The Greater Jamaica Development Committee met at CityRib on April 3 to highlight the potential for commercial investment opportunities. Pictured, Justin Rodgers, GJDC managing director of real estate and economic development, shows off areas of opportunity to Andre Green of the Garvey Realty Group.

Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie stands with David Aguado, director of operations for America Works of New York. The organization recently partnered with the office of the Borough President to host a hiring event for low-income Queens residents receiving public assistance.

Standing Up For Workers Executive directors of the local area Business Improvement Districts come together during the GJDC meeting on April 3. Pictured are Felicia Tunnah of the Jamaica BID and Simone Price of the Sutphin Boulevard BID.

Councilman Rory Lancman, Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and Councilman Donovan Richards joined together with UPS workers who were recently fired from their positions on the steps of City Hall.

Meeting at the GJDC meeting (from left) are Mark Lohbauer, of the JGSC Group; John Harding, restaurant, food and wine consultant; and Justin Rodgers.


April 11-17, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 11

Police Blotter Custom & Border Patrol

Drug Arrest

On March 20, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport stopped Yudishtir Maharaj, who was arriving on a flight from Port of Spain, Trinidad. During the course of the inspection, CBP officers discovered three large packages of frozen meat within his luggage. When probed, the packages produced a white powder that tested positive for cocaine. Maharaj was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations. The total weight of the cocaine seized was 7.35 lbs. Maharaj now faces federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York.

104th Precinct

City Employee Arrested

At 5:40 a.m. on April 5, police arrested Felix Deleon, 34, an off-duty

NYPD officer, and charged him with DWI and operator leaves the scene of an accident.

106th Precinct

Robbery

The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance identifying the suspect wanted for a robbery within the confines of the 109th Precinct. At 1:30 p.m. on April 5, the suspect followed the victim, a 71-yearold female, into her apartment building in Flushing and then got into the elevator with her. When the victim was entering her apartment, the suspect pushed her in and removed her pocketbook, containing an unknown amount of money. The suspect then fled the scene. The victim was removed to a local hospital with a fractured bone in her leg. The suspect is described as a white male, possibly Hispanic, 30-40 years old, last seen wearing a yellow construction helmet, white surgical mask, dark jacket and carrying a tool bag. Anyone with information should call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 577-TIPS, visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text

tips to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls are confidential.

112th Precinct

Bank Robbery

The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance with the whereabouts and identity of the following individuals wanted in connection to a robbery. At approximately 3 p.m. on April 4, two unknown males entered the TD Bank, located at 63-54 108th St., Forest Hills. The suspects approached the teller and demanded money. One of the suspects jumped over the counter and removed money from the drawer. Both suspects then fled the location to parts unknown with approximately $1,700. The first suspect is described as a Black male, 25-30 years old, 5-foot-11, with a dark complexion, a beard and a slim build. He was last seen wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses. The second suspect is described as a Black male, 24-25 years old, 6-foot1 with a slim build.

114th Precinct

Collision Investigation

At 10:37 p.m. on April 4, police

responded to a 911 call of a car in the water at 19th Avenue and 37th Street. Upon arrival, responding officers discovered an automobile submerged in Steinway Creek and a male, later identified as the driver of the car, stating that there were four people in the car. FDNY divers arrived on the scene and extricated two men and two women from the vehicle. The passengers in the vehicle were removed to local hospitals, where they were pronounced dead. The passengers were identified as Darius Fletcher, 21, of East Elmhurst; Jada Butts, 19, of East Elmhurst; Crystal Gravely, 19, of East Elmhurst; and Jaleel Furtado, 20, of East Elmhurst. The driver of the automobile was removed to a local hospital for evaluation and was listed in stable condition, according to a police report. A preliminary investigation determined that the vehicle, a 2009 Honda Accord, was traveling westbound on 19th Avenue when it hit the curb and rolled over into the bay. The investigation is ongoing, conducted by the NYPD Highway Collision Investigation Squad.

Borough Beat

Armenian Genocide Survivors Tell Their Stories BY JOE MARVILLI

Photo by Joe Marvilli

Nearly a century ago, the Armenian Genocide took place, causing the deaths of between one million and one-and-a-half million Armenians. Now, 99 years later, two of the survivors shared their stories. At the New York Armenian Home for the Aged in Flushing, two women who have reached the milestone of being 100 years old talked about the struggles they went through as children. The Armenian Genocide was the Ottoman Empire’s systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects in 1915. Taking place in what is now present-day Turkey, the massacre started when Ottoman authorities arrested about 250 Armenian community leaders and intellectuals in Constantinople. From there, they forced Armenians from across their territory to leave their homes and march for hundreds of miles, without food or water, to the desert of Syria. One of those Armenians who was forced to march, but survived, is Azniv Guiragossian. Born in 1914 in Urfa, the genocide left her as an

orphan. According to her testimoliving like animals. I hate them.” ny, Guiragossian was kidnapped Kalousdian and her mother when she was one year old and served as maids for one of the lived with a Turkish family until Turkish leaders. Eventually, they she was reunited with her family fled to Syria where they stayed for at the age of 4. three years before heading to the Her father was accused of a United States, where they reunitcrime and sentenced to hang by ed with her father, who had sucthe Young Turks. While a Turkish cessfully escaped the genocide. friend saved him from that death In tribute to those who were sentence, he died within 40 days of Perouze Kalousdian (left) and Azniv Guiragos- killed in the massacre, thousands that incident from a heart attack. sian are both survivors of the Armenian Geno- of Armenian-Americans and their She wound up marching with cide of 1915. They reside in the New York Ar- friends will make their way to her mother in the Syrian Desert. menian Home for the Aged. Times Square for the 99th AnniDuring that time, she witnessed versary Commemoration of the bed thinking about my life. I open my her mother give birth to a child Armenian Genocide. The service who died, and then saw her moth- eyes and it’s daytime.” will take place on April 27 from 2 p.m. Another survivor is Perouze Ka- to 4 p.m. The theme of the ceremony er die two months later. After the march, Guiragossian was placed in lousdian, who was born in 1909 in is “Turkey is Guilty of Genocide: Dean Armenian orphanage. She was Harput. Kalousdian reported that nying the Undeniable is a Crime.” married at the age of 16 to a choral when the genocide happened when Turkey has been criticized for dedirector and teacher. They moved to she was 6 years old, she saw the Turks nying that the Ottoman government take males over the age of 15, includ- committed genocide. New York in the 1950s. Guiragossian said that while she ing her uncle, and threw them over a In recognition of Genocide does get sad thinking about those bridge into the Euphrates River. Awareness Month, Holocaust Re“They came and took us out of membrance Day will also commemtraumatic moments in her early life, she acknowledged that she had the our homes and took our homes for orated, as will other genocides that themselves. I was crying and asked have occurred. willpower and wit to survive. “I think and then I cry. I was a my mother what happened to our Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) little girl but I am strong. I was very home,” Kalousdian said. “The Turks 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queensmart,” she said. “Sometimes, I go to have done us much harm. We were stribune.com, or @Joey788.


