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Volume 12 Issue No. 30 July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011



PRESS Photo by Ira Cohen

Far Rockaway’s Peninsula Hospital Center is teetering on the edge of closure, doomed by debt problems, and leaving the borough close to losing its fourth major medical institution in three years. By Veronica Lewin…Page 3

Online at

News Briefs Health Fair Councilman James Sanders, Jr. (DLaurelton) announced that he will host his second free health fair of the year, the Far Rockaway rendition of the Mary Mahoney Health Fair, in Far Rockaway's Thriftway Mall, the first week of August. The fair will take place daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Aug. 1 through Aug. 5. It will feature free advice, literature and hand outs from groups like the Dept. of Health, Peninsula and St. John's Hospitals, the Addabbo Health Center, the AIDS Center of Queens County, the NY State Nurses Association, the Sickle Cell Awareness Foundation, among others. "Our community is plagued by obesity, high blood pressure, risks of cancer and heart disease, and just general health concerns that every small community faces," Sanders said. "The more exposure to medical advice, consultation and literature we can provide, the better off we'll all be, as a community and as a society." The previous Mary Mahoney Health Fair in Laurelton brought out over 150 residents during a single day. The Councilman hopes the weeklong event will again bring people who need medical care or advice out to the Rockaways.

Gridiron Politicos Proving once again that politics is the roughest, toughest sport around, Councilman James Sanders Jr.'s (D-Laurelton) team of politicos defeated a group of hopefuls planning to enter the NFL's Football Officiating Academy, a co-ed program for young adults between 17 and 27 that provides instruction on how to officiate youth

and high school football. The team was led by Donovan Richards, the Councilman's Chief of Staff, who had two interceptions and a touchdown in Team Sanders' 3-1 victory. The team was rounded out by Mike Lopes, the Councilman's Communications Director, as well as a slew of Summer Youth Employment students and interns, including Noel Williams, who served as quarterback and who ran back a kickoff for one of the team's scores. After the game, the Academy carried out a classroom session with their new recruits, introducing them to the program. "Politics and football are both definitely rough," said Richards. "We spend most of our time in armchairs, but we still take plenty of hits. It was fun to get to stretch and run around for once while taking the pummeling we're all used to; and I'm proud to say the results were the same." "The game was a great way to kick off this year's Football Officiating Academy," said Carl Johnson, NFL Vice President of Officiating. "Congratulations to Councilman Sanders' team on their victory. We sincerely appreciate his support of FOA as we do that of our other partners in the endeavor. The National Football League is committed to this important program and we look forward to its growth in the community in the years to come." "It was a great game for a great cause," Sanders said. "The Officiating Academy teaches the rules of the game, but it also teaches responsibility, organization, and team work.� For more information, please contact the Councilman's district office at (718) 718-7014.

Bound For Broadway

Page 2 PRESS of Southeast Queens July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011

Bound For Broadway 2011 is coming to Bayside at The Professional Performing Arts Center at Queensborough Community College, presented by the Theatre Arts Center. The all-singing-and-dancing revue is choreographed and staged by Guest Artists from Broadway, such as Robbie Roby and J. Austin Eyer from "Billy Elliot," Shannon Lewis from "How to Succeed," Tony Gonzalez from "Mama Mia," Stephanie Klemons from "In the Heights" and Beth Johnson Nicely from "Young Frankenstein." The two-act spectacular is the product

of TAC's four-week Musical Theatre Workshop and features songs and dances from Broadway shows new and old. It is performed by talented young singers and dancers from New York and beyond. Director Robert Laconi has been producing the show in Queens since 2001. Performances will be on Saturday, July 30, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 31, at 3 p.m. The Theatre is located at 222-05 56th Ave. on the Queensborough Community College campus in Bayside. Tickets are $15, no reservations necessary. For more information visit

Perilous Peninsula:


Boro Could Lose Rockaway Hospital Hospital Center upgraded its Dept. of Emergency Services to better serve the community. According to the hospital, their updated emergency room serves more than 30,000 patients a year. For the hospital's centennial in 2007, it renovated the inpatient dialysis unit, added a new linear accelerator, expanded radiation oncology services, adult and pediatric diabetes programs and surgical services and added new health information technology. The hospital's growing debt problem is one of the reasons the hospital is at risk for being closed. When the hospital first faced financial trouble, it was suggested that Peninsula Hospital Center merge with St. John's Episcopal Hospital to better serve the residents of Far Rockaway. A meeting was held in Albany last week to address the hospital's debt concerns. Peninsula Hospital Center President Robert Levine said "We all share in the sadness of this very difficult decision, and extend our heartfelt sympathy to the hard-working and dedicated employees of this hospital." A report released five years ago by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Marshall's office found there were not enough hospital beds to serve the needs of people in Queens. Because of this, Marshall is concerned the closure could place an even greater strain on the borough's medical system. Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) is concerned the hospital's closure would put


Far Rockaway's Peninsula Hospital Center is on the brink of shuttering its doors. The move comes after revelations of the Hospital's growing debt burden. Closure would make it the fourth hospital in Queens to go under since 2008, leaving the borough slated to lose another 200 hospital beds and more than 1,000 jobs. "Once again, Queens will now lose more beds and the bleeding of Queens' hospitals will continue," said Borough President Helen Marshall. The hospital serves more than 100,000 residents on the Rockaway Peninsula. This closure leaves St. John's Episcopal Hospital on Beach 19th Street the lone hospital on the peninsula. Residents in need of care will soon have to travel to St. John's, or seek medical attention from a hospital outside of the peninsula, such as the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, the Long Beach Medical Center, or the Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn. "I cannot imagine how St. John's Episcopal Hospital - the only other hospital on the peninsula - will be able to handle the overcrowding in the emergency room that will take place as a result of this closing," said Marshall. "We have already seen the effect on surrounding hospitals when St. John's and Mary Immaculate hospitals closed." Over the last several years, the Peninsula

a strain on the City's unemployment services, as it will be difficult for employees to seek employment in the healthcare field. "This is not a giant retail chain deciding to close a branch office," Sanders said. "Like all hospitals, Peninsula is economically unique, employing highly skilled professionals for whom the job market is increasingly competitive and the prospect of long term unemployment is daunting. These people cannot be easily rolled into other positions, and there is a dwindling number of hospitals actively seeking to fill positions, especially in Queens." The news about the potential closure came the day before the trial of former MediSys CEO David Rosen, who is accused of bribing state lawmakers for preferential treatment of MediSys. The company owns several hospitals in the area, including the at-risk Peninsula Hospital Center. The Jamaica Hospital Medical Center said Peninsula Hospital Center was in trouble well before MediSys took ownership. "Peninsula has been struggling financially for several years prior to its sponsorship by MediSys, the Queens and Brooklyn based network that has attempted to make Peninsula financially viable in the current difficult economic market," the hospital said in a statement. The union that represents Peninsula Hospital Center employees, 1199 SEIU, said in a statement that the loss or

downscale of the Far Rockaway hospital would only worsen the existing healthcare problem in Queens. The union said it has been actively involved with all discussions regarding the future of the hospital. "Given the hospital's severe fiscal crisis, our top priority is to preserve vital services, including emergency room and ambulatory care services, and as many jobs as possible," the union said. "This is essential for the 100,000 residents of Far Rockaway who deserve access to quality, affordable healthcare." Marshall plans to call on state health officials to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the future of the Far Rockaway hospital. It is unknown at the time what the building will be used for next, but the borough president wants to make sure that the building that houses the outgoing Peninsula Hospital Center will be used for medical services. A definite closing date has not been determined, but the Peninsula Hospital Center could close in as soon as 90 days if they are not able to find a solution for their financial burdens. On Wednesday, each hospital employee received a Warn Act notice, which contains an outline of employee rights, contact information, job retraining options and benefits employees may be entitled to in the event of a closure. Reach Reporter Veronica Lewin at or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123.

