Volume 15 Issue No. 20 May 16-22, 2014
PRESS Photo by Natalia Kozikowska
100 YEARS PS 95 in Jamaica held its centennial celebration, giving alumni, faculty and staff a chance to come together and commemorate the school’s history. By Natalia Kosizkowska…Page 19.
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Page 2 PRESS of Southeast Queens May 16-22, 2014
News Briefs Gang Members Charged With Intimidating Witness
On May 14, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced that five men, including the reputed coleader of the notorious EBK (Every Body Killers) street gang, have been indicted on charges of intimidating and tampering with a witness in the alleged EBK co-leaders’ pending attempted murder charge. The District Attorney identified the defendants as Kamal Joseph of Elmont, Angel Alvarez of Jamaica, Nadine Massillon of Jamaica, Christopher Baptiste of Queens Village and Brandon Ward, also of Jamaica. The five defendants have been variously charged in an 18-count indictment with third-degree intimidating a victim or witness, third-degree tampering with a witness, fifth-degree conspiracy, second-degree aggravating harassment and bribing a witness. According to the charges in the indictment, Joseph told Baptiste during a telephone conversation in 2013 that the witness in his attempted murder case should not appear before the grand jury hearing the case and that he (Baptiste) and Ward should talk to the witness. It is alleged that in a subsequent telephone conversation, Joseph told an unidentified male individual to make sure that people were at the courthouse as soon as it opened. The unidentified male stated that they would be on line early to watch everything and that he would tell Baptiste to call a “pow wow.” The following day, it is alleged that Ward, Baptiste, Alvarez and a number of other individuals gathered together outside the Queens Criminal Courthouse, in an effort to intimidate the witness from testifying before the grand jury by instilling a fear in the witness that they would cause physical harm to the witness or another person. It is additionally alleged that Massillon tampered with and intimidated the witness on three separate occasions in November and December 2013 by attempting to compel the witness to be absent or otherwise avoid appearing or testifying by instilling a fear in the witness that Massillon would cause physical injury to the witness or to another person. “Prospective witnesses must be protected from outside interference intended to prevent them from testifying in the grand jury or at trial,” said Brown in a statement. “This office will not tolerate the intimidation of, or tampering with, witnesses and
is committed to the vigorous prosecution of those who engage in such conduct.”
De Blasio Outlines Education Reforms
Mayor Bill de Blasio visited PS 69 in Jackson Heights on Monday to outline several major budgetary and teachers’ contract reforms, which he expects will transform public education in the City. De Blasio largely focused on investments in arts education in the Fiscal Year 2015 budget announced last week, as well as efforts to alleviate overcrowding, increase parental involvement and expand universal full-day pre-k. The budget allocates $4.4 billion to ease overcrowding, which will largely be sent to the most overcrowded areas of the City, including central Queens, lower Manhattan and parts of Staten Island. A 2013 United Federation of Teachers (UFT) survey found 6,313 overcrowded classrooms in the City, more than 1,000 of which were in Queens high schools alone. “We have very good teachers and very hard working teachers,” said Martha Vazquez, who has been principal of PS 69 for more than a decade. “But obviously, a little bit of a lesser number in each class [would offer] more flexibility for them to do their small group work and so forth.” Classroom capacity is defined by the UFT contract as 34 students for high schools, 30-33 students for middle schools and 32 students for elementary schools. Four hundred and eighty million dollars are being put towards reducing the number of mobile classrooms, otherwise referred to as trailers. De Blasio added that the goal is to reduce trailers, not necessarily to eliminate every single one. Schools that find their trailers useful will be able to keep them. This point fits into a larger theme of school and teacher autonomy that framed much of the reforms. The process puts faith in school principals and teachers to make certain decisions for themselves, de Blasio said, citing in particular the integration of arts into the existing curriculum, and the removal of teachers assigned from the Absent Teacher Reserve. Another major focus of de Blasio’s announcement was expanded arts education. The budget allocates $20 million for arts education programs and improvements, including partnerships with arts institutions, cultural field trips and new or renovated arts facilities.
May 16-22, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 3
Presstime BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA With City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s announcement that she has stripped Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) of his chairmanship and member items, many of his constituents are left wondering what this will mean for the future of Southeast Queens. This is not the first time that the residents and community organizations in Southeast Queens face an uncertain future in terms of discretionary funding. Similar questions were posed last year, when State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Jamaica) was arrested on corruption charges. According to the indictment released last week, Wills has been charged with third-degree grand larceny, first-degree scheme to defraud, first-degree falsifying business records and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. If convicted of the grand larceny charge, he faces up to seven years in prison. Though Wills has professed his innocence to the media, last week Viverito sent out a statement announcing that her office has been designating funds to be allocated in his district. Queens delegation leader Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) will also share in that responsibility. According to Weprin, in the week before his arrest, Wills submitted a list of priorities that he thought were important to the 28th Council District.
“We will probably use those as guidelines and go through them to see which ones are well-established groups that benefit the community and look for anyone that might raise concern,” Weprin said. “We want to make sure that the groups that represent that area are well taken care of as far as providing services to the residents of the district.” A prominent leader in Southeast Queens, who only agreed to speak on conditions of anonymity, said he feels that Viverito, a Manhattan Councilwoman, may not be the best person to distribute funds in Wills’ district because she is not familiar with the needs of Southeast Queens. “I don’t think that she [Viverito] will be able to make the best and most informed choices for Wills’ district,” the source said. “This is where the other elected leaders will need to step in, so that they can guide community-based organizations during this uncertain time.” Although many seem to agree that Wills’ arrest will have some negative economic impact on the district, Vishnu Mahadeo, president of the Richmond Hill Economic Development Council, is looking at the bright side. “On this side of the Van Wyk [Expressway], which has over 56 percent of the votes, Ruben Wills gave us less than 10 percent of his discretionary funds. It was an abysmal distribution of discretionary funds,” Mahadeo explained. “He has been accused of stealing funds that are needed in this
Photo by Luis Gronda
Future Of SEQ Called Into Question After Wills’ Arrest
With Councilman Ruben Wills stripped of his member items, residents and organizations in Southeast Queens face an uncertain future. community, so maybe now, funds will be equally distributed.” “He has done a total disservice to Richmond Hill. He has not provided any discretionary funds throughout his time as City Councilman,” he added. “If he is removed from the scene, the economic [development] can only go up because he did everything to keep us down.” Although she said it is still too soon to tell how Wills’ arrest will impact Southeast Queens, Community Board 12 chairwoman Adrienne Adams said she is hopeful that under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, the community will still be able to prosper.
“Our saving grace is that we have such an opportunity with the progressive administration. Under the leadership of the Mayor and the Speaker and the Borough President [Melinda Katz], I think that in spite of the situation, our voices are going to be heard,” she said. “I think we will still be in the forefront, as our Borough President and other leaders have made the communities in Board 12 a priority. With that regard, I think we are still very fortunate.” Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org or @ nkozikowska
Queens Reacts To Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Budget BY JOE MARVILLI Queens leaders and representatives reacted to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s budget announced earlier this week. Although Queens is going to get plenty out of the $74 billion executive budget announced on May 8, the reaction was a mixed bag from the Borough’s representatives, due to some items left on the cutting room floor. While there had been talk about increasing the NYPD’s numbers and improving public safety, those factors were not reflected in the announced budget concerning Queens. Even though Borough President Melinda Katz and the Borough Board had asked for the construction of a 116th precinct, the creation of the 40th Precinct in the South Bronx was the only new one mentioned.
The 116th precinct would have split the 105th in two, improving response times for the precinct that runs from Little Neck Bay to John F. Kennedy airport. Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) said she was concerned over the lack of public safety improvements in the budget when it came to the NYPD and emergency services. “I am disappointed that the Council’s recommendations of additional funding for EMS and policing have been excluded from the Mayor’s budget,” she said. “With an average EMS response time for life threatening emergencies exceeding nine minutes, our officers are spread too thin. We cannot be cutting corners in regards to public safety when lives are on the line.” Most of the public safety improvements came in the form of Vision
Zero initiatives to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities. The budget calls for $28.8 million in Dept. of Transportation initiatives, $13 million for NYPD traffic enforcement and $226 million in FY 2015 to resurface 1,000 lane miles. U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) praised the budget for its improvements in education and for its efforts to improve the New York City Housing Authority. Seventy million dollars will be supplied to NYCHA to address the backlog of repairs and improve security. This funding is in addition to the $52.5 million in relief from the preliminary budget. “I am pleased that the Mayor has prioritized measures for which I have been proud to advocate and champion, such as universal Pre-K, preparing students for STEM careers, fixing NYCHA and easing-up on un-
necessary fines to small businesses,” she said. The reduction in fines is a move away from the tactics of de Blasio’s predecessor, Michael Bloomberg. The executive budget projects that the numbers will drop from $859 million in fines in 2012 to $789 million in fines in 2015. “Under the previous administration, small businesses were charged thousands of dollars in fines, hindering their chance to grow and support communities in Queens and throughout the City,” Jack Friedman, executive director for the Queens Chamber of Commerce, said. “Mayor de Blasio’s reduction in fines will help these businesses invest back into their communities, increasing residents’ quality of life.” Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@ queenstribune.com, or @Joey788.
Page 4 PRESS of Southeast Queens May 16-22, 2014
Data Shows Decline In Stop And Frisk Stops
BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA While data from the NYPD shows that Stop and Frisk stops have dropped nearly 86 percent from last year, it also shows that this quarter’s numbers have gone up slightly from the final three months of Bloomberg’s administration. The statistics also reveal that the racial breakdown of stops involving minorities has remained relatively constant, disproportionately accounting for 83 percent of all stops– a figure similar to that of previous years. According to reports, under the new administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton, NYPD officers conducted 14,261 stops between Jan. 1 and March 31, compared with 99,788 in that span the same time last year. During his mayoral campaign, de Blasio vowed to improve communication between the community and police by reforming the controversial policy, which many have argued unfairly targets minorities. Though the data only represents stops from de Blasio’s first three months in office, leaders and civil advocates from Southeast Queens, a predominantly Black area, said that the numbers appear encouraging.
Still, they feel that there is a lot of work to be done, especially in the disproportionate racial breakdown of stops. “With the appointment of the police monitor, we are hopeful that this number decreases as we move on,” said Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton). In January, Bratton told the media that he felt the Stop and Frisk problem has “been more or less solved.” But Richards disagreed, noting that while the numbers show a dramatic decline in stops from last year, it is still too early to make a presumption about the future of Stop and Frisk. “We need to let this play out and look at the figures over time,” he said. “I think the Commissioner is coming from a good place, but it’s still particularly early in the de Blasio administration and too early to tell what the numbers are going to look like in a few months.” Laurelton attorney Jacques Leandre similarly said he feels that the data appears to demonstrate progress, but like Richards, he feels there is still room for improvement. Leandre’s law office has seen close to 150 Stop and Frisk cases, with minorities accounting for more than 90 percent of them. The attor-
ney also runs a free workshop that educates the youth about the proper protocol in dealing with police officers during a stop. “I’m happy that there is still focus and attention being paid the discriminatory Stop and Frisk policy and I am glad the discussion didn’t stop with the inauguration of our Mayor,” Leandre said. “Although the numbers of stops have gone down, there are still some problems with police practices that continue,” he added. “The Stop and Frisk numbers are still racially disproportionate, so I think we still have a pretty long way to go in getting to where we need to be.”