Page 12 PRESS of Southeast Queens April 11-17, 2014

A&E

Queens Native Travels Roads Not Taken In New Musical

Long before Queens-born Idina Menzel became a household name, she made her Broadway debut in the hit musical “Rent.” After that, she wowed audiences with her Tony-winning performance as the green-faced Elphaba in “Wicked.” More recently, she played Rachel’s mother on “Glee” and Queen Elsa in the movie “Frozen,” singing the Academy Awardwinning song, “Let It Go.” Finally, Menzel has returned to Broadway in “If/Then,” a musical about a woman at the crossroads of her life. After 10 years of marriage living in Phoenix, Elizabeth (Menzel) gets a divorce and moves to New York City. She must choose between two lives: one as Beth, a career-oriented urban planner with no time for a relationship or family, or Liz, a teacher, wife and mother. In both lives, she has an outgoing friend named Kate (the delightfully effervescent LaChanze), who believes in fate, and Lucas (Anthony Rapp), a former boyfriend/college classmate. At every possible juncture, the show presents two options, showing the audience the road not taken. However, the delineation is quite clear as to which path Beth is on and which is Liz’s. Rapp, who co-starred with Men-

The Queens-born Idina Menzel is appearing on Broadway in “If/Then,” a musical about a woman who moves to New York and faces two different paths. zel in “Rent,” is a confidant and sometimes-lover of Elizabeth. Underutilized, he plays an activist showing the counterbalance to Beth’s work for the city government. Jen Collela plays Kate’s lover and Jason Tam is Lucas’ boyfriend. Elizabeth’s choices have an effect on them as well. “If/Then” generated great excitement as the first new musical by Tony and Pulitzer Prize winners Tomas Kitts and Brian Yorkey since “Next To Normal.” The music is good and many of the lyrics are quite clever. However, the

theatrical gimmick gets old fast. How many songs does one show need about choice, chance and love? After a while, the audience glazes over, even with some predictably-tearful events. Instead of two-and-a-half hours, this show could have easily been 90 minutes. Instead of “If/Then,” perhaps the show would have been better named “What If?” It’s just the title of one of the many songs dealing with choices, decisions and chance. “Once every day, your life starts again.” “If/Then” is definitely a New York play. Not only is it set in the City, but it also has some sly insider jokes. One character tells another to never let her move to Brooklyn, and the PA voice on the subway is totally unintelligible. Beth goes to a Yankee game; Liz watches the Mets. It’s great to have Queens’ girl Idina Menzel back on Broadway. One can only wish it was a better vehicle. Only a voice like hers can make it worthwhile to sit in the cramped seats of The Richard Rogers Theatre for so long. “Wicked” fans come to hear Menzel’s glorious high notes and they are not disappointed. When she belts out her high notesthere are no “ifs” about it -it’s thrilling. -Elyse Trevers

Bayside director set For Film Premiere BY JOE MARVILLI A Bayside director is ready for his full-length premiere. Rick McDonald, with the help of his family, has put together a lowbudget horror film that hopes to give audiences an original scare and maybe even find its way into a few festivals. Titled “Lucifer’s Angels,” this film focuses on three different stories combined into one. A group of friends go on their first camping trip together in the Catskill Mountains. A ghost hunter from New York City and his fiancé travel to the same mountains hoping to research and record any paranormal phenomenon. All of them unknowingly enter into a world of evil. Meanwhile, a father and son who live in the woods are forced to make life or death decisions. McDonald said the idea for the movie first came together in 2008. He was on a camping trip with his family and they made a short home movie while they were in the woods. From there, he was inspired to write a full-length feature.

The film was partially shot in Queens, as well as in upstate New York and Strasburg, Pa. While preproduction and filming came with their own difficulties, McDonald said that he did all of the postproduction himself. “I work full time. I would get home at 7 p.m., go on my computer and work until 3 or 4 in the Bayside director Rick Mcdonald has recently commorning. I learned a lot. I pleted his feature-length horror film, “Lucifer’s did the editing and special Angels.” The movie is three storylines tied into effects myself,” he said. one, all of them centered around strange, terrifyThe film cost between ing occurrences in the Catskill Mountains. $5,000 and $8,000 to make. McDonald paid for most of “I hope they see an extra-fresh it, with his uncle, Brian McDonald, horror film, not the cheesy Hollycontributing a good amount of mon- wood stuff,” McDonald said. “I think ey and the rest of his family chipping it’s gritty. It’s an original story. It’s in where they could. fresh.” “Since there was practically no There will be a private screening budget, we had to be super, super of “Lucifer’s Angels” on April 13 at creative,” McDonald said. MovieWorld Cinemas in Douglaston. He said he hopes that creativity McDonald said he wants to try to get comes across to audiences looking the film into festivals like Tribeca for something different than the typi- and plans to have it distributed early cal Hollywood movie. next year.

Famous Musician Will Get Plaque At Maple Grove BY LuIs GRONdA A famous African-American musician who lived in Queens will no longer have an unmarked grave after this weekend. Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gardens will honor George Washington Johnson this Saturday with a plaque at his gravesite, finally acknowledging the musician with a tombstone at his burial site. Johnson was a pioneer in the music industry during his prime, from 1891 until the early 1900s. He was the first African-American recording star of the phonograph. Music lovers would pay 20 cents to hear a two-minute recording of the whistling that he became known for. His most popular song, “The Laughing Song,” was recently selected by the Library of Congress as one of 25 recordings to be preserved for posterity and placed in the National Registry of Recording Sounds. Carl Ballenas, who heads the Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery organization, said they are honoring him now because this year marks the 100th anniversary of Johnson’s death. He passed away in Queens on Jan. 23, 1914. His exact date of birth is unknown but it is believed to be in October of 1846. Ballenas said it was a shock to many that his grave was unmarked, even though he was such an accomplished musician. “The cemetery wanted to honor him so that the public knew what his contributions were to the music world,” he said. The students from the honor society of the Immaculate Conception School wrote the text that will go on Johnson’s grave. The Grammy Foundation’s MusicCares program footed the bill for the plaque and the ceremony, paying a total of $3,000. The event will take place on April 12 at 2 p.m. at the cemetery. It will feature some special guests, including Tim Brooks, who wrote a biography about Johnson’s life. Maple Grove Cemetery is located at 127-15 Kew Gardens Road in Kew Gardens. For more information on the ceremony, contact Maple Grove at (347) 878-6614. Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@ queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.


April 11-17, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 13

QUEENS TODAY

FRIDAY 4/11 THE MARK WADE TRIO

Bassist and composer Mark Wade leads his dynamic trio in an evening of original jazz compositions at Flushing Town Hall. The trio, featuring Tim Harrison on piano and Scott Neumann on drums, will debut a lineup of music that is melody-driven and explores a combination of jazz styles and forms. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for members and students. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Blvd.