First Gay Couples Wed At Boro Hall

Gregory Levine (l.) and Shane Serkiz were the first gay couple married in Queens. so they could get married right away. Richard and Marc Claflin stood patiently at the window in the clerk’s office as their paperwork was filled out. When that was done, the Manhattan couple was led across the room to get the waiver. Dressed in board shorts and t-shirts, they were en-route to a vacation on Fire Island planned before they knew they would be getting married. They were then led over to another wing of Borough Hall; where they met an ecstatic Judge Maria Milin, a Brooklyn Housing Court judge who volunteered to marry couples on the first day. After a five-minute ceremony, Judge Milin’s first, where Richard and Marc exchanged rings, she happily declared them married and they shared a kiss and both received a hug from their

close friend and witness Alina, who flew in from Los Angeles to share in their day. Many of the couples married in Borough Hall on Sunday were from out of state. Maryann Brancaccio and Maria Vanni, restaurant owners from Philadelphia, came to Queens, where Maryann grew up, to exchange their vows after 40 years together. The couple had thought they would get married in Manhattan, but the city bumped them to Queens where there was a lighter caseload. They were more than happy to oblige. By early afternoon, more than 70 couples were married at Borough Hall. New York’s highest ranking LGBT officeholder, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, arrived in Kew Gardens to share in on the happy day. “This sends a chill up my spine; New York is back where it should be,” Quinn said, making note of the many out-of-state couples who came to get married. She also acknowledged the many of the couples will spend time and money in the city, boosting the economy here. She called it “a nice byproduct” of marriage equality. But most importantly, she emphasized, marriage equality in New York may be the catalyst to equality nationwide. “New York sets the trend,” she said. Community Board 6 member Lynn Schulman, who is openly gay, noted the ethnic and racial diversity of the

couples getting married. “It’s incredible,” she said. But while gay couples can marry in New York, nationally, there’s work to be done. Casini said the next goal is to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that limits the recognition of marriage on the federal level to a man and a woman. A repeal of the bill has been introduced by Congressional Democrats and endorsed by President Barack Obama. The U.S. Dept. of Justice has stopped defending the law’s constitutionality in court. In the meantime, many of the newlyweds relished in the reality that the state of New York now treats their relationship like any other. New York is only the sixth state to legalize marriage equality. Reach Reporter Domenick Rafter at or (718) 3577400, Ext. 125.

Flake Honored This week's issue of our sister paper, the Queens Tribune, honored the Rev. Floyd Flake for his 35 years of service at Allen A.M.E., recounting his work as Holy man, community leader and Congressman. We have included a selection of the Tribune's articles, showcasing the many things Flake has done for Southeast Queens.

July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 3

Gregory Levine and Shane Serkiz arrived at Queens Borough Hall Sunday morning around 7 a.m. The Astoria couple had waited more than a decade, 4,223 days to be exact, for this day to come, but they didn’t realize their early arrival would earn them a spot in history. Greg and Shane became the first gay couple in the borough of Queens to be legally married. At 9:07 a.m. on Sunday, one month after the State Senate passed a bill legalizing marriage equality in the state, Judge Sidney Strauss pronounced Greg, a high school math teacher originally from Brooklyn, and Shane, a special education teacher who grew up near Binghamton, legally married. Applause and cheers erupted from Greg’s family who had come to witness the marriage. When asked how it felt to be legally married, Serkiz simply responded “validated.” Greg and Shane’s marriage triggered a busy day where more than 90 couples wed at Queens Borough Hall. Inside the clerk’s office the scene was bustling. Volunteers helped guide the couples, whose attitudes ranged from beaming to nervous, through the process of getting their paperwork filed and, if needed, acquiring a waiver to void the 24hour waiting period, which most couples did

PRESS Photo by Ira Cohen


Koch Sends Message, Endorses GOP his party and move them away from their far-right position on entitlements like Medicare and Social SeBob Turner, the Republican candicurity, both of which Republicans date for the open Congressional seat have attempted to privatize in the vacated by former U.S. Rep. Anthony last decade. Weiner, received a plum endorsement “I think the Republicans are this week from former Mayor Ed Koch, scoundrels,” Koch said, slamming a Democrat. the GOP leadership over their poAppearing with Turner at his sition on the debt ceiling debates Howard Beach campaign headquarcurrently going on in Washington. ters, Koch said the Obama His harsh criticisms of Republicans administration’s “hostile” policy toseemed to make Turner’s supportward Israel was “not the same vision” ers and volunteer in the back of the for the Jewish state held by Jewish office uncomfortable at times. voters in New York. The 9th district Some of them could be seen cringhas one of the highest populations of ing as Koch blasted Republicans Jewish voters in the nation. for rejecting deals with Democrats Koch admitted that Democratic on raising the debt ceiling. candidate David Weprin was also a The two were not exactly on the strong supporter of Israel and called same page on a debt ceiling deal; it “very painful” to not be endorsing while Koch endorsed the idea of him, but he said electing Weprin raising taxes on the wealthy, Turner would not send a message to the did not, endorsing cuts to spending administration the way electing a Reinstead. Turner said entitlements like publican would. In response, the Medicare and Social Security National Jewish Democratic Counneeded to be “protected, preserved, cil criticized Koch. “Koch is certainly free to endorse Bob Turner (l.) was joined by former Mayor Ed Koch to receive hizzoner’s endorsement, given to “send and should remain a moral obligation and a right,” and did endorse whomever he wants,” the Jewish a message” to both the president and to Republicans in Congress. raising the debt ceiling. Democratic group said in a statement. Turner and Weprin will face off on ”But with a record like this, he clearly does George W. Bush, has been critical of the dent to openly admit it. An Israeli flag stood alongside the two Sept. 13 to serve the remainder of Weiner’s not represent the vast majority of Ameri- Obama administration’s position that necan Jews or the mainstream of the Demo- gotiations for a Palestinian state should with an American flag, making it clear the term, which ends on Dec 31, 2012. Reach Reporter Domenick Rafter at start on boundaries that existed before the issue Koch wanted to highlight, but Koch cratic Party.” Koch, who has endorsed Republicans 1967 war. Though that has been U.S. also took aim at Republicans in Congress or (718) 357like Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki and policy for decades, Obama is the first presi- and said Turner would be a maverick in 7400, Ext. 125.