While the data represents a decline in Stop and Frisk stops, it also shows that arrests for low-level marijuana crimes have dropped more modestly and that marijuana possession arrests in the first quarter are higher than in the third and fourth quarters of 2013. “The arrest numbers related to low-level marijuana possession has actually remained steady and it’s still very much racially disproportionate,” Leandre said. “So I think we still have a long way to go to make New York safe and just.” Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or email@example.com or @nkozikowska.
More Representation Needed:
Sarabjit Sawhney (left), Sharon KhunKhun, Muhammed Rashid and Tehal Singh (right) met with the media in Jamaica on May 12 to demand representation in the 24th Assembly District.
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May 16-22, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 5
Tensions Rise At MVB, B-Tech Meeting Emotions were running high at last week’s Martin Van Buren High School and B-Tech School implementation meeting, with local advocates vocalizing their frustrations with the forced co-location. Despite protests from the community, in March the Dept. of Education voted to move the six-year business technology school into Martin Van Buren – a school that has struggled in the last few years. At the May 10 meeting, Hoa Tu, leading founder and principal at the new Business Technology Early College High School, was given the opportunity to speak to concerned residents and community leaders about the curriculum and implementation plans this fall. She began her presentation by highlighting B-Tech’s vision and sixyear model. “At B-Tech, if you take nothing away from what I say tonight, take this,” Tu said. “Any student and any staff member coming into our community can get smart, can get better and can do anything they aspire to do as long as they are willing to work hard.” She noted that, upon graduation, students at B-Tech will have earned a
Photo by Natalia Kozikowska
BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA
The leading founder and principal of B-Tech, a new school scheduled to colocate with Martin Van Buren High School this fall, was under fire by some concerned local advocates. high school diploma, job training and an associate’s degree from the neighboring Queensborough Community College – their partnering college. In order to obtain the associate degree, Tu explained, students will have to declare a business-technology-related major in the 10th grade. They will have the option of switching majors up until they reach their senior year of high school. But some found the idea of requiring students to select a major at such a young age troubling, including Joan Moretti, an English teacher at Martin Van Buren and an adjunct lecturer in English at QCC. “When I taught my classes here, I tell [my students] you’re no longer
in high school, you’re in college. And that’s a real mental challenge for a lot of students,” Moretti said. “And these students are seniors that I’ve taught, so when I hear sophomores are getting college classes pushed down their face, [it’s a] real big deal.” Tu responded to Moretti’s comment by emphasizing the appeal of a business-tech training and education, which she said can be applied to and useful in almost any career field. Tensions continued to rise when Tu, along with two DOE reps, admitted that they did not know how many of B-Tech’s 108 first-year students hailed from District 26. The reps did note that B-Tech gives Queens students admission priority, however, students’ districts were not weighed in during the enrollment process. The DOE did not respond to multiple requests for comment regarding enrollment figures. But those in attendance recalled that a previous spokesperson from the DOE said that the new B-Tech school accepted roughly 10 children from D26. “We have a big problem with the selection process here,” said Kirby Lindell, vice president of the Bell Park Manor Terrace Board. “It’s really not a bonus to us unless they take District 26 kids first.”
“The civic association and the elected officials – we got rid of Marilyn Shevell,” said Anthony Lemma, a spokesperson at Assemblyman David Weprin’s (D-Fresh Meadows) office, angrily referring to Martin Van Buren’s former principal. “And now you come in here with 10 kids to this program? It’s an insult. It’s a disgrace.” Sensing the tone of the meeting was changing, Tu tried to relate to the frustrations expressed by those in attendance. “Before you met me, I must have sounded and looked like the wicked witch of the east. I get it – it’s a human thing,” she said. She went on to say that she is open to sitting down with those frustrated with the co-location so that she can address some of their concerns. “I think we are not going to solve everything, but I think that’s a start,” she said. “I get it. I took your math space. I took your room and I get that. I also get that you’re saying it because the situation is just disgusting. But I am not a disgusting human being and you’re not either. We have a job to do for the children moving here in September and we are going to serve them well.” Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org or @nkozikowska.
Page 6 PRESS of Southeast Queens May 16-22, 2014
Editorial OF SOUTHEAST QUEENS 150-50 14th Road Whitestone, NY 11357 (voice) (718) 357-7400 fax (718) 357-9417 email email@example.com The PRESS of Southeast Queens
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Something To Hide? When weighing in on all the valuable services that Queens Library offers to the Borough’s residents, we find it alarming that the board has voted to reject a motion that would require them to fully comply with an audit by City Comptroller Scott Stringer. If Queens Library continues to act without transparency in the manner that it has, it will put them at risk of losing crucial funding needed to operate – not only from the City, but from the office of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. And this will not only have a negative impact on the nonprofit, it will also have a negative impact on the residents who utilize many of the Library’s programs. Queens Library reps have repeatedly argued that they believe in transparency, yet the board of trustees continues to deny the Comptroller access to financial spending records, citing a stipulation agreement from nearly 20 years ago. These rather suspicious grounds have begun to tarnish the Library’s reputation and are taking the spotlight away from the good the Library does for Queens. If the Library truly has nothing to hide, much like it has been preaching to the media, we cannot help but wonder why they are not fully complying with Stringer’s audit. Their full cooperation will not only shape their future, but the future of the very people Queens Library claims they are committed to serving.
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Explore Our Borough
To the Editor: The 50th anniversary of the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is drawing visitors both young and old
to our borough, curious to see the unusual landmarks that still grace the grounds. This is the moment to step off the grounds, too, and explore all of the other wonderful things that are happening
Letters in Queens. Our borough has a vibrant and unique cultural scene, but I’m often surprised that even for many native New Yorkers it’s a new discovery. Queens is home to a plethora of cultural opportunities and fine institutions such as the Queens Museum, Queens Botanical Gardens, PS1 and many, many more. While I, too, enjoy traveling into Manhattan to see a Broadway show or a popular exhibition along Fifth Avenue, I would much rather enjoy the vast opportunities in our Queens backyard. I am encouraged by the Mayor’s recent appointment of Tom Finkelpearl as the City’s new Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs. The tenets of inclusivity and openness embraced at his former institution, the Queens Museum, will now benefit all New Yorkers. Additionally, our new Borough President Melinda Katz – who we plan to honor at our 35th annual gala on May 15 - is a strong advocate for the arts. How could she not be? Her father was the founder and conductor of the Queens Symphony Orchestra and her mother, Jeanne, was the
founder of the Queens Council for the Arts. Their stewardship will elevate interest in and excitement about our institutions. In my six years leading the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, I have helped bring performers and exhibitions from around the country and world to our 152-year-old Flushing Town Hall, a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of New York City’s 33-member Cultural Institutions Group. Flushing Town Hall presents global arts for our global New York City community, and brings to Queens local, national and international performances and exhibitions that are often seen only in Manhattan or Brooklyn, or Europe or Asia. I encourage all of my compatriots in the cultural and arts worlds in Queens to join me in inviting not only visitors, but our neighbors and friends to support our borough’s institutions. As summer approaches and we explore this city, why not start with what’s already in your backyard? Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director Flushing Town Hall
Southeast Queens Political Scandals: Racism? A Personal Perspective By MARCIA MOXAM COMRIE There has been an unfortunately high incidence of political scandal in Southeast Queens that has everyone outside our community wondering about us. Every newspaper in the City as well as our local political talk shows are wondering “what’s going on in Southeast Queens?” It is embarrassing to all of us. These investigations, arrests and innuendos seem to have become par for the course. They are painful to the families of the accused and to our community. We have to wonder what indeed is going on in Southeast Queens. When Councilman Ruben Wills was arrested last week after a long investigation, around the issue of unaccounted for State and campaign funds,
he did not hesitate to say it was “because of my color and where I live.” It was an amazingly blunt response. But one cannot help but wonder if we do ourselves any favors when we “play the race card” so freely. In this country and in this City, it would be naïve to think that race no longer matters. It’s always there in people’s minds. So yes, racism is still very much with us. But here’s the thing: if those elected to serve the public are so aware that the hand of justice is still wont to conspire against them, why not be more careful? The first and most important thing is always to be careful when it comes to taxpayers’ money. The second thing is to keep impeccable records. The third thing is to not succumb to the temptations of potential bribers. And the fourth thing is to not be in a position where you could be accused of trying
to bribe anyone. One also has to point out that “we” are not the only ones falling. There are several non-Black former legislators who have gone to jail in similar cases. Former State Comptroller Alan Hevesi just got out of jail last year after nearly two years. Brian McLaughlin, the once powerful assemblyman and union boss, is currently serving eight to 10 years in prison, accused of among other things, stealing money he allocated for a little league team in his district. Former Senate leader Joseph Bruno is set for retrial after beating the rap the first time. There are also numerous former Hispanic officials who have or are serving jail time as well. Hiram Monseratte and Pedro Espado come to mind here. Not everyone who has gone to jail or was indicted or
walking “under a cloud of suspicion,” messed up after they got elected. Some supposedly happened before the accused got elected. Everyone has a responsibility to respect their office or that of the person who allocated the funds to their particular nonprofit. When anyone messes with those funds, it impacts other nonprofits’ opportunities to get funded. That hurts our community. We need them, especially the ones that serve our seniors and children. So, is it racism? It doesn’t help to be Black and near the cookie jar. The powers that be would still prefer that we not have political clout. We are automatically under suspicion and we should operate in a manner consistent with this unfortunate reality. Our leaders have to operate with clarity of mind and purpose and moral fortitude to stay away from temptation.