THE NAZIS: A WARNING FROM HISTORY

The final segment of this three-part film presentation on how the Nazi Party came to power in Germany will start at noon. Taking place at the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Center, the films will look at an account of mass killings in occupied territories after the invasion of the Soviet Union and will explore why Germany kept fighting when military defeat was inevitable. The center is located on the campus of Queensborough Community College. Call (718) 281-5770 for information.

QCA PRESENTS THE ART OF GHOST DUMPLINGS

Find out what happens when the Chinese Hungry Ghost festival and a Rockaway Beach block party falls under the same full moon! Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, QCA’s Executive Director and children’s book author/illustrator shows artwork from her newest children’s book, The Hungry Ghost, whose original manuscript and illustrations were lost in Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The QCA is located at 37-11 35th Ave. The event starts at 6 p.m. Admission is $75 and all Proceeds will support scholarships for QCA’s High School to Art School Portfolio Development Program.

SATURDAY 4/12

BLACK VIOLIN

American hip-hop duo, Kev Marcus (violin) and Wil B (viola), are classically trained string instrumentalists who meld highbrow and pop culture into a single genre-busting act. The two musicians will play songs from their second album, “Classically Trained,” at Flushing Town Hall at 2:15 p.m. Tickets are $12 for the general audience, $10 for members and $8 for children.

JAMES ELKINS

SATURDAY 4/12 DOCUMENTARY SCREENING

Join the Queens Museum for afternoon screenings of two documentaries exploring the work of the Los Angeles Poverty Department. “The Real Deal,” airing at 2 p.m., chronicles the evolution and impact of LAPD since the founding in 1985. “Agentes y Activos,” airing at 3:30 p.m., provides an in-depth look at the production and reception of one of their seminal works. Call (718) 592-9700 for information.

CHILDREN’S CARNIVAL

Join the Queens County Farm Museum in its apple orchard for a carnival this weekend. Rides, midway games and prizes, hayrides and children’s entertainment make this a fun-family event. The fair runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and repeats on April 13. It costs $11 per person for all ages to enter the grounds. Carnival rides are included with admission. The farm is located at 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy.

THE NEW YORK TENORS

The New York Tenors will make their way to the Queensborough Performing Arts Center for a concert at 8 p.m. Taking inspiration from The Three Tenors, The New York Tenors are a trio of New York’s premier voices. Andy Cooney, Daniel Rodriguez and Michael Amante have joined together to honor New York with their singing. Rodriguez is well-known as the City police officer whose voice comforted the nation in the days following 9-11. Tickets are $40. Call the box office at (718) 631-6311 for information or tickets.

James Elkins, author of Artists with PhDs, will join BFAMFAPHD.com in a dialog about or a conversation about his work and our collective power. Taking place at the Queens Museum, the talk runs from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

WEDNESDAY 4/16 GREEN GARDEN – GREEN PLANTS DAY Come get into the nittygritty and greener environment at the Voelker Orth Museum, 149-19 38th Ave., Flushing. Celebrate Earth Day with some urban gardening from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Admission is $3 for members, $4 for the general public. Students and small children are free.

THURSDAY 4/17

EASTER CONCERT THE MONSTER WHO ATE MY PEAS

Join Forgotten NY’s Kevin Walsh and Rich Melnick of the Greater Astoria Historical Society in exploring the remnants of two World’s Fairs, 1939-40 and 1964-65, in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, including where Pope Paul VI preached, the remains of a swimming amphitheater and a time capsule not to be opened until 6964. Meet at the boardwalk leading to FMCP south of the 7 train station at Willets Point at noon. The tour will last three hours. Cost is $15 for members, $20 for the general public.

Queens Theatre will present this new musical, based on the multi-award winning book written by Danny Schnitzlein and illustrated by Matthew Faulkner. It tells the story of a young boy who doesn’t want to eat his peas. When a crafty monster appears underneath his kitchen table, the boy is ready to make a deal with the monster. If the monster eats his peas, the boy will give the monster any of his possessions. First, it’s the boy’s soccer ball. But, when the monster raises the stakes, will the boy refuse the monster and make the difficult decision to face his own fears? Tickets are $14. The show will run at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

SUNDAY 4/13

MONDAY 4/14

PALM SUNDAY

PASSOVER BEGINS AT SUNDOWN

WORLD’S FAIR TOUR

READ TO A CHILD WITH RIIS SETTLEMENT!

Looking for a way to give back to the Long Island City community? Join the Jacob Riis Settlement House to read to a child, starting at 4 p.m. The Riis Settlement is a communitybased non-profit organization that offers services to youth, adult and senior community members in western Queens and it’s looking for local volunteers. Join them to share the love of reading with a child at the Riis Academy - P.S. 166 Campus, located at 33-09 35th Ave. Light refreshments will be provided. To RSVP, contact Vinitha Shetty or Leslie Warren at (718) 7847447 Ext. 133 or volunteer@ riissettlement.org.

SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

The First Presbyterian Church of Newtown will present a joint Easter Concert of religious music by the church’s Chancel Choir and Harmonious Chorus at 7:30 p.m. in the 1895 Sanctuary, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For information, visit www.fpcn.org.

AMERICANA MUSIC

Award-winning roots musician D.B. Rielly and his band will perform a wide-ranging collection of Americana music, spanning several genres, including roots, Zydeco, blues and alt-country, from 9 p.m. to midnight at Rest-au-Rant, 30-01 35th Ave., Long Island City.

GOT EVENTS?

Send all information to editor@queenstribune.com or mail to: 150-50 14th Rd., Whitestone, NY 11357


Page 14 PRESS of Southeast Queens April 11-17, 2014

Queens today Send announcements for your club or organization’s events at least two weeks in advance to “Queens Today” Editor, Queens Tribune, 150-50 14 Road, Whitestone NY 11357. Send faxes to 357-9417, or email queenstoday@ queenstribune.com

EDUCATION.............. BELLY DANCE Thursday, April 10 Corona library. Register. ART DECO JEWELRY Thursday, April 10 Hollis library. Register. BORROW E-BOOKS Thursday, April 10 Central library. Register. BEGIN CROCHET Thursdays through April 24 McGoldrick library at 11:30. HSE/TASC PREP Wednesdays through April 30 Baisley Park library at 10. CHES CLUB Thursdays through April 24 East Flushing library at 4:30. HSE/TASC PREP Thursdays through May 1 Baisley Park library at 10. ORIGAMI FUN Thursdays LIC library at 3. LEARN CHINESE Thursdays North Forest Park library at 6.

ENTERTAINMENT..