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PRESS Photo by Ira Cohen


Help Wanted: FDNY Needs Minorities Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano, flanked by Greater Allen A.M.E. Church Reverend Floyd Flake, took to the pulpit on July 17 to announce the newest fire exam. The Commissioner, dressed in his Sunday best, traveled to South Jamaica where he addressed the third of three Sunday services that saw more than 5,000 worshippers pay

their respects to the Lord at the largest congregation of its kind in the United States. Cassano made the trek to this very popular house of worship to announce the City's latest attempt to bolster the shrinking manpower in the New York's Bravest. "If you know of a young man or woman looking for a great job, the FDNY is your answer," Cassano told the congregation. Cassano accepted an invitation from

New York's Bravest seeking recruits at Greater Allen A.M.E.

former Congressman Flake to speak at his church and invite church goers to recommend applicants to the recently announced fire fighters exam. Following services, church goers were able to visit an FDNY recruitment table set up outside the rear of the sanctuary. The agency has had a hiring freeze since 2007 as a result of a lawsuit that accused the FDNY of using biased exams and thus discriminating against minorities, Cassano said. Last year, a court decision against the City and the FDNY ordered that a new exam be administered. Only 10 percent of the cur- The Rev. Floyd Flake and FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano rent force is made up of minorities or women. Flake thanked Commissioner Cassano for com- churches, as well as Dept. Of Motor Veing to his church and offered to assist in hicles offices, subway stops, and wherever the recruitment efforts for exam takers. large numbers of people congregate. The new tests begin in January 2012, Cassano received many loud responses with a deadline for applications set for mid when he announced the salary range for September. The Commissioner's talk new firefighters is $40,000, and rises to kicked off the FDNY's new launch of a $100,000 after five years. The filing period for the new massive department recruitment campaign Firefighter's exam is from July 25 to Sept. for the exam. An FDNY spokesperson indicated 15. Further information may be obtained that recruiters will be visiting other by calling 311 or by visiting

Photos by Dan Miller/DMD IMAGES


July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 5

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

Brenda Jones Executive Editor:

Brian Rafferty Deputy Editor:

Joseph Orovic

The Rev. Floyd Flake is not a perfect person, nor does he claim to be. He has been the subject of investigations, his partnership with a failed bidder for Aqueduct casinos was a black eye on his development record and as a person in the public eye he has been the target of scorn and venom. But he is better than all that. Floyd Flake, in his 35 years leading from the pulpit at Allen A.M.E., has been a force for change and salvation for thousands. He has touched countless lives through the housing initiatives he has launched; he has helped tens of thousands of parishioners find peace and meaning in their lives; his organization has been one of the largest private-sector employers in the City; and as a member of Congress, he literally put his money where his mouth is. The influence Floyd Flake has developed over the last three and a half decades was not handed to him – he worked hard for every ounce of respect he has been granted. It is with that respect in mind that we have dedicated this special edition to honoring the 35-year legacy of the man at the pulpit at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York.

Contributing Editor:


Marcia Moxam Comrie Production Manager:

Shiek Mohamed Queens Today Editor

Regina Vogel Photo Editor: Ira Cohen

Reporters: Harley Benson Domenick Rafter Jason Banrey Veronica Lewin Art Dept:

Sara Gold Rhonda Leefoon Candice Lolier Barbara Townsend Advertising Director James Mammarella Sr. Account Executive Shelly Cookson Advertising Executives Merlene Carnegie

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A Queens Tribune Publication. © Copyright 2011 Tribco, LLC

Michael Schenkler, President & Publisher

Michael Nussbaum, Vice President, Associate Publisher

Better Banking To The Editor: For most New Yorkers, earning money and depositing it in bank accounts are the building blocks to a better financial life – and an important investment in their future. These are the gateways to the American Dream. But for many residents – including 108,413 people in Queens – their money never gets to the bank. These residents cash their paychecks in bodegas and other outlets, and they pay an average $530 in check-cashing and billpaying fees each year. That’s money which could be better spent on food, housing and other needs. Today, we are announcing the

expansion of a program into Queens that will encourage these so-called “unbanked” residents to participate in the banking system. We are launching the Queens version of Bank On Manhattan, a program that was begun successfully last year in Manhattan by Borough President Stringer, and which is currently underway in 56 cities in six states. Under this program, a network of banks in Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst and Woodside will offer safe, low-cost checking accounts to New Yorkers who don’t have them. There is a minimum opening deposit of only $25, and monthly fees which range from nothing to $6. Just as

Letters important, foreign IDs will be accepted in opening new accounts. The program is a joint venture of retail banks, community-based organizations and bank regulatory institutions in New York City. This public-private partnership offers a safer and more efficient way to handle money for thousands of hard-working Queens residents. It’s also designed to help overcome the distrust they may feel toward banks. There is no pressure to join, and tremendous benefits to participants who do. Here’s the bottom line: Doesn’t that extra $530 belong in your pocket? More than 7,000 New Yorkers have already signed up in Manhattan, and the program has become so successful on a national level, President Obama has committed $50 million to creating a Bank On USA initiative. Beyond dollars and cents, Bank On account-holders can take comfort in the fact that their money is safer in the event of a robbery or home fire – and so is their financial future. For any family that dreams of buying a home, opening up a new small business, or putting children through college, a banking account is not only helpful – it’s essential. Bank On also gives participants the chance to take special financial education classes for free, so they can learn how to manage their money and grow their savings during tough economic times. This summer, don’t get ripped off at check cashers. Join with thousands of other New Yorkers in opening a checking account today and re-

member: It’s about your future. To learn more about Bank On in Queens, please check out, or call (877) 464-2BANK State Sen. Jose Peralta, Queens BP Helen Marshall, Manhattan BP Scott Stringer

Posturing To The Editor: Obama keeps calling for a “big” deal on the national debt, comprehensive and to include an increase in taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans. With a little more than a week to go, Congressional Republicans, on the other hand, are floating the concept of giving a President the ability to raise the debt limit three times in as many years, and pushing for “Cut, Cap and Balance.” Why can’t both sides see that the solution is much simpler? Authorize this President to raise the debt ceiling once to avert the impending current crisis, and as part of that legislation, put in place specific benchmark dates to accomplish such goals as reforming the IRS Code, Medicare, Social Security, etc., with at least one of those troublesome programs to be overhauled by the end of Obama’s current term. If Republicans are truly serious about fiscal responsibility and accountability, they should have no problem agreeing to this, as it conforms to their espoused goals, one of which is to keep the country economically stable and preeminent. It’s about U.S., not “us” versus “them.” Karen Ann DeLuca, Alexandria, VA

York Ready To Welcome Transfer Students BY MARCIA V. KEIZS It has long been acknowledged that a City University of New York (CUNY) education is by far the best buy in higher education; and at no time has this been truer than in this unpredictable economic climate. All the CUNY colleges, such as York, are experiencing renewed interest from first-time college students coming directly out of local high schools as well as from many who initially enrolled at more expensive and distant institutions. They are finding that it is no longer practical to incur large debts in student loans or break their parents' budget to get a quality higher education. At York College there is a synergy between programs and affordability that is attracting students from as far away as

Westchester County and farflung parts of Long Island as well as foreign students who take advantage of our niche programs such as Pharmaceutical Sciences, Physician Assistant, Nursing, Medical Laboratory Technology, Gerontology and the BS/ MS in Occupational Therapy - the only such program within the City University system. Many are also drawn to our outstanding science and humanities programs. Our pre-med and pre-dental programs are among the most competitive and we have the hundreds of physicians, dentists and researchers in our alumni base to prove it. Indeed, a recent graduate has just received an offer to study tumor biology at Georgetown University. Our pre-law program has also produced practicing attorneys throughout the borough, city

and country. We are seeing an increasing number of second- and third-generation York students the children and grand-children of alumni. These "legacy enrollments" represent the ultimate vote of confidence in our institution. In anticipation of the continued growth in enrollment, York is strengthening programs on the baccalaureate level and laying the ground work for a number of niche master's such as the health professions, in Business and Pharmaceutical Science. To that end, we identified and hired two deans to lead the School of Business and Information Systems and the School of Health and Behavioral Sciences respectively. Dr. Alfred Ngome Ntoko, who is now leading the School of Business and Information Systems, comes to us from Kean University in New Jersey; and Dr. Lynne Clark who will lead the School of Health and Behavioral Sciences, held a similar position

at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury and at CUNY's Hunter College earlier in her career. Both of these deans have outstanding records of accomplishments and along with Dr. Panayiotis Meleties, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, will strengthen York and help chart the course for its growth well into the 21st century. We are energized by these stellar appointments and see nothing but success for York and its sister colleges throughout the system, which has also created a more seamless transition from the community colleges into any one of the senior colleges. CUNY also boasts The School for Public Health, Law School, Graduate School of Journalism; and the CUNY Graduate Center - one of the most respected in the country. Dr. Marcia V. Keizs has been president of York College/CUNY for the past six years.