May 16-22, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 7
Cycling Has High Rate Of Brain Injuries There has been a great nesia: less than 30 minutes deal of attention given to without loss of consciousbrain injuries and sports, speness cifically the relationship be• Grade II – Post-Trautween the cumulative effects matic Amnesia: 30 minutes of concussions and contact – 24 hours with loss of consports. Surprisingly however, sciousness lasting less than 5 many non-contact sports and minutes recreational activities have a • Grade III – Post-Trauhigh incidence of brain injumatic Amnesia for over 24 ries, with cycling having the hours with loss of conscioushighest rate by far. ness lasting more than 5 minAccording to recent statisutes tics reported by the AmeriSymptoms of a concuscan Association of Neuro sion include headaches/ Surgeons, there were over pressure in the head, con446,000 sports-related brain fusion, dizziness, ringing in injuries treated in hospital the ears, nausea or vomiting, emergency departments in slurred speech and fatigue. 2009. Of those, over 85,000 Some other symptoms can were associated with cycling, be immediate or have a denearly doubling the next highlayed onset of hours or even est rated activity, which was days, including memory football, with close to 47,000 problems, irritability or dereported head injuries. pression, sensitivity to light, Traumatic Brain Injury is Cycling has the highest number of brain injuries when it and disorders of taste and defined as a blow or jolt to comes to sports-related activities. smell. the head, or a penetrating According to Dr. Gonzalo injury that disrupts normal Vazquez-Casals, “if you expefunction of the brain. Concussions 24 hours and may or may not be ac- rience any of these symptoms, seek are the most common form of head companied by a loss of conscious- immediate medical attention. A injury. Concussions are defined as ness. They are usually categorized physician can assess your attention, trauma-induced transient loss of into one of three grades: memory, coordination and other • Grade I – Post-Traumatic Am- abilities and order the appropriate mental functioning lasting less than
imaging tests, such as a CT scan or an MRI, to determine the severity of your injury.” Dr. Vazquez-Casals, Neuro-Psychologist at Jamaica Hospital, has experience treating cyclists who have suffered head-injuries, both in the Hospital’s TBI Unit as well as those recovering on an out-patient basis. Head injuries as a result from cycling accidents can range from mild to severe, but regardless of the severity, all head injuries should be taken seriously. If not dealt with appropriately, even the most minor injury can have long-term effects. Doctors recommend getting plenty of rest and avoiding any physical or mentally demanding activities that place unnecessary stress on the brain. This includes any kind of exercise, driving a car, operating machinery or using a computer. According to Dr. Vazquez-Casals, “not pushing yourself and getting proper rest after sustaining a concussion is the most important step to a complete recovery. If you are cyclist who has suffered a concussion or brain injury, don’t get back on a bicycle until you are cleared to do so by a doctor or you put yourself at risk for further, more serious injuries.”
Page 8 PRESS of Southeast Queens May 16-22, 2014
Queens Library, Comptroller Continue To Clash BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA On the evening of May 8, the Queens Library board of trustees voted to reject a resolution that would require the nonprofit to fully comply with an audit by City Comptroller Scott Stringer, further fueling tensions between the two. According to reports, members of the 19-person board failed to pass the motion, which was submitted by its members, when nine voted against it. Seven others voted in favor, another abstained and two members were absent from the meeting. The Queens Library denied the motion on several grounds, including a stipulation made nearly 17 years ago. “Queens Library believes in accountability and transparency,” said communications director Joanne King in an emailed statement. “The Library has released all requested financial documentation in accordance with the court ordered agreement of 1997.” According to the resolution, which was obtained from King, 100 percent of
all revenue and expenditures from funds received from the City have been made available for audit. The resolution added that any additional level of transparency is not specified in the stipulation. “It [the audit] appropriately includes audit authority over every dime provided by the City, fines and fees collected and book sale funds,” King added. “As an additional layer of transparency, the Library voluntarily provided access to the Worker’s Compensation Fund as requested.” The news comes just days after City officials from the Dept. of Design and Construction told the City Council that it had frozen payments that allowed the
Library to use portions of its $20 million capital budget on its own projects with little City oversight. Since Stringer launched the audit of all three library systems earlier this year, he has openly criticized Queens Library for not providing his office with “complete access to financial records.” Allegations that taxpayer money was used to fund the Library’s embattled president Thomas Galante’s sixfigure salary and lavish office upgrades, which included a private outdoor smoking area, prompted Stringer to launch the audit. Queens Library officials have repeatedly denounced accusations that it is not being transparent with the City.
“The Library is providing access to the Comptroller to the workers compensation fund and the book sales fund,” said King in an earlier statement. “Unfortunately, the Comptroller’s Office rushed into court when the Library would have welcomed a meeting for the opportunity of an amicable solution.” In light of the board’s decision to deny the Comptroller access to all their financial records, tensions continue to rise between Queens Library and City leaders, leaving the nonprofit’s funding future uncertain. “What happened [on May 8] at the Queens Borough Public Library was a disgrace,” Stringer said in a joint statement with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “It is a shame that the members of the Queens Library board who voted against their own colleagues’ resolution have continued to embrace library management’s anti-transparency policies.” “No public entity is above the law,” he added. Katz, who has urged Galante to resign, echoed Stringer’s sentiments.
“Once again the Queens Borough Public Library board has raised questions about the execution of their fiduciary responsibility,” she said in the statement. “This board is hiding the Queens Library from necessary sunlight and I am committed to making sure that a bright light is shone on this issue,” she added. In response to the City’s decision to freeze the Library’s funding, Galante wrote a letter to Ronnie Lowenstein, executive director at the New York City Independent Budget Office, arguing that construction projects are done for cheaper when the Library supervises it. “These savings enable us to return full services to our patrons more quickly and at the same time provide cost savings to our taxpayers,” Galante wrote. “Unfortunately, many of the facts have been omitted from public discussion about pass-through contracts and the value they provide to the people of Queens and New York City taxpayers.” Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or nkozikowska@ queenspress.com or @nkozikowska.
TAP Funding Goes Up For First Time In 14 Years BY JOE MARVILLI Some added relief is coming for college students. The maximum grant level for the Tuition Assistance Program has increased for the first time in 14 years. While the financial boost is a small one, going up from $5,000 to $5,165, it will offer additional relief to students attending SUNY, CUNY and not-for-profit independent degreegranting colleges. State Sen. Toby Stavisky (DFlushing), Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Hillcrest) and members of the Queens College Chapter of the New York Public Interest Research Group met in Rosenthal Library at Queens College to praise the increase, but also to say that more is needed. “The increase is long overdue and we cannot wait another 14 years. As tuition increases, so should TAP,” Stavisky said. “We will benefit in the long run. Students will have an op-
portunity to get a better job with a college degree.” Rozic agreed that the TAP boost was long overdue and argued that a higher increase than $165 is required to make the program continually effective. “If we are really going to make an investment in our students, we need to be doing better. That means not just increasing TAP but making sure it is in line with today’s economy and today’s workforce,” she said. “So when a part-time student goes to college, they can also be eligible for TAP. Or if it takes you a year longer than normal, that you can also be eligible for TAP.” Queens College president, Evangelos Gizis, welcomed the increase as well, saying that such a program is necessary in the face of increasing college costs and that many students at the college take advantage of it. “This semester, more than 40 percent of our students receive TAP,”
he said. “The students who graduate from us, in spite of the TAP they receive and in spite of the fact that many of them have part-time jobs, they still need to get some loans.” Aileen Sheil, a student and chair of NYPIRG’s Board of Directors, was more critical of the TAP program, saying it needed to be overhauled to effectively combat student debt. “This is great news but it was only by $165, which is very little in comparison to what it needs to be, which is $6,500, in keeping with the rising costs of tuition,” she said. “Our State officials, like those behind me, need to make serious commitments to enhancing TAP this year.” Sheil added that TAP should help undocumented students as well, a factor that was included in the DREAM Act, which failed to pass in the State Legislature in March. Eduardo Delgadillo, a student at Queens College, told a personal story of how the lack of TAP coverage for
undocumented students affected his family. His sister was in the honors program at Hillcrest High School and wanted to go to college. Since she was not eligible for TAP, her mother had to pay the whole tuition, something she could not afford to do after one year. Delgadillo’s sister had to drop out. “It’s very unfortunate that someone so talented does not have the opportunity to come and get an education,” he said. Stavisky, a major proponent of the DREAM Act, agreed that undocumented students should receive TAP coverage and have the same chance to excel in college as any other student. “A student is a student and students should be eligible to come to Queens College or any other CUNY and have the same opportunity as documented students,” she said. Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@ queenstribune.com, or @Joey788.
May 16-22, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 9
Page 10 PRESS of Southeast Queens May 16-22, 2014
summer fun guide
Summer Fun Can Be Found Across The Borough BY PRESS STAFF With the temperature warming and Memorial Day right around the corner, the start of summer is upon us. For many, that means vacations, relaxation and spending time in the sun. Indoors or outdoors, active or passive, educational or just plain fun, Queens has something for everyone to enjoy this summer. Here are a select few that everyone should take advantage of this summer. PArkS One of the best parts of summer is the chance to explore the great outdoors. Queens is home to parks of all shapes and sizes, giving residents from every corner of the Borough the chance to walk under the shade of trees, lie down on the grass or throw a Frisbee around. Flushing Meadows Corona Park is one of the most memorable parks in the City. Home to highlights such as the Unisphere, the New York State Pavilion, the Queens Theatre, the Queens Museum and more, there is something for everyone in its sprawling acreage. FMCP is also home to the Playground for All Children, the first playground in the country designed for both disabled and able-bodied kids. Cunningham Park is the go-to destination for eastern Queens residents, with the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway standing as one of the most well-known bike paths in the Borough. Starting on May 18, Cunningham will also host the Big Apple Circus, with ongoing performances until June 15. Over in western Queens, Astoria Park features one of the largest free pools in the City. With a length of 330 feet, this pool is a popular destination on hot summer days. People can stop by for a swim between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Southeast Queens residents have the Roy Wilkins Recreation Center, a unique public space that is also a cul-
Groovin’ in the Park, a reggae, rhythm and Blues festival, will have the crowd at roy wilkins Park cheering and rocking out on June 29.
tural touchstone. The center is home to the Black Spectrum Theatre company, a group dedicated to performing socially-conscious dramas. Keep an eye out as well for Groovin’ in the Park, a Reggae, Rhythm and Blues festival taking place at Roy Wilkins on June 29. SPorTS Queens has a ton of fun places to visit this summer, including several that require a bit of moving around and exercising. So, rather than sitting around in front of the air conditioner all day, here are a few activities to try out. Queens Archery, which is located at 170-20 39th Ave., Flushing, is a wonderful option for locals who crave a little adventure this summer. Under the watchful eye of experienced professionals, first-timers are taught the basics of shooting before they hit the range. More information about Queens Archery, including rates, can be found at www.bigapplearchery.com or by calling (718) 461-1756. Only children 9 and up may participate. For days that are just too hot for the park, indoor batting cages are
an excellent alternative. And luckily, there are two batting cages in Queens perfect for a day of family fun. Astoria Sports Complex, located at 34-38 38th St., Astoria, features a large batting cage available for rental. At Astoria Complex, you can choose between speeds of 40 miles per hour and 95 miles per hour, allowing locals of all skill levels to perfect their swing. If Astoria is a little too far away, Artistic Stitch Sports Complex, located at 79-08 Cooper Ave., Glendale, is another great option. At Artistic Stitch, you can similarly rent out a batting cage for all your needs. Although the annual competition is mostly just for show, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, is a great event to visit this summer. The festival, held this year on Aug. 9 and Aug. 10, rain or shine, features more than 150 teams competing for $60,000 in prizes every year. CulTurAl ACTiviTieS Not all cultural centers or activities are indoors. Astoria Boaters and LIC Community Boathouse offer free kayaking and canoeing for all ages on select Saturdays and Sundays this summer, departing from the Socrates Sculpture Park Beach and Hallett’s Cove. Participants will be paired with a life preserver and paddle by the boathouse team of volunteers, and are free to explore the waters, which are sheltered and marked by buoys, for 20-minute tours. Beginning June 21, the program opens up for Sunset Paddle, an evening of boating that closes at sundown. No prior boating experience is necessary, though participants must know how to swim. For an up-to-date schedule, visit www.licboathouse.org.