MOVIE MATINEES Fridays through April 25 Rosedale library at 2:30. GAME DAY Fridays 4:30 Woodhaven library. GAME PLAYERS CLUB Fridays 2 Hillcrest library. KIDS CARNIVAL Weekends April 12, 13 11-6. $11. Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park. 347-FARM. HIS GIRL FRIDAY Thursday, April 10 film at the Central library at 2. NIGHTCLUB SONGS Thursday, April 10 Woodhaven library at 2:30. MOVIE MATINEES Thursdays through April 24 Rosedale library at 2:30. BINGO Thursdays McGoldrick library at 1. SPRING FLEA MARKET Sunday, April 13 St. Stanislaus, 61-17 Grand Avenue, Maspeth 9-3 in the gym. HIS GIRL FRIDAY Thursday, April 10 film at the Central library at 2. NIGHTCLUB SONGS Thursday, April 10 Woodhaven library at 2:30.

COMpUTERs............ BEGIN COMPUTERS Tuesdays through April 29 Corona library. Register.

BEGIN COMPUTERS Tuesdays through April 29 Woodside library at 5:45. Central library. Register. BEGIN COMPUTERS Thursdays through April 24 11 Rosedale library

TEENs & KIDs...... TEEN HW HELP Weekdays Central library at 3. HW/COMPUTER HELP Contact your local library. KIDS’ MOVIE Fridays, April 11 Baisley Park library at 3:30. PROJECT ART April 11 Corona library. Register. GRAFFITTI WORKSHOP April 11 East Elmhurst library at 4. FUN FRIDAYS Fridays through April 25 Central library at 4. Ages 6-12. TEENS GOT TALENT Fridays through April 25 Rosedale library at 3:30. MOVIE MATINEES Fridays through April 25 Rosedale library at 2:30 and Laurelton library at 3:30. TEEN HAPPY HOUR Fridays through April 25 Flushing library at 4. DISCOVERY SCIENCE Fridays through April 25 Corona library at 6. Grades 2+. YOUTH ADVISORY Fridays Laurelton library at 5. CRAFTS Fridays Ozone Park library at 3, Briarwood and East Flushing at 4, Pomonok and Flushing library at 4:30. STORYTIME Fridays Hollis library at 11:15. BOARD/VIDEO GAMES Fridays Rochdale Village at 4. Grades 1-6. Windsor Park at 4. Ages 5-12. GAME DAY Fridays 5:30 McGoldrick library and South Ozone Park library at 4. CHESS CLUB Fridays Auburndale library at 3:30 and Laurelton library at 3. WII GAMES Fridays Poppenhusen library and Hollis library at 4. CHESS CLUB Saturdays Flushing library at 2. MATH HELP Saturdays through April 26 Flushing library at 10. Grades 4-8. FAMILY MOVIES April 28 South Ozone Park library at 5. MUSIC & TODDLERS Mondays, April 14 Woodhaven library at 11:15. FAMILY STORYTIME Mondays Auburndale library at 3:30. Pre-K to 2.

GAME DAY Mondays McGoldrick library at 5:30. YOUNG MEN Tuesdays through April 29 Empowerment Group at 4 at the Laurelton library. WII GAMING Tuesdays, April 15 Astoria library at 4:30. DRAMA CLUB Tuesdays Central library. Register. TEEN MEDIATION Tuesdays Central library at 4. GARDEN PROJECT Tuesdays 4-6 Whitestone library. Call for details. ARTS & CRAFT S Tuesdays through April 29 Corona library at 5. K-2. TUESDAY CRAFTS Tuesdays through April 29 South Ozone Park library at 4:30. Ages 8-14. FRENCH Wednesdays, April 16 for those 9 months-3 years at the Ridgewood library at 2. TEAM SCIENCE April 6, 23 Corona library at 6. Grades 2+. CHESS CLUB Wednesdays through April 16 Pomonok library at 5. Over 10. CRAFTIVITIES Wednesdays East Flushing library. Register. DRAWING CLUB Wednesdays LIC library at 4. GAME DAY Wednesdays McGoldrick library at 5:30. READING FOR FUN Wednesdays Laurelton library at 3:30. READ-ALOUD Wednesdays South Jamaica library at 4. Grades K-3. YOUNG GIRLS Thursdays through April 24 Empowerment Group at the Laurelton library at 4. Ages 14-19. POETRY WORKSHOP Thursday, April 10 Lefrak City library at 4:30. TEEN HOUR Thursday, April 10 Woodhaven library at 4:30. EARTH HOUR Thursday, April 10 Broadway library at 4:30. SNOW WHITE Thursday, April 10 Hillcrest library at 5. Ages 3-5. FAMILY STORYTIME Thursdays, April 10, 17 Bay Terrace library at 11:30. COME, SIT, READ Thursdays, April 10, 17, 24 LIC library at 3. Ages 5-12. SEWING LAB Thursdays, April 10, 17, 24 Central library. Register. EASY READER Thursdays, April 10, 17, 24 Central library at 4. Ages 5-7. DECORATIONS CLUB

Thursdays, April 10, 17, 24 Poppenhusen library at 4. Grades 3-6. CIRCLE OF FRIENDS Thursdays through April 24 Glen Oaks library at 11:30. Preschoolers. FLUSHING ANIME Thursdays through April 24 Flushing library at 4. ARTS & CRAFTS Thursdays through April 24 Auburndale library at 4:30. Ages 5-12. FASHION MAVENS Thursdays through April 24 teens interested in the fashion industry at the Central library at 4:30. CHESS CLUB Thursdays through April 24 Federation-Rated Chess Club for teens and adults at the East Flushing library at 4:30. CREATIVE WRITING Thursdays through April 24 Auburndale library at 5:15. Ages 8-12. LEARN CHESS Thursdays through April 24 Rochdale Village library at 4. MOVIE MATINEES Thursdays through April 24 Rosedale library at 2:30. ORIGAMI FUN Thursdays LIC library at 3. FROZEN Friday, April 11 film at the Ozone Park library at 4.

MEETINGs................

JAMAICA KIWANIS Thursdays, April 10, 24 Kiwanis Club of Jamaica. 527-3678. QUILTING CLUB Mondays Alley Pond Environmental Center 2:30. $5. 229-4000. SE QUEENS CAMERA Tuesdays, April 8, 15, 22 Roy Wilkins Family Center. 347-528-7178. RH QUILTERS Tuesdays noon at the Richmond Hill library. CHESS CLUB Tuesdays LIC library at 4, Windsor Park library at 5:30 and Howard Beach library at 4.. DRAWING CLUB Wednesdays LIC library at 4. 98TH ST. BLOCK ASSN. Thursday, April 10 East Elmhurst library at 6:30. JAMAICA KIWANIS Thursdays, April 10, 24 Kiwanis Club of Jamaica. 527-3678. TALK OF TOWN CREATIVE AGING Mondays through April 28 Queens Village library. Acting and Improvisation at 2. DEFENSIVE DRIVING April 14 Queens Village library at 10:30. Register. Laurelton library. Register. INCOME TAX HELP April 14, Briarwood

library at 11:30. SENIOR YOGA Mondays through April 28 Woodside library. Register. TAX COUNSELING Tuesdays through April 15 Auburndale library at 1. AARP TAX PREP Thursday, April 10 North Forest Park library 12-4 and Fresh Meadows library at 1. AARP 29 Thursday, April 10 Grace Houses Community Room, 155-02 90th Avenue, Jamaica at noon. DIGITAL PHOTO. Thursdays, April 10, 17, 24 Pomonok library. Register. Learn the art of public speaking in St. Albans at 7:15. 640-7092.