Ed Koch Has Lost His Way On David Weprin By MICHAEL SCHENKLER Ed Koch has lost it. The 86 year-old 105th Mayor of New York City who served from 1978-1989 has gone off the deep end. He’s always been a bit odd. He’s always been a stand up guy.

His style, outspoken manner and in-your-face approach to politics has earned him the admirations of New Yorkers – in addition to four terms in Congress and three terms as Mayor. But it was well over 20 years ago that he left elective office and he still is a New York icon (and now he’s a bridge too). He started reviewing movies for the Trib in 1990 – I think – and is self publishing his reviews

on the web today. His regular commentarie s are also available by email. His opinions on movies and the world are frequently a bit off. But Ed is bright, knows New York, has a good heart and damn, does he speak his mind. But when it comes to the election to replace resigned troubled Congressman Anthony Weiner in the 9th C.D. Ed’s synapses have misfired. Now don’t get me wrong, in ever y – well, most — elect ion there are choices. And in the Special Election on Sept. 15th there may be reasons to support littleknow n Republican Bob Turner over well-known David Weprin. But when Ed Koch cites support of Israel as the major reason for him crossing party lines and endorsing Turner, he is either disingenuous or his sharp intellect is sharp no longer. This paper and this writer are not ready to take sides in this one, but we know David Weprin as one of the most active, outspoken supporters of Israel in New York today. The Queens Or thodox Jew has been consistent in that position for his entire public life. We

wealthiest Americans are really don’t know of any bet ter off w it h Barack record on Israel for Bob Obama and his DemoTurner. crats’ point of view than During this ridiculous the Tea Par ty strongly process, Koch has made influenced Republicans. reference to the fact that And by the way Ed, Weprin’s father Saul, the President is not basformer Speaker of the ing his foreign policy on New York State Assembly the outcome of the 9 th was one of the few New C.D. Special Election. York Jews who did not And Ed, David suppor t him over Mario Weprin is the established Cuomo – and as Koch stronger ally of Israel. pointed out – Ed Koch has And Ed, if David’s a long memory. father supported Mario The former Mayor Cuomo over you, and has also taken to voice his extreme dissatisfaction Trib Publisher Mike Schenkler and Hizzoner at Gracie now you are looking for w it h Pre sident Obama Mansion back in the day when Ed Koch was Mayor and retribution, Saul will never know. over Israel, Medicare and got it right most of the time. If the main issue in the 9th CD more. It seems that Koch believes supporting the Middle East’s only is Israel – and it shouldn’t be – Obama will be watching the 9th CD Democracy. and take a message from the votWhile many would prefer David Weprin would be the clear ers — if they reject Weprin, they Obama to espouse an unwilling- choice. reject Obama. If the consideration is helping ness to compromise on tweaking Ed, give me a break. the American longstanding social President Obama achieve the best President Obama continues to safety net, Obama is committed to for the average American, he needs sh i ne and repre sent s t he be st pre serving Medicare, Medicaid, every Democrat he can get in Conth ings t his countr y sta nds for. Social Security and the American gress. While many would prefer a more way of life. He also recognizes that If the issue is getting even for extreme or intransigent position to deal with the Republicans in the acts of the father, you are not on Israel, only the most extreme Congress who control one house the Ed Koch I remember. would think of suggesting that the and have a voice in the other, he Ed, stick to movie reviews. President is not committed to fully must compromise. But any but the

Jay Walder Is Not Casey Jones, Jumps From NYC Second is the apparent indifference of Governor Cuomo to the plight of the MTA, and the absence of any effort to develop a relationship with Walder. It was not nearly as bad as Governor Paterson, who refused to speak with Lee Sander, Walder’s predecessor, or Stern even to return his calls, because Sander had been appointed by his predecessor, Governor Spitzer. Walder chose to accept what could be the best transit job in the world, at a multiple of the salary which was begrudged to him in New York. He thus avoided the fate of his predecessor. Last week, I watched The Call on New York 1. People called and emailed t he stat ion to expre ss their views on Walder. Almost all were very negative, with the exception of Richard Ravitch, the former lieutenant governor, as well as MTA chair. Ravitch was highly complimentar y, as was Mayor Bloomberg. The hostile attitude of the public came because of the service and personnel reductions that Walder was obliged to make because of the lack of public funds and steadily rising expenses, most but not all of which were uncontrollable. How many years should one devote to serving people who think you are doing a lousy job, when in fact you are doing a very competent job at an obviously thankless task?

One could tell that many of the disgruntled callers were transit employees or union activists. Even so, there were precious few callers who admired the service they received from the MTA or its departing chairman. If there were an attempt to jam the switchboard, it succeeded. If there were not, the negative sentiment was more authentic. Of course, no one likes waiting for a train on a hot platform, being squeezed or crushed inside a car, or being delayed for an indefinite period, whether by “the dispatcher” or by “train traffic ahead.” The underlying fact is that the transit system is in a financial bind comparable to that which faces the United States, except that it cannot run up $14 trillion in deficits and then ask for more. Sooner or later, probably sooner, fares will rise and interest on the MTA’s indebtedness will increase. The State and City, traditional sources of additional funding, are, as we know, undergoing severe fiscal problems and highly unlikely to substantially increase transit subsidies, if indeed they are willing to retain them. One cannot mention state aid without recalling with sorrow the disgraceful decision of the New York State Assembly to eliminate the commuter ta x on May 17, 1999, a date which will live in infamy in mass transit history. How long should Walder remain at the helm of a sh ip which takes on more water each year?

We believe that Jay Walder is, by and large, a decent, honorable, hard-working and competent bureaucrat, who will be missed after he is gone. He is not an inspirational figure, nor did he attempt to be one. “Speak truth to power” is a noble slogan, but truth is better spoken by those with no power than by those with some. People w it h i nter mediate degree s of power are likely to lose what little they have if they engage in unappreciated candor. Those outside the Beltway (or its local equivalent) are less subject to the whims

of the authorities. We wish Walder the best in his new adventure. The search for a successor should begin at once. It will be a real challenge to the Governor and the MTA to find someone as knowledgeable and professionally skilled as Walder. But once such a person is hired, s/he must be given the appropriation that is needed for the MTA to do the job right. P.S. It is ironic that people now go from New York to Hong Kong in order to triple their wages.

Not 4 by Dom Nunziato

July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 7

By HENRY STERN Jay Walder is no Casey Jones. Unlike the iconic railroad engineer, who kept his hand on the throt tle while his train plunged down curving tracks to disaster (and by doing so saved the lives Henry of many people) the MTA chief Jay Walder did not even complete two years at the helm of the tra nsit aut horit y before he jumped ship for a more secure and lucrative berth in a private, profitable transit system. Walder was not shanghaied in the dead of night; he is going voluntarily to MTR (Mass Transit Railway), a railroad colossus headquartered in Hong Kong. Any idea where they might bank? Actually, Walder had a number of good reasons for his secretive flight from New York and the MTA. The first is the impoverishment of the system he is leaving. The MTA has consistently been undersupported, not given enough money to operate, let alone to build and maintain the system in good repair. Before he came, they overspent wildly, in part because of bureaucracy, over-engineering, and weakne ss before unions, as well as traditional corruption, particularly in construction and real property. Walder did not want his reputation endangered by too many years presiding over a system subject to those perils.