Also in Long Island City, the Noguchi Museum boasts an impressive collection of renowned sculptor Isamu Noguchi’s work and designs, spread out across its cool stone indoor galleries and lush outdoor garden. Museum admission is pay-whatyou-wish on the first Friday of every month. From May to September, First Fridays extends into the evening with special programming, including Center of Attention, in which experts and participants discuss a single work of art. Select Fridays offer specially curated film screenings during the summer. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in Floral Park and dating back to 1697, the 47-acre Queens County Farm Museum occupies the City’s largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland. Year-round educational programming at the museum includes historic tours, horticulture workshops and lessons in beekeeping and gardening. Every week this summer, from Wednesday through Sunday starting June 4, visitors can also shop at the museum farmstand. More than 50 varieties of vegetables will be available, rotating each week depending on what is fresh and in season. ConCerTS/ShowS Following up on last year’s Mumford & Sons show, there will be more concerts this summer at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. On June 21, the Zac Brown Band will perform at the facility, in the first of six planned shows. The August date will feature a coheadlining show from Modest Mouse and Brand New. The Zac Brown Band show is sold out and the second show is nearly sold out, but there will be more shows announced in the future that you could get your hands on. Forest Park will host several shows and events all summer long. The carousel will host clown shows throughout the summer, every Saturday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. There will be free concerts at the Bandshell, beginning on July 10 with Bon Jersey, a Bon Jovi tribute band. The Queens Museum will be home to several events throughout this summer, including a Drop-In Family Workshop, which invites children 5-12 and their adult companions to explore different works on view each week through a variety of fun handson art making activities and “Oye Corona,” a monthly cultural celebration at Corona Plaza that is hosted by the Museum.
May 16-22, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 11
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Page 12 PRESS of Southeast Queens May 16-22, 2014
summer fun guide
Celebrate Memorial Day At These Parades BY JOE MARVILLI While Memorial Day is known as the unofficial start of summer, it is also a time to honor our veterans for their service to the community and the nation. While a few have struggled to stay on their feet, all of this year’s parades will give Queens residents the chance to line the streets of their communities, cheering for their veterans. One of the biggest parades in Queens, the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, almost did not happen this year. The organization that was in charge of the festivities dissolved earlier this year. The United War Veterans Council directed the community to get involved. “They said the community has to step up or this parade won’t happen again. So we stepped up,” parade co-chair Doug Montgomery said. “I became co-chair with Charlie McBride. We’ve been working feverishly to get everything up and running.” Thanks to these efforts, the parade is set to march down Northern Boulevard, starting at 2 p.m. on May 26. Five grand marshals were selected for this year’s parade. Army Lieutenant Colonel John W. Peterkin (Ret.) served for two years in Korea during that conflict and returned to service during the Vietnam War. Thomas Dent survived the Pearl Harbor attack, before fighting for his country. Rocco Moretto and John McHugh, Sr. fought with the 1st Infantry on Omaha Beach in 1944. Lucy Salpeter joined the Navy WAVES, where she cared for the wounded during WWII. “Our theme this year is honoring the Greatest Generation and the men who sacrificed their lives so we
Children and adults alike will come out to Memorial Day parades across Queens to salute their veterans. can live how we live now,” Montgomery said. To donate to the Little NeckDouglaston Memorial Day Parade, visit www.lndmemorialday.org or call (718) 428-5851. Another struggling parade is the Whitestone Memorial Day Parade, which had difficulty getting people to take part and raising funds from the community. “It’s tough getting younger veterans involved,” Devon O’Connor, president of the Welcome To Whitestone Civic Association, said. According to O’Connor, several associations have been trying to raise money for the parade. One such event is the Americana Spring Fling, on May 17 at 7:30 p.m. Taking place in the American Legion Hall, located at 10-20 Clintonville St., Whitestone, the event includes music, a buffet
dinner and cash bar and costs $35 per person. The parade starts on May 26 at noon in Whitestone Memorial Park, at the corner of 149th Street and 15th Drive. “It’s basically a staple of the community. Everyone comes to the parade, marches in the parade,” he said. If you want to donate to the parade, make your check out to the Whitestone Veterans Memorial Association and mail it or drop it off to the American Legion Hall. Many more parades will be making their mark on Queens for Memorial Day weekend. The Laurelton Memorial Day Parade will kick off at 9 a.m. on May 26 at Francis Lewis Boulevard and Merrick Boulevard. Featuring a performance by the Pathfinders March-
ing Band, the trek will end at the Veterans Memorial Triangle. Marching down Metropolitan Avenue will be the Forest Hills Memorial Day Parade, run by the Forest Hills Kiwanis Club and the American Legion Continental Post 1424. The three grand marshals selected for that parade are Community Board 6 chair Joseph Hennessy, commissioner of the Office of Veteran Affairs Terrance Holliday and the monsignor of Our Lady of Mercy, John McGuirl. The parade kicks off at noon on May 25. Maspeth’s parade, taking place on May 25 at 1 p.m., will honor women in the military. The route starts at Walter A. Garlinge Memorial Park at Grand Avenue and 72nd Street. Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, email@example.com, or @Joey788.
Take Me Out To The Ballgame: new York Mets BY LuIs GROnDA Although Thursday is the final day of the Subway Series, going to see America’s pastime in person is always one of the best activities to do during the summer. The New York Mets still have 62 home games remaining in the season as of press time, offering plenty of opportunities to take in a ball game at one of the best stadiums in
Major League Baseball, Citi Field. Among the stand-out series that could bring a good crowd to the game is a weekend series against the Texas Rangers, which sees the American League powerhouse playing in Queens on July 4 weekend. The San Francisco Giants come to Citi Field for a four game series in early August, which always brings back memories of the Giants playing in New York before high-tailing
it to the west coast. Although it was a long time ago, there are still some Giants fans living in the area that remember those days. The team is also running several promotions throughout the season, which should help with attendance at the game. The most exciting of those are the four post-game concerts the Mets have booked for this year. On June 14, Jamaica native 50 Cent will perform in his home borough, af-
ter the game against the San Diego Padres. July 12 will see Huey Lewis and The News come to Citi Field following the team’s game against the Miami Marlins. Boyz II Men brings their sultry, mid-90’s sound to the ballpark on Aug. 16. Lastly, pop sensation Austin Mahone will play the stadium on Sept. 27. Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@ queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.
May 16-22, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 13
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Page 14 PRESS of Southeast Queens May 16-22, 2014
Photos by Joe Marvilli
Students Go ‘Into The Woods’
Elder Abuse Prevention U.S. Rep Grace Meng and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman hosted a fraud and abuse prevention forum for Queens seniors at the Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center in Flushing. The forum was held to educate local seniors on ways to identify scams and protect themselves from conartists and mistreatment.
Katz Visits Alma Mater
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz returned to her high school alma mater, Hillcrest High School in Jamaica on May 9. During her visit, the Borough President met with Hillcrest’s principal, David Morrison, faculty members and several students, including representatives from Hillcrest’s student government.
On May 9, 700 students from schools across the City went to Queens College and presented projects they worked on with their teachers as part of its GLOBE program. The event was a celebration for teachers and their classes who participated in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant-sponsored Environmental Literacy Project. Two of the schools with projects to share were PS 94’s fifth grade and PS 205’s fourth grade.
May 16-22, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 15
Police Blotter 109th Precinct
The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance identifying and locating a suspect wanted for a bank robbery within the confines of the 109th Precinct. At 4:40 p.m. on May 6, a suspect entered the TD Bank located at 5650 Main St., approached the teller and passed a demand note before he fled westbound on Booth Memorial Avenue with approximately $500. The suspect is described as an Asian male, between 17-25 years old, 5-foot-5 with blond hair and slim build. The suspect was last seen wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and a black baseball cap. 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.
The NYPD is asking the public for assistance locating two individuals wanted for questioning regarding a grand larceny that occurred within
the confines of the 112th Precinct. At 1:15 p.m. on April 29, in the vicinity of Queens Boulevard and 67th Drive, a suspect working in concert with another approached a 61-year-old female and snatched her cellphone from her hand, along with credit cards, driver’s license and a MetroCard. Both suspects then fled on foot in an unknown direction. The victim was not injured as a result of this incident. The persons of interest are described as Hispanic males between the ages of 16-18, both last seen wearing hooded sweatshirts. One suspect was seen wearing light-colored pants and the other was wearing blue jeans. 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.
At 7:28 p.m. on May 5, police responded to a 911 call of a male shot in front of 150-25 113th Ave., Jamaica. Upon arrival, police observed the victim, identified as Darrell Lynch,
24, of Jamaica, with a gunshot wound to the left leg. EMS also responded and transported the male to Jamaica Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. There have been no arrests at this time. The investigation is ongoing.
The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance in locating a Hispanic male wanted in connection with four forcible touching incidents that occurred on May 6 within the confines of the 114th Precinct. In each of the incidents, the suspect approached the victims, attempted to speak to them and touched their buttocks over their clothing. The first incident occurred at approximately 6:40 a.m. at Northern Boulevard and 57th Street. The victim was a 23-year-old female. The second incident occurred at 7:43 a.m. at the Rite Aid, located at 32-87 Steinway St. The victim was a 25-year-old female. The third incident occurred at 8 a.m. at 38-01 35th Ave. The victim was a 16-year-old female. The final incident occurred at 37-15 31st Ave. The victim was a 14-year-old female.
This individual is wanted in connection to four forcible touching incidents within the confines of the 114th Precinct. The suspect is described as Hispanic, 25-30 years old, 6-foot and between 220-250 lbs. 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.
settlement reached For JFK, LGa Workers By Luis Gronda Airport employees that are working on minimum wage will finally get some well-earned money. Attendants working at both John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports will receive money they are owed, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The Attorney General’s office reached a $20,000 settlement with AirServ Corporation, an airline industry contractor that employs workers at JFK and LGA, after the company underpaid about 300 wheelchair attendants that earned the minimum wage. The company did not give the workers a higher salary after New York State raised its minimum wage from $7.25 to $8 an hour. Instead of giving them more money, according to the Attorney General, they classified the workers as tipped employees and failed to follow the State’s requirements for a lower tipped wage.
attorney General Eric schneiderman announced that his office reached a settlement with airserv Corporation on payments owed to wheelchair attendants at JFK and LGa.