TALKs.........................

URBAN AGRICULTURE Thursday, April 10 Steinway library at 1. ELDER LAW Thursday, April 10 Whitestone library at 2. WINDSOR PARK Thursday, April 10 “Dear Life: Stories” at 5:30.

sENIORs.................... QUILTING CLUB Mondays Alley Pond Environmental Center 2:30. $5. 229-4000. SE QUEENS CAMERA Tuesdays, April 15, 22, Roy Wilkins Family Center. 347-528-7178. RH QUILTERS Tuesdays noon at the Richmond Hill library. CHESS CLUB Tuesdays LIC library at 4, Windsor Park library at 5:30 and Howard Beach library at 4.. DRAWING CLUB Wednesdays LIC library at 4. TALK OF TOWN CREATIVE AGING Mondays through April 28 Queens Village library. Acting and Improvisation at 2. DEFENSIVE DRIVING Mondays, April 14 Queens Village library at 10:30. Register. Laurelton library. Register. INCOME TAX HELP Mondays, April 14 Briarwood library at 11:30. SENIOR YOGA Mondays through April 28 Woodside library. Register. TAX COUNSELING Tuesdays through April 15 Auburndale library at 1. AARP TAX PREP Thursday, April 10 North Forest Park library 12-4 and Fresh Meadows library at 1. AARP 29 Thursday, April 10 Grace Houses Community Room, 155-02 90th Avenue, Jamaica at noon.

DIGITAL PHOTO. Thursdays, April 10, 17, 24 Pomonok library. Register. learn the art of public speaking in St. Albans at 7:15. 640-7092. SOUTH ASIAN Alternate Saturdays Selfhelp BR-PS Senior Center in Flushing. Indian-style activities, lunch. 8865777. DUPLICATE BRIDGE Mondays Lunch, lesson and congenial play. Pride of Judea. 423-6200. STAY WELL Mondays at the Central library at 10 and Wednesdays at 10:15 at the East Elmhurst library. Learn how special exercise and relaxation techniques make a difference in your life. CAREGIVERS Tuesdays Caregivers Support group at 3:30-4:30 Selfhelp Clearview Senior Center, 208-11 26th Avenue, Bayside. 631-1886. MENS CLUB Wednesdays 10-noon Men over 65 are welcomed to the Central Queens Y in Forest Hills. 268-5011, ext. 621. Stimulating topics, inspiring conversations, sports, more. Coffee served. Free. STARS Wednesdays Senior Theatre Acting Repertory at the Hollis library at 11:15 and Fridays at the Queens Village library at 11. ALZHEIMERS Adult Day Care MondayThursday 9-4 in Flushing. 358-3541. BAYSIDE SENIORS CCNS Bayside Senior Center, 221-15 Horace Harding Expressway, Bayside. 225-1144. CLEARVIEW SENIOR Clearview Senior Center, 208-11 26th Avenue, Bayside. 224-7888. POMONOK CENTER Pomonok Senior Center, 67-09 Kissena Blvd., Flushing. 591-3377. SAGE SAGE (Senior Action in a Gay Environment). 5336459. SELFHELP LATIMER Selfhelp Latimer Gardens Senior Center, 34-30 137th Street, Flushing. 559-4395.

ENvIRONMENT....... FOOD WASTE DROPOFF Saturdays 1-3 at the Broadway and LIC library. COMPOSTING Tuesdays Woodside library 5:15-6:30. JH SCRAPS Tuesday 6-8pm and Saturdays 10-2 35th Avenue between 69th Street and the BQE. Bring coffee, tea, fruit, veggie scraps.


April 11-17, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 15

Profile

Local Joins Jamaica Center BID Team BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA On April 2, the Jamaica Center BID welcomed Jamaica resident Johanne Civil to its team as the group’s new director of retail and economic development. In her new role, Civil will be responsible for working with business owners, community organizations and brokers to attract potential retailers and more visitors to the Downtown Jamaica area. “A lot of the shoppers in the community are going outside Jamaica to shop. We have a lot to offer, but I think people are not aware,” Civil said. “The selection needs to be a tad bit more ecliptic to bring forth the younger crowd and so on.” Before landing her job at the Jamaica Center BID, Civil worked as a real estate salesperson at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, where she is still licensed. And before Douglas Elliman Real Estate, she worked as a communications specialist at American Express for two-and-a-half years. “Ms. Civil will be an extraordinary asset to the BID because she understands where Downtown Jamaica is, where it’s going and how we will get there,” said the BID’s executive director Felicia Tunnah in a release. When asked what some of her short-term goals were, Civil said she

comes to participate and see what Jamaica has to offer,” she said. Though she touted the amazing work that the BID has done for the community, she said she would like to see the organization be more interactive with residents, both in and outside of the Jamaica area. “The BID has gone through a couple of changes in the past month. We are going through the process of changing our offices, Johanne Civil joined the Jamaica Center BID team on April 2. Pictured is Civil (left), and right now I think we executive director Felicia Tunnah (center) and director of administration Valerie Stevens are working towards being (right). an even better organization that offers services to the would like to get to know “just about very lucrative place to be,” she said. community,” she said. “The only every owner and retailer on the ave- “Jamaica is already thriving, we are thing that I think we can improve on nue” to ensure that everyone is work- just going to make sure that we make is having businesses that are outside ing towards the same goal. it more successful.” of the community reach out to us if “The whole idea is to beautify Civil said that she is “elated” and they have any questions or interest in Jamaica Avenue, as well as bring in “beyond excited” to be a part of the our community.” business,” she said. Jamaica Center BID team. She said Though she has only been at the Her long-term goal as the Jamaica she is especially looking forward Jamaica Center BID for one week, Center BID’s new director of retail to the BID’s annual “Jamaica Re- Civil said she loves her new job. and economic development, she said, vealed” program – an event where “I love being part of a community,” is to bring in bigger establishments, brokers from all five boroughs come she said. “I’m not only living here, I’m more developments and increase ef- out to learn about the neighbor- doing something to enrich where I reforts to beautify the area. hood’s retail and business poten- side and going through the process of “My ultimate goal is to go through tial. helping my community grow.” the process of making others “This year, I’m looking forward Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowsthroughout the other boroughs real- to making it an even bigger event so ka at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or ize that Jamaica is an attractive and that more of the community at large nkozikowska@queenspress.com.

People Army Pvt. Tatiana V. Ruiz has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills. Ruiz is the daughter of Ana Rivas of Jamaica. Isaiah Henderson of Jamaica earned honors for the winter 2013-14 term at the Pomfret School in Pomfret, Conn. Alexandra Coupet of Queens Village and Alyssa James of Springfield Gardens were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester at Caldwell College in Caldwell, N.J. Kamil Davis of Cambria Heights and Zoraida Delerme of Jamaica

were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester at Becker College in Worcester, Mass.