Leading From The Pulpit:

Flake Led Allen A.M.E.’s Growth To Serve Beyond Church’s Walls BY VERONICA LEWIN When the Rev. Floyd Flake got the call to become a full-time pastor at the Greaten Allen A.M.E. in 1976, he almost turned down the job. Prior to then, he had never been a fulltime pastor of a church, and was not sure if he could handle the responsibilities. He was also hesitant to move to New York City because he was terrified of the area.

Astounding Growth

Page 8 PRESS of Southeast Queens July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011

Keeping Busy After assuming his role as pastorate in 1975, Flake has held a few positions while also being a full-time pastor at Allen. From 1986 to 1997, Flake served in the U.S. Congress. Flake said he did not have an interest in politics prior to running for Congress. The reverend said he received a phone call one day from someone who thought he would be a good fit for the job. The voters in the 6th District agreed, as he was elected as a U.S. Representative in 1986. While in Congress, he still continued his pastoral duties at Allen A.M.E. During his time in Congress, he focused on how he could improve the lives of his constituents, many of whom were

PRESS Photo by Ira Cohen

In the last 35 years, Flake’s vision turned Allen A.M.E. in Jamaica into the nationally-recognized church it is today. When Flake assumed the role of pastorate in 1976, Allen A.M.E. was housed in a building on the corner of Sayers Avenue and Merrick Boulevard. The church could seat about 600 people, which the congregation outgrew in just four years. In 1980, the church built a new home at the corner of Linden and Merrick Boulevards that could seat twice as many people. This new location eventually became the Allen Christian School when the congregation doubled once again. In 1997, Allen A.M.E. moved to its current home at 110-31 Merrick Blvd, which holds approximately 2,500 people. Since arriving at Allen, Flake said he has never used a sermon twice, and writes fresh material every week. Flake attributes the congregation’s rapid growth to the services the church provides. “People come where they feel a church is doing more than just preaching,” Flake said. “It’s one thing to preach it, but it’s another thing to make it manifest in a visible way.” Allen A.M.E. now has more than 100 ministries, including ministries for diabetes support, a prison ministry, single parents’ ministry and the Recovery through Christ ministry which helps people who are struggling with addiction. The church has far more than 20,000 members. Rev. Flake said the church is

filled to capacity for the 8:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Sunday services. Around 1,500 people who cannot attend the morning service make it to Allen A.M.E. in time for the 6:30 p.m. service. Those unable to make it to Jamaica can stream the church service online, a service that has been offered since 2007. Prior to 2007, Allen A.M.E. had two television shows where members could tune in to hear the pastor speak. According to Flake, more than 30,000 people a month log on to hear the pastor’s sermons. “It’s a much more convenient way to operate … and you touch more people,” Flake said. The reverend has followers from all over the country, including members from New Jersey and Connecticut. People travel from Westchester County and Long Island to attend Allen A.M.E.’s Sunday service; Flake said more than 3,000 of his 20,000 members are from Long Island. “My thesis is, marches and protests are okay, but at the end of the day, if you create visible evidence that communities can be sustained and they can be saved and so that’s been my hallmark for the last 35 years,” Flake said.

Rev. Floyd Flake greets worshipers following a Sunday service. members at his church. By the time he entered Congress, the church was already building one of its senior housing units. The Congressman wanted to find ways to bring more resources to Southeast Queens. He achieved bringing the Food and Drug Administration building to the borough, and keeping the Federal Aviation Administration building in Queens, saving jobs in the area. “Congress, for me, was an experience that gave me a real sense of how the political process worked,” Flake said. Flake collaborated with the thenPresident Bill Clinton to bring more federal dollars to underserved communities like Southeast Queens. During his time as president, Clinton would come and visit the church on occasion, Flake said. While in Congress, Flake partnered with the former president to form the nation’s first one-stop small business capital center, known as the Jamaica Business Resource Center. From 2002-2008, Flake served as president at his alma-mater, Wilberforce University in Ohio, while traveling back to Queens every week to preach the Sunday service.

Restoring Jamaica

Inside the hall of Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York.

When Flake first arrived in Southeast Queens, the drug culture was rampant. The pastor changed the community one block at a time, buying and renovating whatever buildings he could. He has built hundreds of homes for the residents of Southeast Queens over the last three decades. Flake feels this approach to rebuilding communities is better than the gentrification that other communities in New York City have done. This way, residents are allowed to stay in their homes and can afford to live in the community they were raised.

“Until the recession, we didn’t have many move-outs,” Flake said. “People are moving now because they can’t afford to stay. Before the recession, Southeast Queens was extremely strong.” Since taking over the church, Flake and Allen A.M.E. have created several organizations, including the Greater Allen Development Corporation, South Jamaica Multi-Service Center and the One Stop Small Business Capital Center. “Any kind of operation, even a church, is a business, and you run it like a business,” the reverend said. “And if you run it like a business, you’re always looking for what the needs are for your customers; so for me, a congregation represents my customers; I have to meet their needs.” The Allen Christian School, which opened its doors in 1982, is seen as one of the best private schools in the area for children. Flake said the building used to be a food service business owned by drug dealers, and it was a breakthrough when the church was able to purchase it. Though the pastor is busy, he tries to keep a presence at Allen Christian School. When visiting the school, the students stop what they are doing to greet the former Congressman. Flake said he visits the school around two or three times a week. He said he cannot go into the classrooms during the school day, as it becomes too disruptive to teacher instruction. Flake said he doesn’t usually have time to unwind, but exercises every morning. He plans to preach every Sunday as long as he is healthy, because he thinks he would get bored at home. “I don’t want to sit with my wife and watch Lifetime all day,” he joked. Reach Reporter Veronica Lewin at or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123.

you should always turn off your air conditioner...

to keep your home cooler in the summer, it’s a smart idea to...

a. when zombies attack b. at night c. every other hour d. when you leave home a. use ceiling fans as much as possible to supplement a /c

b. grill outside instead of heating up the oven

c. open windows and turn of f a/c when it’s cool at night

d. all of the above

answer: d

answer: d

what should you do if you smell gas?

cell phone, mp3 player and pda chargers use energy... a. only when charging

a. leave the area immediately, then call Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED

b. when plugged in, whether they’re charging or not

b. do not use electrical devices, including flashlights


answer: b

answer: c

for 100+ energy saving tips visit or find us on Facebook at Power of Green

July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 9

c. both of the above c. even when disconnected from the outlet


Southeast Queens Events Edited By Harley Benson

Downtown Committee Meets

Photos by Walter Karling

The bi-monthly meeting of the Downtown Committee of the Greater Jamaica Development Corp. was held July 13.

Downtown Committee Chairman William Martin (l. to r.) with speakers Cassaundra Williams-Anderson, Cedric Dew, Pauli Evanson and Brenda Jones.

Featured speaker Pauli Evanson of the Million Trees NYC Restoration Project spoke on the environmental advantage of neighborhood arboreal presence.

F e a t u r e d s p e a k e r, Cassaundra WilliamsAnderson, the owner of Dream Getaway 4U, elaborated on the beneficence of regularly scheduled vacations for spiritual and psychological well-being.