“Minimum-wage employees must be paid a legal wage and not a lower tipped wage unless their employer has complied with all the legal requirements for taking a tip credit,” Schneiderman said. “These New Yorkers, who struggle to survive,
must not be shortchanged by their own employers.” The $20,000 settlement will mostly go towards paying the workers the money they are owed, $16,000 in total, according to Schneiderman’s office. AirServ must also pay New
York State $4,000 as per their agreement with the Attorney General. The assistants were underpaid from Dec. 31 of last year until the end of March this year. The day before the higher minimum wage was to take effect, the company announced a change in policy that designated them as tipped employees who were not eligible for the $8-per-hour wage. According to the Attorney General’s release, while State law does allow tipped employers to be paid lower than the State minimum wage, it can only do so if the tips that employees get reach a threshold, depending on their line of work. For wheelchair attendants, it is $1.20 per hour, which almost all of its employees did not reach. A spokesperson from Air Serv did not respond to requests for comment on the agreement by press time. Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@ queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.
Page 16 PRESS of Southeast Queens May 16-22, 2014
Block Festival Showcases Lic Food and culture By Jackie StrawBridge Vernon Boulevard will buzz this Saturday during LIC Springs!, a community block festival organized by the Long Island City Partnership. The Long Island City Partnership advocates for the economic development of Long Island City. Its focus is on the area as a mixed-used community, meaning it promotes development in a variety of sectors, from
commercial and industrial to residential to cultural. LIC Springs! will feature a wide range of activities. Kids can look forward to face-painting and glitter tattoos, balloon animals, puppet performances and a gymnastics demonstration. Modern Spaces Real Estate will sponsor a Lego extravaganza held by Brick Builders and NYC Lego Users Group, including workshops, con-
‘elijah’ to Be Performed at Queens college
tests, giveaways and the construction of a giant Lego model of an as-yet unnamed New York City landmark. Adults who need a relaxing Saturday will find free public yoga, massage chairs and sculpture classes. Visitors can also enjoy wine and craft beer tastings and free hot dogs and hamburgers. “[LIC Springs!] is really meant to be a showcase of all the businesses and organizations in the neighborhood,” said Jenna Petok, senior manager of marketing and events. “That’s why, even though it’s on Vernon, we made it available to any of the other businesses and organizations in Long Island City.” The partnership chose Vernon Boulevard as a venue for a number of reasons, according to Petok. Vernon
Boulevard is a central retail corridor, with easy access to the 7 train, in walkable distance of the ferry and bikeable from most areas of Long Island City. “This part of the neighborhood also has a very unique character,” Petok added. “It’s a great long stretch that could be a good showcase for all of these [businesses].” The partnership deliberately planned LIC Springs! to coincide with several other cultural events in Long Island City. From the festival, visitors can head to the LIC Arts Open and to LIC Flea and Food. LIC Springs! will run from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, rain or shine. Reach Reporter Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JNStrawbridge.
Queens actor returns in ‘cabaret’ On Broadway the Queens choral Society will bring “elijah” to colden auditorium on May 17. By JOe MarViLLi The Queens Choral Society will help wrap up Queens College’s spring semester with a concert of “Elijah” by Felix Mendelssohn. Taking place on May 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Colden Auditorium, nearly 300 musicians from the Queens College Choral Society, Choir, Women’s Choir and Orchestra will come together for this performance of the 19th century oratorio. Considered one of the most beloved works of all time, “Elijah” tells the story of the Old Testament prophet and miracle worker in a musical that covers the span of his life. “I chose to perform Elijah because it is one of the most beautiful and inspiring choral orchestral masterworks in the repertoire,” conductor James John said. “It is also Mendelssohn’s last major work, and he displays his true brilliance as a composer in portraying a gamut of emotions, from deeply despairing to monumentally joyous.” Joining the choir members is baritone Darren Stokes, a guest artist who has performed with prominent orchestra and opera companies throughout the country. He will take on the title role of “Elijah.” As an added bonus, boy soprano Gabriel Nichols, who sings in the Metropoli-
tan Opera Children’s Chorus, will perform in the role of the Youth. Eight students in the Aaron Copeland School of Music’s undergraduate and graduate programs are also going to have a chance to shine, as each one will get a solo performance in the spotlight. “They’re doing a great job. For us, it’s exciting to feature our own,” harpist and composer Emily John said. While the music is the main attraction, Emily said that the Choral Society is an example of a community working together. “We have college students up to octogenarians. People choose to come together. We hope that translates to the audience,” she said. “We hope people can just revel in the beauty of live music.” “I hope people not only find the performance entertaining, but also can find a peaceful moment of repose from the hectic pace of everyday life in the gorgeous vocal and choral music Mendelssohn wrote,” James added. Tickets for the concert are $20 and are available through Kupferberg Center Box office at (718) 7938080. Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, email@example.com, or @Joey788.
It’s hard to get roles on Broadway The whole sense is of depravity and yet some excellent performers are al- grunge. In fact, the club atmosphere ways employed. One such performer symbolizes Germany itself. “Cabaret” is the talented Queens-born Danny lacks the glitter and light as in a mainBurstein, who won accolades for his stream Broadway musical. The Emcee pervades the show, work last year in Talley’s Folly. This year, the talented Burstein has re- sometimes watching from the auditurned in the revival of “Cabaret” at ence, sometimes standing in the rear Studio 54 as the Jewish fruit vendor of the stage, casting a pall on even Herr Schultz. The story deals with happy moments. Cumming is superb, the decadence of Berlin as Hitler both sinister and sexual. In addition to Cumand the Nazis ascend ming, the show stars to power, and Burstein movie actress Michelle is the character remindWilliams as singer Sally ing the audience of the Bowles. Sally isn’t supimpending horror. posed to be particularly The most recent regood and neither is vival of “Cabaret” is Williams. Her singing very like the last revival is mediocre with a proin 1998, including its nounced vibrato. leading man, the incomThe secondary plot is parable Alan Cumming the love story between as the Emcee and skilled Schultz and Fraulein director Sam Mendes. (wonderEven the venue, Studio danny Burstein (third Schneider 54 with its cabaret table from left) in “cabaret” on fully portrayed by Broadway. Linda Emond). Their seating, is the same. affection and engageWhat made the 1998 show so special was a sense ment are tender and its subsequent of growing unease and discomfort, disruption because of his being Jewespecially created by the sinister om- ish foreshadows of Holocaust ahead. nipotent Emcee. All the action led Their relationship is the real heart of up to a gripping, troubling conclu- the play. The only positive character sion. This new revival works pretty is Schultz, but the dramatic irony is much the same way. The stage ver- that the audience knows his fate. If you’ve never seen this version sion is much darker than the popular of “Cabaret,” then go. It’s a stunning Liza Minelli movie. Even the costumes create the interpretation. Cumming is superb mood. The Emcee is goth with high- and Queens’ Danny Burstein does lighted eyes and skin tight black cloth- what he does in all his performancing. Sometimes, he wears suspenders es - provide the show with humor, but no shirt. The Kit Kat dancers warmth and talent. -elyse travers wear dingy skin-colored lingerie.
May 16-22, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 17
QUEENS JAZZ ORCHESTRA
At Flushing Town Hall at 7:30 p.m., the Queens Jazz Orchestra will pay tribute to legendary musicians, Charlie “Bird” Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. There is going to be a pre-show discussion with the orchestra’s musical director, Jimmy Heath. The concert is dedicated to the memory of longtime FTH supporter, Paul Ash. Tickets are $40 for general admission, $32 for members and $20 for students. Call (718) 463-7700 for more information.
St. Mary Gate of Heaven School will present “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at 7:30 p.m. (also May 17) in the school gym, 101-20 105th St., Ozone Park. The show has a cast of 100 students from grades 1-8 and a support team of parents and alumni. Tickets cost $10.
ciety will hold a children’s archeology workshop from noon to 2 p.m. Attendees will get a chance to become a dirt detective in the new “Digging Up the Past” Archeology Room. The suggested age group is 4th through 6th grade. Admission is $8. Reservations are required. Call (718) 3521548 to save your spot.
The Queens College Choral Society will hold a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in Colden Auditorium. The work is a musical portrayal of the life of this Old Testament prophet and miracle worker. The Queens College Choral Society, Queens College Choir, Women’s Choir and Orchestra will join forces in a performance that will include nearly 300 musicians. Tickets are $20. Student tickets are available for $5.
SATURDAY 5/17 MAIFEST IN THE GARDEN
105TH SALUTE TO MAGIC The Society of American Musicians will come to Queens Theatre for their 105th annual salute to magic. Featuring Jay Scott Berry, Kamarr, Joe and Bronwyn Devlin and more, this magical performance cannot be missed. Tickets are $45 and the show starts at 8 p.m. Call (708) 760-0064 for more information.
CHILDREN’S ARCHAEOLOGY WORKSHOP The Bayside Historical So-
The Voelker Orth Museum will host its annual Maifest in the Garden from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to celebrate the arrival of Spring. The evening will include music by Norman Curtis, food, drink and artwork. Admission for the evening is $30 and $25 for members. Voelker Museum is located at 149-19 38th Ave., Flushing. Call (718) 359-6227 for more information.
Maple Grove Cemetery will host a Victorian style wedding in honor of Jacob and Elisabeth Riis, who are buried at the same cemetery. Upon the arrival of the bride, the wedding ceremony will begin. The Bride and Groom will then lead attendees to a Wedding Reception at the Center. Tables will be resplendent with Victorian type food and refreshments for all to enjoy. It is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK SUNDAY 5/18
WORLD’S FAIR ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL NYC Parks, in collaboration with Borough President Melinda Katz and Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, invite everyone to celebrate the 75th and 50th World’s Fair anniversaries getting underway at 1 p.m. at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. There will be tours of historic sites, displays of memorabilia, 50-cent rides on the carousel, food from around the world and international music and dance performances. The evening will be topped of f by a fireworks performance.
SUNDAY 5/18 ARTHUR SZYK, SOLDIER IN ART
Polish–Jewish Artist and activist Arthur Szyk was a well-known political illustrator whose anti-Nazi caricatures were widely published in U.S. during World War II. Dr. Steve Luckert, curator at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, will host a lecture on Szyk at the Holocaust Resource Center and Archives at Queensborough Community College. The free event begins at 1 p.m.
Flushing Town Hall will present “Ologunde,” a celebration of the AfroBrazilian culture of Salvador, Bahia, through a diverse repertoire of music, dance and martial arts. Featuring Brazilians living in the U.S. and Brazil, the show starts at 2:15 p.m. Tickets for general admission are $12, $10 for members and $8 for children.
JUNIE B. JONES
TheatreworksUSA is bringing a new musical to Queens Theater, based on Junie B. Jones from the famous children’s book series. Kids will get a chance to
see Jones go through many different experiences in first grade. The show takes place at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are $14. Call (708) 760-0064 for more information.