For information, call (516) 3654900 or visit www.vincentsmithschool.org.

Natalie Raymondi of Hollis received the Award of Merit at the 24th annual Southern Methodist University Academic Achievement Ceremony in Dallas, Texas.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz recently named Carl Seldin Koerner as her first appointee to the Queens Library’s Board of Trustees. As one of 19 members on the Queens Library’s Board of Trustees, Koerner will be responsible for helping to oversee all aspects of the library system’s strategy and operations in order to maximize efficiency and utility for all New Yorkers. Koerner takes the Board position previously held by Lillian Gavin.

Clinton Smith and Devante Wallace, both of Jamaica, have been named members of the Automotive Technology Enthusiasts Club for the 2013-14 academic year at SUNY Delhi. Vincent Smith School in Port Washington will hold an April admissions open house from noon to 3 p.m. April 26. Learn how students with learning disabilities such as ADD, ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, expressive and receptive language issues in grades 4-12 succeed.

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng has invited high school students in Queens to participate in the first annual Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math contest, titled, “The House STEM App Challenge.” Students who wish to enter the

contest or obtain additional information should log onto Meng’s website at http://meng.house.gov/services/ stem-competition. Students taking part in the competition are required to provide a YouTube video demo explaining their app. All entries must be original in concept, design and execution. The deadline to enter is April 30. The American-Italian Cancer Foundation’s mobile no-cost screening program will visit the following areas in April: Joseph Addabbo Family Health Center, 6200 Beach Channel Drive, Arverne, April 11. Ecuadorian International Center, 37-47 76th St., Jackson Heights, April 12. Corona Spanish SDA Church, 4034 102nd St., Corona, April 20. To schedule an appointment, call (877) 628-9090.


Page 16 PRESS of Southeast Queens April 11-17, 2014

Faith

Passover Commemorates End Of Slavery BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA

turned Egypt’s waters into blood, sent swarms of frogs to overrun the land, infested all men and beasts with lice, sent hordes of wild animals to invade the cities, sickened and killed the domestic animals, inflicted painful boils upon the Egyptians, made fire and ice descend from the skies as hail, sent a swarm of locusts to devour all greenery and enveloped the land with darkness. The tenth and worst of the plagues was the death of the Egyptian firstborn. The Israelites were instructed to mark their doors with the blood of a slaughtered spring lamb, and, upon seeing this, God knew to ‘pass over’ the first-born in these homes, hence the name of the holiday. It is said that when the Israelites were finally freed, they left in such a hurry because they could not wait for bread dough to rise. So, to commemorate this story, for the duration of Passover, no leavened bread is eaten. This is the reason why Jews eat Matzo, a flat unleavened bread, during the holiday. It is tradition for Jewish families to gather on the first night or first

Beginning April 14, Jews from all over the world will begin to celebrate Passover, a widely-observed Jewish festival that commemorates their liberation by God from slavery in ancient Egypt. During the seven-day holiday, which is sometimes celebrated for eight days, Jews refer to the story of the Exodus in the Hebrew Bible, in which Israelites were freed from slavery by Moses and the Lord more than 3,300 years ago. In Judaism, a day commences at dusk and lasts until the following dusk; therefore the first day of Passover does not officially begin until after dusk on the 14th. In the Northern Hemisphere, Passover takes place in the spring, as the Torah states that it is to be celebrated during that time. In the narrative of the Exodus, God helps the Children of Israel escape from slavery in Egypt by inflicting 10 plagues upon the ancient Egyptians before the Pharaoh released his slaves. According to the Bible, God

two nights of Passover for a special dinner called seder. The table is set with the finest china and silverware to reflect the importance of the meal. During this dinner, the story of the Exodus is retold using special text called the Haggadah. Four cups of wine are consumed at various stages of the story. Though it is predominately observed by Jews, Passover may also be celebrated by Christians. It is often linked to the Christian holiday Easter. The redemption from bondage of sin through the sacrifice of Jesus is celebrated during Easter and parallels Passover’s celebration of It is tradition for Jewish families to gather on redemption from bondage in the first night or first two nights of Passover Egypt. for a special dinner called seder. Passover is also often celebrated in Islam. According to different from the Jews, he recomMuslim tradition, the Jews of Madi- mended that they fast for two days nah used to fast on the tenth day in instead of one. Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowsobservance of Passover. As Muslims revere the Israelites, Muhammad ka at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or recommended to fast this day, but be nkozikowska@queenspress.com.

Notebook Hillcrest HS

It is not often that teens are recognized for their playwriting, but one Hillcrest High School student is already making waves in the industry by landing a $10,000 scholarship for her original play, “Wicked Wealth.” Jasmin-Chloe Lopez, a senior at the high school in Jamaica, has always been exceptionally talented in theater and the arts. The star pupil, who is currently enrolled at Hillcrest’s Theatre Institute, was the school winner in the August Wilson Monologue Competition, where high school students from all over the City perform a two to three minute dialogue from any of the plays in August Wilson’s Century Cycle. Lopez did make it to the finals to perform her monologue at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, and although she did not win the competition, she has remained committed to the arts. While Lopez enjoys performing on stage, it is her play “Wicked Wealth” that has captured the attention of

Photo by Bob Harris

Hillcrest HS Senior Lands Scholarship For Her Play the nonprofit Learning through an Expanded Arts Program, or LEAP. All juniors and seniors at Hillcrest High School were required to write plays for submission, but only Lopez’s work will be produced. Prior to her recent success as a playwright, Lopez was well-known as an actress at the school. She has appeared in the school plays “Hairspray,” where she played Penny Pingleton, and “Ask Any Girl,” where she played Meg Jasmin-Chloe Lopez, a senior at Hillcrest High Wheeler. School, landed a $10,000 scholarship for her But her talent goes far original play, “Wicked Wealth.” beyond theater. Lopez also plays the ukulele in the some notable institutions in the City. school’s band, sings for the school In addition to earning a $10,000 and competes in international conscholarship for her work, Lopez’s tests. Outside of school, the senior play was accepted to be produced volunteers at two churches and a in an off-Broadway theater through nursing home, where she also sings.

Before moving to New York City, Lopez was a singer in Choirs of Los Angeles in California, where she moved from not too long ago. As a singer for Choirs of Los Angeles, she received not one, but two $500 scholarships for her powerful voice. While she is most certainly talented in a number of areas in the arts, Lopez has at least one other unique talent – wrestling. In addition to all her other extracurricular activities at the high school, Lopez is on Hillcrest’s co-ed wrestling team, where she competes in the 90 lb. weight class. Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or nkozikowska@queenspress.com. The PRESS wants to hear about students’ accomplishments in your school. Send your stories and photos to: The PRESS at 150-50 14th Rd., Whitestone, NY 11357.