Featured Speaker PRESS of Southeast Queens/Queens Tribune Associate Publisher Brenda Jones described the benefit of advertising oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business in the community press.

Former Jamaica YMCA member and its present Youth Director, Gregory Dickinson, addressed the assemblage.

Featured speaker Cedric Dew of the Jamaica YMCA promoted the benefits of joining his venerable institution.

Captain Scott Stelmok, the 103rd Precinct Executive Officer, presented the meeting with the most recent area crime-fighting statistics.

Police Blotter


102nd Precinct

Page 10 PRESS of Southeast Queens July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011

Sexual Assault The NYPD is asking for the public's assistance in locating and identifying an individual wanted in connection with a sexual assault that occurred in Woodhaven. On Tuesday, July 26, at approximately 6 a.m., in the vicinity of 89th Street and Jamaica Avenue, the suspect, a Hispanic or Guyanese man in his mid 20s, approximately 5-foot-9, medium build with short black spiky hair, followed the victim, a 35-year-old Hispanic woman, grabbed her from behind and placed her in a choke hold. The suspect proceeded to drag the victim into an alley, where he punched her in the head, face and back and sexually assaulted her. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site at or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

105th Precinct Deadly Lane Change On Friday, July 22, at approximately 11:50 p.m., police responded to a motor vehicle accident at 225th Street and

North Conduit Avenue in Laurelton. Upon arrival, police determined that a 2001 Mitsubishi Montero operated by Luis Forero, 24, of 84-10 34th Ave., Jackson Heights struck a 2011 Dodge Charger operated by Brian Hemmings, 19, of 14812 231st St., Rosedale, while attempting to pass the vehicle traveling westbound on 225 Street. As a result of the accident, Hemmings' vehicle overturned causing him to sustain serious body trauma. EMS responded and pronounced the Hemmings dead at the scene. Forero fled the scene and was apprehended a short time later. He was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality and making an unsafe lane change.

109th Precinct Woman Missing The NYPD is seeking the public's assistance in locating a missing Flushing woman. Chu Hua Lu, 53, of 132-03 Sanford Ave., Flushing, was last seen at the Flushing-Main Street 7 train platform on Monday, July 25, at approximately 1 p.m. She is described as 5'3", 150 lbs., with brown eyes and black hair. She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt, tan shorts and white hat. Anyone with information regarding to this missing person is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The

public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site at or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

108th Precinct BP Robbery The NYPD is seeking the public's assistance in locating and identifying two suspects who are wanted in connection to a commercial robbery that occurred in Woodside. On Thursday, July 11, at 4:20 a.m., at a BP gas station at 65-10 Queens Blvd., two suspects entered the location, watched the victim leave a secure area inside to throw out garbage and when the victim opened the door to reenter the secure area, he was thrown to the ground. The suspects then removed an undetermined amount of cash and fled the location. The victim sustained minor injuries and was sent to the hospital. There were no weapons used. The suspects are described as black men, between 20 and 30 years old, 5-foot11 to 6-feet and medium build. One suspect was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, dark shorts, white sneakers and a black baseball hat with a white symbol on the front, while the other was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, dark blue jeans, black sneakers, a black baseball hat with a white

"Yankee" symbol and a watch. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site at or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Wayward Pooch At 7:35 p.m., on Monday, July 25, NYPD Harbor Patrol Team Charlie rescued an eight-month-old German shepherd named Charlie who was struggling to stay afloat in Jamaica Bay two miles from shore. After the dog was lifted on board, a canvass was conducted on shore where the dog's owners were located. The shepherd, who was recently acquired from Germany, had jumped from their vehicle and ran into the water and was apparently swept by the currents two miles out.



The Other Rev. Flake On Her Husband BY JASON BANREY There are not many people who have seen all sides of the Rev. Floyd Flake. One of the few is his wife, the Rev. Dr. Margaret Elaine Flake. Before the two married and moved to New York to begin what would become an overwhelming career, developing one of the biggest churches in the Metropolitan area which has provided the community with countless resources and services, the pastors started as a humble young couple with dreams and aspirations just as any other. It was during their time at Boston University where Mrs. Flake met her husband. The two became fast friends after becoming members of the same church where Mrs. Flake was teaching. According to Mrs. Flake, in those days, her husband-to-be was being pursued from many sides of the female congregation, especially the choir. “[Mr. Flake] was a pretty big catch in the church,” she said. “It was funny because he was really shy at the time.” Despite the competition from all angles, they developed a strong friendship which quickly evolved into something more than Mrs. Flake was expecting. Although Mrs. Flake denies they had a definitive first date, the two courted over

many breakfasts, lunches and dinners get- become a president [of a university] then ting to know one another’s dreams and his vision for pasturing evolved.” After graduating from Boston Univerdesires. “It went from a friendship to some- sity the two had their first child, Aliyah, and decided to move thing a little more serito Jamaica only nine ous,” Mrs. Flake said. “I months after getting thought we were just married. friends. I never knew he In that same year had more intentions.” the two took over the Those intentions Allen A.M.E. Church. turned into a proposal, Under their leadership, sealing there bond forthe Flakes turned the ever in a marriage which church into the sectook place in December ond-largest ministry in of 1975. the City, expanding its “I was shocked membership to more when it happened,” than 5,000 members in Mrs. Flake said. “I had a little over a decade. no idea he was going to Since their days propose, but I think he courting in Boston, wanted to be sure that the relationship was The Rev. Dr. M. Elaine Flake is the they have developed real and it was.” person who best knows the Rev. an inseparable bond, linked through the While finishing their Floyd Flake. church and their dedidegrees in Boston, Mr. cation to their family. Flake never talked Mrs. Flake acknowledged her about his vision for religious ministry, Mrs. husband’s ability to be a loving and deFlake said. “When we married it seemed he voted father to their four children as they wanted to stay involved in education at were growing up. “Despite his responsibilities in the the University, learning the ropes of school management,” Mrs. Flake said. church, Congress or business he is very “He seemed to be grooming himself to much a family man,” Mrs. Flake said. “He

always drove the kids to school and never really missed too many recitals.” What developed as a passion of community service, their ability to utilize the church to materialize results for Southeast Queens has come a long way from their daydreaming days in Boston. As his wife of nearly 40 years, Mrs. Flake has been through it all with her husband and could have not seen her life going any other way. Year after year, the couple has worked tirelessly to fulfill their vision. “I think [Mr. Flake] has done an incredible job helping to transform this community,” Mrs. Flake said. “Since we got married we haven’t stop working. We have stayed who we are making the necessary concessions in terms of time. We just kind of ride it out.” Although she feels the church’s work is never done, Mrs. Flake does look forward to the couple’s future years of retirement – a time which she says is not far off. “I often say that our retirement years are going to be interesting,” Mrs. Flake said. “So it’ll be nice to get away with my husband. But I wouldn’t know what to do if we weren’t busy. So we’ll soon see.” Reach Reporter Jason Banrey at or (718) 3577400, Ext. 128.


Page 12 PRESS of Southeast Queens July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011

applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force. She is the daughter of Portia JoefieldGeorge of Rosedale. Alexander graduated in 2004 from Canarsie High School, Brooklyn.