MASS IN F MINOR
The Oratorio Society of Queens will present its annual spring concert, featuring a performance of Anton Bruckner’s “Mass in F Minor” at 4 p.m. in the Queensborough Performing Arts Center in Bayside. This Queens institution will perform with its 125plus member chorus under the direction of Maestro David Close with featured soloists Geraldine McMillian, soprano, Patricia Stevens, mezzo-soprano, Bruce Reed, tenor, Vaughn Fritts, bass-baritone, Guest Artist Jerry Korobow and with OSQ’s orchestra, the Orchestral Arts Ensemble of Queens. For more information, visit www.queensoratorio.org.
TASTE OF SUNNYSIDE
Dinner is served – along with much more, Tuesday evening in Sunnyside. Sunnyside Shines and Edible Queens present Taste of Sunnyside, a festival featuring the best of food and drink in Sunnyside. Items available for tasting include lobster mac & cheese, smoked meatballs, vegan mole poblano, and much more. Tickets are $30 for general admission, $60 for early entrance. For more information, call (718) 6061800.
PS 101 in Forest Hills will celebrate its 100th anniversary. The School
in the Gardens, PS 101Q is celebrating their momentous 100th birthday with events that gather school children, alumni, top educators and politicians together for a once-in-a lifetime trip to May 20,1914 – the day the school first opened its doors as a NYC Public School. It will begin at 8:30 a.m.
A group of writers from a Queens College creative writing class will host a reading series of original works written and edited in class from 7-8:30 p.m. at Astoria Bookshop, 31-29 31st St., Astoria. The event is free and is open to the public. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEDNESDAY 5/21 ONCE ON THIS ISLAND
Students from JHS 189 in Flushing have put together a musical performance called “Once on this Island” for Flushing Town Hall at 6 p.m. Set in the Caribbean, this is the story of a peasant girl who brings together the people of her island through love and forgiveness. The free performance repeats on Thursday at the same time.
BEATLES TRIBUTE BAND
Liverpool Shuffle, a Beatles tribute band, will play at Resorts World Casino. They will play classics such as “Blackbird,” “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “Come Together.” The show is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
Page 18 PRESS of Southeast Queens May 16-22, 2014
Nonprofit Ignites Fire In SEQ Youth BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA Having lived in Brooklyn and Southeast Queens, Jerry Dragon began to realize that the youth did not possess the basic life skills they needed to be successful. “There were a lot of things that the youth in those communities did not know and needed to know,” Dragon said. “They would go to school and get good grades, but they don’t know what to do afterwards.” Adhering to the needs of the community, in April 2013, Dragon launched Ignite1, a Cambria Heightsbased nonprofit that helps the youth gain the skills they need to obtain employment and advance in their careers. “The motivation to start it came from wanting to help the youth in the community. I wanted to teach young men to be leaders in the community,” he said. “At Ignite1, we teach people how to dress and speak and
On Halloween, Ignite1 distributed candy to homeless and low-income families. how to be respectably presentable so that they can get jobs.” According to Dragon, Ignite1 pro-
vides free mentorship for the at-risk youth in Southeast Queens and all of New York City. The nonprofit also works with young adults who are in trouble with the law in an effort to negotiate a contract that would keep them out of jail by participating in the program. Although the nonprofit has only been around for a year, Dragon said that Ignite1 has served hundreds of New York City kids. Knowing that he gives the youth an opportunity to learn and grow, he said, is the most rewarding part of the job. “The most rewarding thing is knowing that I have changed someone’s life for the better,” he said. “I see a difference in some of these kids. We extend an arm to the entire community.” Dragon said that one of his shortterm goals for Ignite1 is to expand and build a community center, where people can come after school all throughout the week.
“This is a service that the community needs,” he said. “We have a lot of centers, like the YMCA, but if they want to go for a swim or play basketball, they have to pay for that. So, we want to build a center that would offer these services for free.” His biggest long-term goal, Dragon said, is to transform Ignite1 into a nationally recognized nonprofit. “We want to expand and make Ignite1 as big and great as other nonprofit organizations, so we can continue to help and change our youth’s future,” he said. “I want everyone to know that Ignite1 is here for the community.” For more information about Ignite1, including how you can become a volunteer, visit www.ignite1.webs. com. You may also call Dragon at (347) 530-4035. Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or email@example.com or @nkozikowska.
People Local students were named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester at Binghamton University. They include: Cambria Heights: Aldane Forbes, Mikal Padellan. Hollis: Maureen Mullarkey. Jamaica: Nafis Ahmed, Jaspal Baling, Rupinder Kaur, Keren Orr, Rafael Schulman, Yonaida Valentine, Christine Magana, Oliver Yu, Ruhulamin Haque. Queens Village: Rameisha Allen, Arjun Guha, Anjan Saha, Jaspal Singh, Kathleen Zabala, James Edouard. Rosedale: Alicia Primus, Akeil Edwards. Saint Albans: Kasir Watkins. South Ozone Park: Rain Rashid, Kurnvir Singh. South Richmond Hill: Ravinder Singh, Ikram Hoque. Springfield Gardens: Latania Christie. Air Force Airman Kia D. Everett graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San AntonioLackland, San Antonio, Texas. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare
principles and skills. Everett is the daughter of Daniel Everett of Jamaica and step-daughter of Magaly Mentor of Queens Village. The 25th annual Laurelton Memorial Day Parade will kick off at 9 a.m. May 26 at Francis Lewis and Merrick boulevards. The parade will continue to the Veterans Memorial Triangle, at 225th Street and North Conduit Avenue. The parade will feature the Queens Area Pathfinders Marching Band and the Black and Gold Marching Elite Band. The parade is sponsored by the Laurelton Lions Club, American Legion Post 1946, Garden Club of Laurelton, Federated Blocks of Laurelton and Concerned Citizens of Laurelton, in conjunction with VFW Post 5298. For information, or to be a part of the parade, call (718) 525-7655.
ship Scholarship for the 2013-14 school year. Air Force Reserve Airman 1st Class Tenisha D. Simmons graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. The airman
completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Simmons is the daughter of Claude Morrissey of Hollis.
A Rainy Read
Nadia D. Misir of South Ozone Park received the Erwin G. Palmer Award during the Honors Convocation at SUNY Oswego. Roxeen Mundy of St. Albans was awarded the New York State Assembly Session Intern-
Councilman Rory Lancman recently visited with children at the All My Children Day Care and Nursery school in Jamaica Estates, where he read the story “It’s Raining.”
May 16-22, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 19
One Woman’s Journey To The Ministry BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA Although she never had any plans to join the ministry, Pastor Kelly Riggins of Christ Church International in Jamaica said that preaching was in her blood. “I grew up in a Christian home. My father was a pastor, my mom taught Sunday school and I had aunts and uncles who were leaders at churches,” Riggins said. “The Christian leadership was just there. My family has the gene for helping people, hospitality and hosting.” Having been passed down the “helping gene,” Riggins said that her ministry work started long before she was ordained seven years ago. “For me, it started off with events – coordinating and planning for the church. One thing eventually led to another,” she said. “Gathering is one of the traits of an Evangelist and guarding people is one of the traits
realized that she needed to become ordained in order to best serve her community – something that she said she holds close to her heart. “I was taught to love God and to lead people to him. It brings me great pleasure when people can discover their purpose and their meaning in life,” she said. “That’s always exciting – watching people open their eyes and discover their gifts, talents and ministries.” Riggins, who also has her Pastor Kelly Riggins of Christ Church Interdoctorate in theology and is national in Jamaica has made it her life goal a microbiologist, admits that to help the people in her community. her gender has posed some challenges along her journey into the ministry. of a pastor. A lot of the times, I was “There are barriers for women. already doing the work. I just didn’t It’s just like racism. We would like have the title.” Though she said she did not care to believe it’s not so prevalent but it much about earning the title, Riggins is there,” she said. “However, I think
because of my upbringing and background, it was not as hard. This is why I applaud women in the ministry.” While there have been challenges and trying times for Riggins, she said she never loses focus on her goals to help people and spread the Word of God. “My relationship with God keeps me going,” she said. “The flesh does get weak and you get weary sometimes, but when you want to quit, it’s the spirit of God and your promise to God that won’t allow you to give up on his people.” “Not only do I go after souls now, I go after lives,” she added. “I do what I can to help people in need – whether it’s teaching them about gun violence, immigration or affordable housing. I bring awareness to these things not just to save a soul, but to save a life.” Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org or @nkozikowska.
Notebook PS 95
PS 95 Celebrates 100th Year Anniversary BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA On May 9, PS 95 in Jamaica celebrated its 100th anniversary, giving alumni, faculty and former staffers a chance to get together, catch up and embrace the school’s rich history. According Mary Lawrence, a fourth grade teacher who has been at the school for 12 years, the “Grand Centennial Celebration” took more than a year to organize and plan. “This centennial celebration has been a culmination of a year’s worth of work. We involved the students and the staff,” she said. “This is such a wonderful way for everyone who works in this building to relax, have a good time, meet with old friends and enjoy the end of our school year.” Lawrence hoped that the celebration served as a reunion for those who have already left the school, bringing the PS 95 family together under the same roof for the special occasion. “This is a way for members who taught here within the past 40 or 50 years to come back and see their old friends and to see some of their students who are now teachers here,”
she said. “This is a grand reunion.” To gear up for the 100th year anniversary, Lawrence said that she, along with her colleague, Rose Marie Dubowski, formed a research team that visited the New York City Archives to try and dig up as much information as possible about the history of PS 95. “We found out how the school was built, the cost of the school, the history of the school, and even the curriculum of the school at that time it was built,” Dubowski, a fifth grade teacher, said. “We really wanted to know about the beginnings of PS 95 and were able to learn about its history dating back to 1913/1914 – the year the school opened.” When asked what the “Grand Centennial Celebration” meant to her, Dubowski, who has been at the school for 40 years, said that it has helped her realize the special place that PS 95 holds in her heart. “This is my second home. The first day I came to the school as a young girl right out of college, I felt that this was the right fit for me,” she said. “I always felt that way and I continue to feel that way. After 40 years, PS 95
Students Rafi Arnob (left), Imani Wilson (center) and Trisha Carpen (right) were on board to celebrate PS 95’s 100th anniversary.
truly is my extended family and my second home.” “PS 95 is more than a school, it’s a family,” she added. “Parents feel that way, students feel that way and faculty feels that way. We’re here for each other in good times and in bad. We help each other. We collaborate and that’s what makes us so successful in Queens.” In honor of the school’s anniversary, Dubowski revealed that next month, PS 95 will bury a time cap-
sule for its future students. Every single class will get to bury one item that they feel is representative of the school and the era. “We are leaving instructions for our future principal to dig up this time capsule in 25 years,” she said. “I may not be teaching in 25 years, but I will come back for the unearthing of this time capsule.” Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or email@example.com or @nkozikowska.