April 11-17, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 17

What’s Up ApRiL 12 Easter Extravaganza The Kareem D. Sapp Foundation, in conjunction with the Queens Chapter of the National Action Network and the Order of the Feather, will present an Easter Extravaganza from 3-7 p.m. at Greater Springfield Community Church, 177-06 129th Ave., Jamaica. For more information, visit www.kareemdsapp.org or contact Melissa Torbert, director of special events, at mtorbert@kareemdsapp.org.

Spring Fitness It’s Spring! That means that it’s time to get your body in shape for the summer. The good folks at EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care can help you in this regard. Join them for Spring Fitness from 5-6 p.m. at the EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care Center, 206-20 Linden Blvd., Cambria Heights. For information, call (866) 539-0999.

oNGoiNG Youth organizations LP FAM’s Youth Organization is holding youth baseball registration for boys and girls ages 5 to 14 every Saturday, 12 p.m. until 3 p.m. at Dunton Presbyterian Church, located 109-29 135th St., South Ozone Park. Call Derick Braswell at (917) 692-4775 or Paul Cox at (718) 8358416 for more information. The organization is also holding registration for its basketball pro-

gram. Boys and girls between 8 and 16 years old can register every Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Queens Transition Center, located at 142-10 Linden Blvd., South Ozone Park. For more information, call Mike Glasgow at (917) 442-0479, Paul Cox (718) 835-8416, or David Reid at (646) 241-4211. LP FAM is also looking for volunteer youth baseball and football coaches. Please call Paul Cox at (917) 607-2421 or Derick Braswell at (917) 692-4775 for more information.

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

Forestdale StYA Youth Mentor Forestdale, Inc., an organization with a great history of supporting families in need and committed to empowering children in foster care

and in the local community, launched a new mentoring program in January 2014. This new program, called “Future Prep: Successfully Transitioning Youth to Adolescence,” or STYA, is designed to attract communityminded people who may not be able to commit to foster parenting, but nevertheless want to make a significant investment in the lives of children and their better future. We are looking for mentors (18 or older) to work with children ages 9-12 for one year. Starting in January, there will be four 10-week sessions throughout the year, each running for three hours on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The program will take place at the Hollis Community Center at 203-09 Hollis Ave. This is an excellent opportunity to truly make a difference is someone’s life, build meaningful relationships and be part of an enthusiastic, compassionate and supportive environment, in addition to a great learning experience with the opportunity to learn about a multitude of issues facing underprivi-

leged youth in New York City today. For additional information, contact Mirzya Syed, Youth Volunteer Coordinator, at Msyed@forestdaleinc.org or (718) 263.0740, ext. 365.

Queens Satellite high School and College Mentoring program Queens Satellite High School is seeking volunteers to provide students with the skills and experiences that will support their personal growth. Key to the institute is the active participation of its volunteers in the private sector and community members who wish to provide real world connections for their students through weekly seminars. Mentors can participate in oneday sessions or teach a seven-week seminar on a topic of their choice. Technical assistance for lesson planning will be provided throughout your experience. For additional information, contact Kristy Nguyen at (718) 657-3920, ext. 4031.

WhAt’S Up With YoU? Send your community events to the PRESS for a free listing at 150-50 14th Rd., Whitestone, NY 11357. Call (718) 357-7400 or email editor@queenspress.com. All events will be considered for publication, without a fee.

LEGAL NOTICE

LEGAL NOTICE

LEGAL NOTICE

LEGAL NOTICE

LEGAL NOTICE

LEGAL NOTICE

STATE OF NEW YORK SUPREME COURT QUEENS COUNTY SUMMONS AND NOTICE Index No. 10699/12 Borough: Queens Block: 9470 Lot: 25 NYCTL 1998-2 TRUST AND THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, AS COLLATERAL AGENT AND CUSTODIAN, Plaintiffs, vs. The heirs-at-law, next of kin, distributees, executors, administrators, assignees, lienors, creditors,successorsin-interest and generally all persons having or claiming under, by or through JOSEPH J. BEDNARIK, by purchase, inheritance, lien or otherwise of any right, title or interest in and to the premises described in the complaint herein, and all creditors thereof, and the respective wives, or widows of his, if any, all of whose names and addresses are unknown to plaintiffs; NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT AU-

THORITY TRANSIT ADJUDICATION BUREAU; NEW YORK CITY ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL BOARD; NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE; ELIZABETH MUNOZ; JOSEPH BEDNARIK, JR., if living, or if he be dead, his wife, heirs-at-law, next of kin, distributees, executors, administrators, assignees, lienors, creditors, successorsin-interest and generally all persons having or claiming under, by or through said JOSEPH BEDNARIK, JR., by purchase, inheritance, lien or otherwise of any right, title or interest in and to the premises described in the complaint herein, and all creditors thereof, and the respective wives, or widows of his, if any, all of whose names and addresses are unknown to plaintiffs; ALEXANDER BEDNARIK, if living, or if he be dead, his

wife, heirs-at-law, next of kin, distributees, executors, administrators, assignees, lienors, creditors, successorsin-interest and generally all persons having or claiming under, by or through said ALEXANDER BEDNARIK, by purchase, inheritance, lien or otherwise of any right, title or interest in and to the premises described in the complaint herein, and all creditors thereof, and the respective wives, or widows of his, if any, all of whose names and addresses are unknown to plaintiffs AND "JOHN DOE #4" THROUGH "JOHN DOE #100", the names of the last 96 defendants being fictitious, the true names of said defendants being unknown to plaintiff, it being intended to designate fee owners, tenants or occupants of the liened premises and/or persons or parties having or

claiming an interest in or lien upon the liened premises, if the aforesaid individual defendants are living, and if any or all of said individual defendants be dead, their heirs at law, next of kin, distributees, executors, administrators, trustees, committees, devisees, legatees, and the assignees, lienors, creditors and successors in interest of them, and generally all persons having or claiming under, by, through, or against the said defendants named as a class, of any right, title or interest in or lien upon the premises described in the complaint herein, Defendants. TO THE ABOVE NAMED DEFENDANTS: YOU ARE HEREBY SUMMONED to answer the complaint in the aboveentitled foreclosure action, and to serve a copy of your answer on the plaintiffs’ attorney within thirty (30)

days after the service of this summons, exclusive of the day of service or within thirty (30) days after completion of service where service is made in any other manner than by personal service within the State. The United States of America, if designated as a defendant in this action, may answer or appear within sixty (60) days of service hereof. In case of your failure to appear or answer, judgment will be taken against you by default for the relief demanded in the complaint. Queens County is designated as the place of trial. The basis of venue is the location of the subject premises. Dated: January 9, 2014 TO THE ABOVE NAMED DEFENDANTS: The foregoing summons is served upon you by publication, pursuant to an Order of Honorable Rudolph E. Greco, Jr., a Justice of the

Supreme Court, dated February 25, 2014, and filed with supporting papers in the Queens County Clerk’s Office. This is an action to foreclose a tax lien covering the property known as 127-11 97 Avenue, Borough of Queens, New York and identified as Block 9470 and Lot 25 (the “Tax Parcel”). The relief sought is the sale of the Tax Parcel at public auction in satisfaction of the tax lien. In case of your failure to appear, judgment may be taken against you in the sum of $10,626.44, together with interest, costs, disbursements and attorneys’ fees of this action, and directing the public sale of the Tax Parcel. Anthony J. Iacchetta Phillips Lytle LLP Office and Post Office Address 1400 First Federal Plaza Rochester, New York 14614 Tel. No. (585) 238-2000


Page 18 PRESS of Southeast Queens April 11-17, 2014

SingerS OF QUeenS

Regina Fierro

CONFIDENTIAL

Q

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

Follow us on Twitter: @QueensTrib Like us on Facebook facebook.com/ QueensTrib

Got Talent? We want to feature you! E-mail editor@ queenstribune.com for inclusion in a future edition.