Tenneil L. Alexander Air Force Reserve Airman Tenneil L. Alexander graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, 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. Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in

The following local residents were named to the Dean’s List at SUNY Cortland for the Spring 2011 semester: Lisa Cuiman, a senior Childhood Education major from Floral Park; Justin Harbst, a senior Athletic Training major from Astoria; Carmela Laya, a senior Childhood and Early Childhood Education major from College Point; Ashley Meyer, a senior Athletic Training major from Flushing; Rachel Wylie, a freshman Pre-Major major from Bayside; Anna Yoo, a senior Childhood Education major from Bayside; Daniel Silverman, a senior Geographic Information Systems major from Bayside; Michael Wolfin, a senior Biology major from Little Neck; Jeanie Lam, a senior Community Health major from Bayside; Janessa Sabb, a senior Criminology major from East Elmhurst; Gregory Abdallah, a senior Sport Management major from Jackson Heights; Aloysius Grogan, a sophomore Sport Management major from Middle Village; Lauren Hagen, a senior Childhood Education major from Middle Village; Judy Haggerty, a senior

Childhood Education major from Middle Village; Christine Russo, a senior Psychology major from Middle Village; and Stephanie Vitale, a senior Sociology major from Ozone Park. The New York Lottery announced the names of area Lottery players who claimed a winning ticket from one of the Lottery’s live drawings between July 3 and 9. The following winners each received a cash prize valued at $10,000 or more. Charles Rivera of Far Rockaway who won $29,829 on the Take Five drawing of June 30. Rivera’s winning ticket was purchased at the C-Town Supermarket at 87-15 Rockaway Beach Blvd. in Rockaway Beach. Jesus Morales of Rosedale who won $10,010 on the Mega Millions drawing of July 1. Morales’s winning ticket was purchased at the Ramar Food Center at 14405 243rd St. in Rosedale. Rodolfo Bird of Rockaway Park who won $10,000 on the Mega Millions drawing of July 1. Bird’s winning ticket was purchased at the 116 Rockaway Park Stationers at 206 Beach 116th St. in Rockaway Park. Georgiana Okoroji of Springfield Gardens who won $10,000 on the Mega Millions drawing of July 1. Okoroji’s winning

ticket was purchased at the Austin Stop N Go at 70-09 Austin St. in Forest Hills. Brenda Vargas of Jackson Heights who won $10,000 on the Mega Millions drawing of June 21. Vargas’s winning ticket was purchased at the Mexican Deli at 2711 Broadway in New York. Army National Guard Pfc. Anthony M. Wilkins has graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla. During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission and received instruction and training exercises in drill and ceremonies, Army history, core values and traditions, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, rifle marksmanship, weapons use, map reading and land navigation, foot marches, armed and unarmed combat, and field maneuvers and tactics. He is the son of Cynthia Wilkins of Rosedale. Wilkins graduated in 1993 from St. John's Preparatory School, Astoria.

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


Books Give Glimpse Into Boro History BY BARBARA ARNSTEIN Reading any one of the series of historical captioned photo books from Arcadia Publishing is like traveling through time. Queens resident Jason Antos, a Queens newspaper editor, is the author of "Images of America: Whitestone," "Then & Now: Queens" and "Then & Now: Flushing." Each book features interesting photos, postcards, drawings and documents that trace the progress of Queens from 1645 to the present, and depict a wide variety of scenes and structures, including roads, restaurants, railroad stations, banks, bridges, libraries, churches, trolley cars, stores, and so on. One page of "Flushing" quotes part of an 1886 letter, in which a woman wrote to her husband, "There is a rumor of a horse railroad to College Point and also talk of electric lights too. Oh! Flushing is changing, dear," and includes a 1926

taurant (open since 1932). photo, which depicts the Although it mentions that dramatic differences in "Congress closed Fort Totsize and style between a huge furniture factory and ten in September 1995," it should also have menthe old-fashioned mantioned that it is now used sion beside it. as a training area for the poAnother page includes lice and fire departments. an undated photo of the The mention of Astoria "King Neptune FounPark says nothing about the tain," decorated with statpopular pool there, the oldues of Neptune and four est and largest in the city, mermaids, and bedecked but "Flushing" does include with f lower urns, that the intriguing fact that the stood at the intersection Roosevelt Avenue Subway of Northern Boulevard and Main Street from "Then & Now: Flushing" by Bridge over Flushing Creek was built as a lift bridge that 1874 to 1946. Sadly, there Arcadia Publishing was the largest of its kind is no photo of the RKO at the time. Keith's theatre in its cinStrangely, there is no photo in "Flushematic heyday, or any mention of its older ing" of the 1964-1965 World's Fair at history of hosting vaudeville acts. Among other fascinating facts, Flushing Meadows, and the only photo of "Queens" reveals that Bayside boasts the 1939-1940 World's Fair in it disapAmerica's oldest hamburger fast-food res- pointingly shows only the Trylon and

Perisphere (its symbols) from a distance. More strangely, although many long- vanished mansions are mentioned in all three books, there is no mention of Flushing's Voelker-Orth Museum, the beautifully restored mansion (with a beautiful Victorian Garden), at 149-19 38th Ave., where tours are regularly conducted, and events held. Most strangely of all, in “Whitestone", Antos states that "developers created beautiful beach clubs but their time was shortlived," ignoring the fact that private beach clubs still exist there, and have for decades. There is so much interesting history in Beechhurst that I am now gathering material for an Arcadia Publishing book about that area. If you have any photos, postcards, maps, letters or other materials relating to its development, or even interesting family stories involving Beechhurst to share, please allow me to consider them for the book. Write to me in care of the Queens Tribune, 150-50 14th Road, Whitestone, NY, 11357.

DC Rolls Red Carpet For MLK Celebration Destination DC, the official tourism and marketing office for the nation's capital, is offering combination hotel and ticket packages for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Dedication on Aug. 28 in Washington, D.C. This arrangement is in partnership with the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. Destination DC's allocation of tickets are combined with two-night stays at one of 16 Washington, DC hotels. These exclusive bundles will be available until they are sold out. Tickets are non-trans-

ferable and non-refundable. "Thousands of people from across the country and around the world have been touched by the life and legacy of Dr. King. Destination DC is excited to present this unique opportunity to witness history," said Elliott Ferguson, President and CEO of Destination DC. "To be able to offer Dedication Ceremony tickets paired with exceptional hotel rooms for the celebratory weekend creates a special visitor experience in the Nation's Capital, a city with a unique and substantial connection to Dr. King." Located on the Tidal Basin, the Mar-

Restaurant Review

A Grand Old Time

The Grand Café tries to be all things to all people - so long as the word casual is in there somewhere. The restaurant bills itself as high end casual food and it certainly delivers, serving great food to someone in shorts or a suit. The interior of the restaurant is split among many different zones, including booths, large tables and more intimate tables for two, but all of these disparate elements are held together by the tasteful interior design, which is both creative and not overwhelming. But do yourself a favor and sit outside if the weather is worth it. The breeze, the bustle of 30th Avenue and

the ample space around this street corner café is charming and there's something about the outdoors that make digesting easier - and you'll be doing plenty of that. Get the skirt steak, made from silver medallion Black Angus meat from the local butcher; it is definitely a specialty. The rest of the food was tasty and there is plenty of variety on the menu. Being in Astoria, the Grand Café offers good eggplant, hummus and artichoke spinach, as well as a wide variety of desserts and great specialty drinks. The salads were fresh and robust as well. The prices are "casual" as well, in that they are no deep discounts, but the high quality food makes the cost reasonable. The Grand Café also features a private room with a separate side entrance, which is perfect for baby showers or corporate functions. — Brian Rafferty

to our website,, as they plan future trips," said Ferguson. "The Destination DC team is excited to assist visitors eager to share the significance of this historic new addition to our city on this extraordinary weekend, and surely for years and generations to come." Destination DC is also creating a special brochure for the occasion. The "Official Washington DC Travel Information Guide for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial" will highlight how to experience DC's historic relationship with Dr. King and be distributed free to visitors for the rest of the year. A limited number of hotel and dedication ticket packages are available and are on sale now at and (877) 2011-MLK.