Page 20 PRESS of Southeast Queens May 16-22, 2014
What’s Up MAY 16 Guy R. Brewer United Democratic Club Dinner Dance The Guy R. Brewer United Democratic Club and executive leaders Leslie and Archie Spigner cordially invite all to their 59th Anniversary Dinner Dance. For ticket information, contact (917) 453-1995 or (718) 581-9328. For general information, contact (917) 239-5699 or (917) 600-6514. Tickets are $90. The dinner will be held at 8 p.m. at Antun’s of Queens Village, located at 96-43 Springfield Blvd., Queens Village.
An Evening Of Ballroom Dancing Join professional dancers at Resorts World Casino as they help you improve on new and classic ballroom dances. Tickets are $15. The event will be held at 8 p.m.
MAY 17 “It’s My Park Day” Join the Southern Queens Parks Association on “It’s My Park Day” to help remove debris from along the fence lines and raking leaves from the park. For additional information, contact Trevor Scotland at (718) 276-4630. The clean-up event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Roy Wilkins Park.
Baisley Pond Park Clean-Up The Baisley Pond Park Coalition invites one and all to this year’s “It’s My Park Day”. The focus this year will be Mother Carter’s Garden. Volunteers are needed. Be prepared to get dirty. The clean-up will be held at the park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hands-On History Take a tour of the King Manor Museum at Roy Wilkins Park to see King’s library. Create your own book and decorate it using paper marbleizing, which was very popular in the 19th century. Families with children of all ages are welcome. The event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. It is free to participate. For more information, call (718) 206-0545 Ext. 13.
Smell the Power All are cordially invited to a staged reading of “Smell the Power.” “Smell the Power” is a contemporary family drama set in Queens that explores the inherent generational and social/political problems in many of today’s Black families, that extend to the larger society and affect us all. Do not miss what promises to be a great reading. For tickets and info, visit www.blackspectrum.
Take Control Of Your Health Take control of your health with this free workshop at Majority Baptist Church. The event is sponsored by EmblemHealth and Councilman I. Daneek Miller. Majority Baptist Church is located at 115-21 Farmers Blvd., St. Albans. There will be reoccurring workshops The King Manor Museum is giving locals a chance to on May 27, June 3 get hands-on with history on May 17. and June 10 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. To com or call (718) 723-1800. RSVP or for more information, reach Margaret Denson at (718) 776-3700 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t just party, party with a purpose! Do not miss the third annual Jamaica Ball — an opportunity to dance, eat, drink and raise money for Jamaica-based non-profits at the same time. Drinks are complimentary. Tickets are $50. Tickets are sold exclusively online at TheJamaicaBall.com. The ball will be held at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Jamaica Performing Arts Center is located at 153-10 Jamaica Ave.
Ol’ Skool Concert & Dance Party Don’t miss the Legends of Ol’ Skool concert and dance party with live performances by Oran “Juice” Jones, James “D Train” Williams, Jeff Redd, Fonda Rae, Alicia Myers, Aly Us, Keith Thompson and Colonel Abrams. Doors open at 8 p.m. at Resorts World Casino. Tickets range from $25 to $80.
MAY 20 Queens Memory: Hip Hop In Your Hood Queens Memory invites you to add your knowledge of hip hop history and culture in Southeast Queens to the archives at Queens Library in St. Albans. Share your stories, photos, event posters and other hip hop mementos and get your artifacts digitized for free to take home on a thumb drive. Bring your bucket hat, wear your bomber jacket or velour tracksuit, rock your door knocker earrings and they will take your picture! Follow @QueensLibrary on social media and use #HipHopElements to join the conversation. The St. Albans Library is located at 191-05 Linden Blvd., St. Albans. The event starts at 5 p.m.
MAY 21 York College Big Band Be there when the York College Big Band takes the stage at the York College Performing Arts Center. It is free to attend. The show will begin at 7 p.m. For more information, call (718) 262-2412.
ONGOING Clergy United Programs Clergy United for Community Empowerment offers group sessions at 172-17 Linden Blvd., second floor, Saint Albans. Topics covered include domestic violence, substance abuse intervention, decision-making and self-esteem awareness. Group sessions are open to the public, but it is important to call ahead for the next group session. Other programs offered by Clergy United include: Early intervention services, a simple and accurate way to find out if you have HIV. No needles, no blood test. On-site testing walk-ins welcome Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Infant mortality reduction initiative program provides free services, including case management, parent skills building, crib care, breast feeding education, health education, confidential counseling and more. Free summer vacation for your child, through enrollment with the Fresh Air Fund, for kids ages 6-12. Contact Ms. Richardson at Clergy United for more information. For information on programs offered through Clergy United, call (718) 297-0720.
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 10929 135th St., South Ozone Park. Call Derick Braswell at (917) 692-4775 or Paul Cox at (718) 835-8416 for more information. The organization is also holding registration for its basketball program. 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.
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 underprivileged youth in New York City today. For additional information, contact Mirzya Syed, Youth Volunteer Coordinator, at Msyed@ forestdaleinc.org or (718) 263.0740, ext. 365. 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.
May 16-22, 2014 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 21
SUMMONS Index No. 2312413 D/O/F: December 20, 2013 Premises Address: 11927 198TH STREET SAINT ALBANS, NY 11412 SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF QUEENS WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., Plaintiff, -againstTANYA R. CLEMENTS; NEW YORK CITY PARKING VIOLATIONS BUREAU; NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT ADJUDICATION BUREAU; NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION & FINANCE; UNITED STATES OF AMERICA-INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE; JOHN DOE 1 THROUGH 50; JANE DOE 1 THROUGH 50, INTENDING TO BE THE UNKNOWN HEIRS OF THE ESTATE OF MARGARET L. PITCHFORD WHO WAS BORN ON MAY 4, 1925 AND DIED ON MAY 11, 2008, A RESIDENT OF THE COUNTY OF QUEENS, THEIR SUCCESSORS IN INTEREST IF ANY OF THE AFORESAID DEFENDANTS BE DECEASED, THEIR RESPECTIVE HEIRS AT LAW, NEXT OF KIN, DISTRIBUTES, DEVISEES, GRANTEES, TRUSTEES, LIENORS, CREDITORS, ASSIGNEES AND SUCCESSORS IN INTEREST OF THE AFORESAID CLASSES OF PERSON, IF THEY OR ANY OF THEM BE DEAD, AND THEIR RESPEC TIVE HUSBANDS, WIVES OR WIDOWS, IF ANY, ALL OF WHOM AND WHOSE NAMES AND PLACES OF RESIDENCEAREUNKNOWN TO THE PLAINTIFF; NEW YORK CITY ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL BOARD;; ''JOHN DOES'' and ''JANE DOES'', said names being fictitious, parties intended being possible tenants or occupants of premises, and corporations, other entities or persons who claim, or may claim, a lien against the premises, Defendant(s), TO THE ABOVE NAMED DEFENDANTS: YOU ARE HEREBY SUMMONED to answer the Complaint in this action, and to serve a copy of your Answer, or, if the Complaint is not served with this Summons, to serve a Notice of Appearance on the Plaintiff's Attorneys within twenty (20) days after the service of this Summons, exclusive of the day of service, where service is made by delivery upon you personally within the State, or within thirty (30) days after completion of service where service is made in any other manner, and in case of your failure to appear or answer, judgment will be taken against you by default for the relief demanded in the complaint. NOTICE: YOU ARE IN DANGER OF LOSING YOUR HOME If you do not respond to this summons and
complaint by serving a copy of the answer on the attorney for the mortgage company who filed this foreclosure proceeding against you and filing the answer with the court, a default judgment may be entered and you can lose your home. Speak to an attorney or go to the court where your case is pending for further information on how to answer the summons and protect your property. Sending a payment to your mortgage company will not stop this foreclosure action. YOU MUST RESPOND BY SERVING A COPY OF THE ANSWER ON THE ATTORNEY FOR THE PLAINTIFF (MORTGAGE COMPANY) AND FILING THE ANSWER WITH THE COURT. The following notice is intended only for those defendants who are owners of the premises sought to be foreclosed or who are liable upon the debt for which the mortgage stands as security. YOU ARE HEREBY PUT ON NOTICE THAT WE ARE ATTEMPTING TO COLLECT A DEBT, AND ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED WILL BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE. The amount of the debt: $259,292.64 consisting of principal balance of $229,735.13 plus interest of 22,437.63, escrow/impound shortages or credits of $4,859.06, late charges of $396.40; Broker`s Price Opinion, inspection and miscellaneous charges of $105.00; surrogate search fee of $21.73; attorney fee $1,200.00 and title search $537.69. Because of interest and other charges that may vary from day to day, the amount due on the day you pay may be greater. Hence, if you pay the amount shown above, an adjustment may be necessary after we receive the check, in which event we will inform you. The name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed: WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.. Unless you dispute the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, within thirty (30) days after receipt hereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the herein debt collector. If you notify the herein debt collector in writing within thirty (30) days after your receipt hereof that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, we will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of any judgment against you representing the debt and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to you by the herein debt collector. Upon your written request within 30 days after receipt of this notice, the herein debt collector will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor if different from the current creditor.
Note: Your time to respond to the summons and complaint differs from your time to dispute the validity of the debt or to request the name and address of the original creditor. Although you have as few as 20 days to respond to the summons and complaint, depending on the manner of service, you still have 30 days from receipt of this summons to dispute the validity of the debt and to request the name and address of the original creditor. TO THE DEFENDANTS: The Plaintiff makes no personal claim against you in this action. TO THE DEFENDANTS: If you have obtained an order of discharge from the Bankruptcy court, which includes this debt, and you have not reaffirmed your liability for this debt, this law firm is not alleging that you have any personal liability for this debt and does not seek a money judgment against you. Even if a discharge has been obtained, this lawsuit to foreclose the mortgage will continue and we will seek a judgment authorizing the sale of the mortgaged premises. Dated: December 19, 2013 Shanna J. Black, Esq. ROSICKI, ROSICKI & ASSOCIATES, P.C. Attorneys for Plaintiff Main Office 51 E Bethpage Road Plainview, NY 11803 516-741-2585 Help For Homeowners In Foreclosure New York State Law requires that we send you this notice about the foreclosure process. Please read it carefully. Mortgage foreclosure is a complex process. Some people may approach you about “saving” your home. You should be extremely careful about any such promises. The State encourages you to become informed about your options in foreclosure. There are government agencies, legal aid entities and other non-profit organizations that you may contact for information about foreclosure while you are working with your lender during this process. To locate an entity near you, you may call the toll-free helpline maintained by the New York State Banking Department at 1-877-BANKNYS (1-877226-5697) or visit the Department’s website at www. banking.state.ny.us. The State does not guarantee the advice of these agencies. ________________________ INDEX NO.: 1314/2013. Filed Date: 4/17/2014. SUPPLEMENTAL SUMMONS AND NOTICE. MORTGAGED PREMISES: 109-66 153RD STREET, JAMAICA, NY 11433. (BL #: 12142 – 20). Plaintiff designates Queens County as the place of trial; venue is based upon the county in which the mortgaged premises is situate.