Although Regina Fierro has been singing in school and at church for as long as she can remember, it was only a few years ago, at the age of 12, that she fell in love with opera and classical music. Fierro was drawn to the structure of operas and their arias, intrigued by how much attention was given to the placement of every note. “I saw that the compositions as a whole were written with so much thought. Each note was purposefully placed into the song and contributed to the meaning of the whole piece,” she said. The Fresh Meadows teen, a Loyola School junior, has since dedicated many hours to training and improving her voice and her understanding of opera. This past February, Fierro participated in the “High School Opera Singers Intensive” program at the Metropolitan Opera Guild studio at Lincoln Center. The singer got involved with that program through a subscription to the Metropolitan Opera Guild. The guild offers many discussions, interviews and

master classes, including the intensive program that Fierro auditioned to join. Over the course of its four days, Fierro learned about the college application process, vocal technique, acting, diction and how to begin her career in the field. “I was just so impressed by how talented, insightful and humble the teachers and students I met were and how professional yet welcoming the environment was,” she said. As part of the Intensive, Fierro toured the Metropolitan Opera House and meet Benjamin Bliss, who is currently in the Young Artists' Program at the Met. Fierro said she instantly felt comfortable around Bliss and enjoyed the chance to talk to him for a half hour. The tour itself was one of her highlights of the program. “It's amazing how huge the whole house is when you go behind the stage,” she said. “Every set piece, prop and costume is made and stored on the premises and the singers prepare and practice on the many floors beneath the stage itself.”

Late Show with Dennis Walcott?

Queens' Rising Star?

Here at QConf, we like to see hometown folk make good on a national stage. Last week, it was announced that Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) was the sole East Coast finalist selected by EMILY's List to take part in the organization's Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star awards. One of the youngest members of the New York State Assembly, Rozic is facing off against competition from

prominent women across the country, including the mayors of Dayton, Ohio and Compton, Calif., and state representatives from Nevada, Georgia, Colorado and Michigan. The women's organization backed Rozic's 2012 campaign for State Assembly. Voting is open on the EMILY's List website, action. emilyslist.org/page/s/gabriellegiffords-rising-star-finalists. Good luck, Assemblywoman Rozic!

Meet-up At Our Office The labor dispute at the UPS facility in Maspeth - a story this publication broke last month, has gained national attention over the last week. One of the outspoken defenders of the UPS workers has been Public Advocate Letitia James, and she discussed the issue in-depth during a meeting at our office on Monday, detailed elsewhere

While she learned plenty at the intensive, it was just part of Fierro’s continuous training, as she has been working for some time with Inessa Banayan to properly use her voice to the best of her abilities. “Ms. Banayan was the first music teacher of mine who taught me the proper methods and technique needed to do so properly,” she said. “I am so grateful for how much she has affected my musical habits.” Fierro is looking into colleges with strong vocal programs so she can keep improving. Although she has not settled on a school yet, she said she was impressed by New York University. She hopes to have a complete classical training and perform in a range of genres going forward. “Although I would love to have a career singing in a myriad of different styles, I believe that singing operatic roles requires the epitome of concentration, technique and effort and is a feat that I really want to accomplish in my lifetime,” she said.

in this issue. As the new Public Advocate was leaving, a UPS delivery man walked in with a package and spent some time speaking with James. They discussed how UPS workers were faring before heading on their separate ways. James parting message to the driver? "We're gonna win."

Now that David Letterman from the late-night comedy show, The Late Show With David Letterman, said he wants to retire by 2015, so guess who is up for his seat next? Queens’ very own Dennis Walcott, former schools chancellor! While speaking on TV last week, Walcott said since he is unemployed, he jokingly nominated himself

for the open position. He definitely has “swag” to be a late night comedy show host, don’t you think? Walcott and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg shared many funny, charismatic moments behind the podium, regardless of who they upset through the years. Watch out CBS, Walcott is on his way to fame!

Photo Courtesy of Comedy Central

Getting National Attention Earlier this month, Assemblyman William Scarborough made his first appearance on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central. But the embattled Queens pol was not on the show as a guest – instead, he appeared as a punch line. In the segment, entitled “Innocent Until…Who Are We Kidding?,” Stewart made fun of Scarborough’s recent legal troubles, poking fun of the Assemblyman’s notso-great defense while being bombarded by reporters the

day FBI raided his home and offices. “Well, I mean, they only gave me a very small sample of what they thought represented this. And based on that small sample, I think it’s very refutable,” Scarborough said in the news clip. “Because, there is so much that I have done,” Stewart sarcastically said after he played the clip. “That they didn’t mention the actual scale of my crimes and all of it, really, irrefutable. Did you know I have a lair?”


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ROOSEVELT Totally Renov. 3 BR Colonial, full Bsmt w/sep ent. 1 car gar. Only $7000 down on contract, No closing cost. New kit, w/granite Owner 516-476-8302

Want 2 Buy

CASH FOR RECORDS R&B, Jazz, Rock & many other styles. Top Dollar Paid! 1950’s - 1990’s Vinyl ONLY.

Call Tom 718-360-1965 We drive to you

Construction

NUNEZ CONSTRUCTION

We Specialize In Crack Repairs

also Ceiling, Wall Repairs

& Painting

EXPERT WORK ON STOOPS BRICK, BLOCK & CONCRETE

ext 151

7 Days, Lowest Prices Free Estimate Licensed & Insured

Bathrooms

Bathrooms

718-219-1257 nunezforu.com Member of Angie’s List A Rating


These amazing offers and many more, Available ONLY at this location!

220-05 HILLSIDE AVE., QUEENS VILLAGE, NY 11427 • 718-776-8156 HOURS: MONDAY-FRIDAY 8 AM - 9 PM, SATURDAY: 8 AM - 9 PM, SUNDAY: 9 AM - 9 PM SEAA-062940

BRING THIS AD AND ENTER TO

WIN A COLEMAN PROPANE GRILL Name: ________________________________________________ Email: ________________________________________________ Winner will be notified VIA email. See Manager at this location for details.

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