STATE OF NEW YORK SUPREME COURT: COUNTY OF QUEENS U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION AS TRUSTEE, SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST TO BANK OF AMERICA, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION AS TRUSTEE, SUCCESSOR BY MERGER TO LASALLE BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION AS TRUSTEE FOR WASHINGTON MUTUAL ASSET-BACKED CERTIFICATES WMABS SERIES 2007-HE2 TRUST, Plaintiff, -against- JOSE MEDRANO, if living, and if dead, the respective heirs at law, next of kin, distributees, executors, administrators, trustees, devisees, legatees, assignors, lienors, creditors and successors in interest, and generally all persons having or claiming under, by or through said defendant who may be deceased, by purchase, inheritance, lien or otherwise of any right, title or interest in and to the premises described in the complaint herein, and their respective husbands, wives or widows, if any, and each and every person not specifically named who may be entitled to or claim to have any right, title or interest in the property described in the verified complaint; all of whom and whose names and places of residence unknown, and cannot after diligent inquiry be ascertained by the Plaintiff, CHRIS VRETTOS, NEW YORK CITY ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL BOARD, NEW YORK CITY PARKING VIOL ATIONS BUREAU, NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT ADJUDICATION BUREAU, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE, CACH OF COLORADO, LLC, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, KENNETH JAMISON, SHALIEK JAMISON, JOANNE JAMISON, CHARLES JAMISON, Defendants. TO THE ABOVE NAMED DEFENDANTS: YOU ARE HEREBY SUMMONED to answer the Complaint in this action and to serve a copy of your answer, or, if the Complaint is not served with this Summons, to serve a notice of appearance on the attorneys for the Plaintiff within 20 days after the service of this Summons, exclusive of the day of service (or within 30 days after service is complete if this Summons is not personally delivered to you within the State of New York). In case of your failure to appear or answer, judgment will be taken against you by default for the relief demanded in the Complaint. NOTICE YOU ARE IN DANGER OF LOSING YOUR HOME IF YOU DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS SUM-
MONS AND COMPLAINT BY SERVING A COPY OF THE ANSWER ON THE ATTORNEY FOR THE MORTGAGE COMPANY WHO FILED THIS FORECLOSURE PROCEEDING AGAINST YOU AND FILING THE ANSWER WITH THE COURT, A DEFAULT JUDGMENT MAY BE ENTERED AND YOU CAN LOSE YOUR HOME. SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY OR GO TO THE COURT WHERE YOUR CASE IS PENDING FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON HOW TO ANSWER THE SUMMONS AND PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY. SENDING PAYMENT TO YOUR MORTGAGE COMPANY WILL NOT STOP THIS FORECLOSURE ACTION. YOU MUST RESPOND BY SERVING A COPY OF THE ANSWER ON THE ATTORNEY FOR THE PLAINTIFF (MORTGAGE COMPANY) AND FILING THE ANSWER WITH THE COURT. NOTICE OF NATURE OF ACTION AND RELIEF SOUGHT THE OBJECT of the above captioned action is to foreclose a Mortgage to secure $ 380,000.00 (modified to $ 390,180.94 by a Loan Modification Agreement dated January 15, 2009) and interest, recorded in the Office of the Clerk of Queens on October 3, 2006, at C.R.F.N. 2006000554311, covering premises known as 109-66 153rd Street, Jamaica, NY 11433 – BL #: 12142 – 20. The relief sought in the within action is a final judgment directing the sale of the premises described above to satisfy the debt secured by the Mortgage described above. The Plaintiff also seeks a deficiency judgment against the Defendant and for any debt secured by said Mortgage which is not satisfied by the proceeds of the sale of said premises. TO the Defendant JOSE MEDRANO, the foregoing Summons is served upon you by publication pursuant to an Order of the Hon. Rudolph E. Greco, Jr. of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, and dated February 4, 2014. Dated: New Rochelle, N.Y. April 15, 2014. McCABE, WEISBERG & CONWAY, P.C. By: /s/________________ Leroy
J. Pelicci, Jr., Esq. Attorneys for Plaintiff 145 Huguenot St., Ste. 210 New Rochelle, NY 10801 p. 914-636-8900 f. 914-636-8901 HELP FOR HOMEOWNERS IN FORECLOSURE NEW YORK STATE LAW REQUIRES THAT WE SEND YOU THIS NOTICE ABOUT THE FORECLOSURE PROCESS. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY. SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT YOU ARE IN DANGER OF LOSING YOUR HOME. IF YOU FAIL TO RESPOND TO THE SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT IN THIS FORECLOSURE ACTION, YOU MAY LOSE YOUR HOME. PLEASE READ THE SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT CAREFULLY. YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CONTACT AN ATTORNEY OR YOUR LOCAL LEGAL AID OFFICE TO OBTAIN ADVICE ON HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF. SOURCES OF INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE. The State encourages you to become informed about your options in foreclosure. In addition to seeking assistance from an attorney or legal aid office, there are government agencies and non-profit organizations that you may contact for information about possible options, including trying to work with your lender during this process. To locate an entity near you, you may call the toll-free helpline maintained by the New York State Banking Department at 1-877-226-5697 or visit the Department’s website at www.dfs.ny.gov. FORECLOSURE RESCUE SCAMS Be careful of people who approach you with offers to “save” your home. There are individuals who watch for notices of foreclosure actions in order to unfairly profit from a homeowner’s distress. You should be extremely careful about any such promises and any suggestions that you pay them a fee or sign over your deed. State law requires anyone offering such services for profit to enter into a contract which fully describes the services they will perform and fees they will charge, and which prohibits them from taking any money from you until they have completed all such promised services.
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A Train About Nothing
Everywhere you turn nowadays; it seems that nostalgia is in the air for the 1990s. The MTA may be taking it a step too far though. Starting on May 12, the 7 train has been transformed inside and out to replicate Monk's Café Restaurant from “Seinfeld.” The famed location, where the gang of Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer would often meet, is taking
over the train in time for the first Subway Series of the year between the New York Mets and Yankees. The homage is also in line with the 25th anniversary of the show’s debut in 1989. What does Monk’s Diner have to do with the Subway Series? Absolutely nothing as far as we can tell! And for the “Show About Nothing,” that may just be good enough.
A Sweet Spot For Eddie's
Page 22 PRESS of Southeast Queens May 16-22, 2014
his favorite eateries across New York City. In one of his final segments, the rapper acknowledges and visits Eddie’s Sweet Shop in Forest Hills. “Bottom line is, we could be anywhere in this f***ing earth, but I’m here on Metropolitan, Queens, New York, Forest Hills, Eddie’s Sweet Shop,” he said. “I’m an addict for malted milkshakes.” The popular Queens eatery, he said, brings back happy childhood memories for the hardcore rapper. “I come here to feel like a child again,” he said.
The Next Generation
The Vallone name is well-known in political circles, but this trio may not be as familiar. Councilman Paul Vallone recently brought his three children, Lea, Catena and Charlie, on a tour of City Hall, where they posed with a portrait of their grandfather, former Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. Photo courtesy of Anna-Marie Vallone.
A Hypocrite & Slanderer
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Look’s like everybody has a sweet spot for Eddie’s Sweet Shop– even rapper Action Bronson. Earlier this month, Vice Channel debuted its new monthly show, “F***, That’s Delicious,” and the host of the show was none other than Flushing’s very own hip hop star Action Bronson. Although it might seem a little strange to watch a rapper on a food show, for those that do not know Action Bronson (Arian Asllani), he is a trained chef-turned-musician who frequently raps about, you guessed it, food. In the 10-minute video, Action Bronson takes viewers to
Musicians OF QuEEns
A Great State Snack Last Tuesday, the New York State Senate spent an hour debating a controversial piece of legislation. The bill? An act designating yogurt as the official State snack of New York. Yogurt was chosen because, according to the bill, it is “a healthy food that tastes great and is a good source of protein, calcium, vitamin B-2, B-12, potassium and magnesium.” Senators voiced their concerns that designating yogurt as the State snack would offend lactose intolerant New Yorkers, producers of other foods popular in the State and young citizens who don’t have a taste for yogurt. At the tail-end of the debate, Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (DFlushing) appealed on behalf of the carrot cookie. One senator wasn’t even sure that yogurt qualifies as a “snack,” in that many people eat a bowl for breakfast or dessert. Other snack options proposed besides yogurt included kale chips, raisins and cheesecake.
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If you go to the bandcamp page of A Hypocrite & Slanderer, you’ll be able to listen to “Ten Miles,” a simmering track that is low-key, but not low-energy. Reverb-laden guitars lead into a powerful, belted chorus that’s anchored by a tight rhythm section but also takes flight thanks to some heavenly keyboard tones. That song came together when Terry Edelman was trying to expand the band’s sound, as many of his early songs were faster numbers. “When I first started writing songs for A Hypocrite & Slanderer, I had a bunch of upbeat rockers and I felt like I wanted to work in something slower,” he said. “I had that opening riff which was moody and kind of mysterious, and I thought it would be cool to have it suddenly open up into something grandiose with big drums. It's a ballad in the ‘Black Hole Sun’ mold.” Edelman’s comparison to the classic Soundgarden song is an apt one, though it does not sound like a knockoff. Instead, A Hypocrite & Slanderer is happy to wear its influences on its sleeve, but its members are also willing to color outside the lines. Edelman is the band’s vocalist/guitarist, playing along with bassist Pat Schoultz and drummer Daniel Siles. The three-piece is inspired by the late 1990s post-grunge/ alternative rock scene, which Edelman said hit its creative peak just as the public’s tastes started to turn away from that type of music. “I feel like we're picking up that mantle to an extent by creating guitar-driven music with catchy melodies on the surface but a lot of composi-
tional depth if you're looking for it,” Edelman said. “But those distorted guitar riffs and intense vocals were still a strong undercurrent during my teens. We're inspired by a lot of other eras and genres as well, from classic rock to jazz to metal.” Although the three members found one another through the most random of places, on Craigslist, they have fallen into a groove where the rhythm section and guitar/vocals complement each other. A dedicated rehearsal space in Long Island City has also helped the band develop their sound. “I think we really excel at songs that have a lot of dynamics and I credit that to Pat and Daniel for having the sensitivity on their instruments to bring those dynamics out. So I think the songwriting has evolved to play to that strength,” Edelman said. While the group puts in the necessary work in the studio, they find the live experience to be much more fun and satisfying. “Playing live is more instantaneously rewarding and it's challenging in a completely different way,” Edelman said. “It's about freeing yourself on stage so that you can engage the audience and stepping outside of the box you might put yourself in during your off-stage existence.” A Hypocrite & Slanderer is playing at Tammany Hall on May 20 at 9 p.m. and is finishing its debut album, tentatively due out in late summer. To keep up with the latest news, visit http://ahypocriteandslanderer.bandcamp. com or www.facebook.com/ ahypocriteandslanderer.
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