Hot Jazz, Cool Garden The Louis Armstrong House Museum will host the monthly hot jazz/ cool garden outdoor concert series with Gordon Au and the Grand Street Stompers on Saturday, July 30, at 2 p.m. Now in its fourth season, the outdoor series is held each summer in the Armstrong Garden at Louis Armstrong House Museum, located at 34-56 107th St. in Corona. The musical extravaganza showcases up-and-coming traditional jazz bands that play the musical The Grand Street Stompers, led by Gordon Au, sounds of Louis Armstrong. The Grand Street Stompers are a will play at the Louis Armstrong House this swinging hot jazz band led by fresh-from- Saturday. New Orleans trumpeter Gordon Au. With one foot stomping in vintage tradition and niors over 65, students and children. the other in modern style, they delight Group rate for eight or more is $6. Chilswing dancers and music lovers alike with dren under 4 are free. All ticket prices everything from show tunes and Louis include a guided tour of the museum that Armstrong hits to exciting originals, classi- can be taken before or after the concert. cal covers, and Disney and movie themes. To learn more, go to Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for se-

July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 13

GRAND CAFÉ 37-01 30th Ave., Astoria (718) 777-7321 CUISINE: Modern Diner HOURS: Mon-Thurs 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., Fri-Sun 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. PARKING: Street

tin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is the first on the National Mall to honor a nonpresident, and will be dedicated on the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King's stirring "I Have a Dream" speech. The occasion will be accompanied by four days of special events, including a family-friendly expo, "Partners in the Dream" at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center as well as inspirational concerts, a VIP gala and civil rights leaders luncheons. Complete details about Dedication Week events can be found at "The legacy of Dr. King's message of nonviolent conflict resolution and equality is known the world over. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the city and


Allen Christian School

Preparing Students For Bright Futures From its humble beginnings in the basement of what was the Allen A.M.E. Church in 1981, until now, the Allen Christian School has grown to become a cornerstone within the community of Jamaica. For nearly three decades, the school has annually provided children with an education based in religious principles. Today, the school serves some 750 students. From pre-kindergarten to eighth grade, the facility’s co-ed day-school offers a Christ-centered educational experience where children are offered a traditional and Christian curriculum which includes computer skills, foreign language and the arts. The Revs. Floyd and Elaine Flake had always dreamed of opening a school. It was not until they moved from Boston in 1976 that they actually decided to pursue the challenge. Following their greater role as a pastoral family within the church, the couple’s dream gained momentum. Already with one child and a second on the way, they recognized a need for a

Photo by Ira Cohen


Three years after opening, the school received its Absolute Charter from the New York State Board of Regents and has already offered thousands of children an educational foundation which has led to some of the nation’s top colleges and universities. As more students continued to enroll, the Flake’s felt the need to expand their services and acted acThe Allen Christian School cordingly. “Opening our own quality institution which would offer their school was always in the back of our children, as well as countless children in heads,” Mrs. Flake said. “I would have the community, an opportunity to receive never thought that [Floyd Flake] would have built a building for a school. I never both a religious and secular education. When the school officially began of- had any idea that ministry could be so fering classes on Sept. 10, 1982, only 234 widespread and life changing because I students were enrolled in grades pre-K had never seen that.” Rev. Floyd Flake’s time as an assothrough third. Today, the school has a waiting list of more than 150 students ciate dean at Boston University made him realize that many public school each year.


A Community’s Future Rests With Its Youth

Page 14 PRESS of Southeast Queens July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011

BY JASON BANREY The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral has been committed to the community since its inception nearly 180 years ago. Since then, the Allen Ministry has made the youth an integral part of its congregation. Reaching out to young adults within the community between the ages of 1835, the Young Adults Ministry is determined to empower the lives of these individuals. Instilling the importance of living life through the religious teachings of Jesus Christ, YAM hopes participating youth will take a positive message and demeanor back to their homes, communities, schools and workplaces. Through the vision of the Revs. Floyd and Elaine Flake, YAM was founded in 1996 to encourage fellowship and acknowledge the many practical and spiritual needs of young adult Christians. Feeling a need to provide a positive outlet for an underserved population of young adults, the Rev. Tiate Carson introduced two institutions: the Young Adult Bible Study and the Young Adult Conference. Capstones within the ministry itself, both the bible study and conference have become overwhelmingly popular attracting youth from far and wide.

Each Friday night, young believers are drawn to the church to worship and read the Bible. In 2007, the weekly study’s membership tripled and moved into the sanctuary to accommodate young adults who were coming from throughout the city, Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey. In 2004, the Young Adult Conference began as a two-day event. Since then the conference has grown into a semi-annual multi-day occasion, attracting guest artists and speakers from around the nation as well as attendees from as far as Puerto Rico and the Netherlands. After Carson left to pastor elsewhere in 2004, the Rev. Terrance M. McKinley took the helm, ushering a refined vision for the YAM. Hosting two national conferences annually has helped bring about an era which is breaking beyond its boundaries of Southeast Queens and slowly touching the lives of youth around the world. “I have always wanted the conferences to be a time of renewal for our church,” McKinley said. “Every year, the Conference has been a time of sowing and reaping, when we come together, get centered and get empowered.” Reach Reporter Jason Banrey at or (718) 3577400, Ext. 128.

students entering the collegiate realm were not at a competitive level academically. Although he helped provide remedial services to compensate their inability to overcome their barriers he witnessed that they had already been paralyzed by the public school system. In an effort to deter this from happening, the Flakes installed a rigorous curriculum, focusing on the fundamentals of reading, language arts and math. Coupled with a dress code and small class sizes, the institution allows for a high degree of individualized attention and student-teacher parent interaction. According to the school’s Web site, the atmosphere of Allen is one of a loving family. Within a class structure that promotes an understanding for both faculty and administration to know each student’s strengths and weaknesses, teachers regularly meet to discuss student progress. As the school comes closer to its 30th anniversary, it promises to continue promoting excellence to pupils within its institution. Reach Reporter Jason Banrey at or (718) 3577400, Ext. 128.

Where success starts… …and continues.


Real education for real-world careers 516.572.7345



Apply now for fall admission FALL 2011 CLASSES BEGIN SEPTEMBER 1.



The Tribune will publish a special edition showcasing the places, people and things readers love about Queens. The editors will comb the borough to find that great slice of pizza, that phenomenal rib shack, that beautiful vista or building that is part of what makes living in Queens so special. But we need your help. Send in the form below, name your “personal bests” and we’ll print your entry. Need more room? Send as many pages as you'd like or e-mail Mail To: THE BEST OF QUEENS 2011 C/O The Queens Tribune, 150-50 14th Road, Whitestone, NY 11357 Desserts: Diner: French: Fried Chicken: Happy Hour Bar: Ice Cream: Italian: Japanese: Pizza: Seafood: Steak: Sushi:

RETAIL Auto Dealer: Bike Shop: Clothing Store: Florist: Hardware Store: Jewelry Store: Liquor Store: Pharmacy: Supermarket: Toy Store:

HEALTH & BEAUTY Day Spa: Dermatologist: Doctor: Hair Salon: Massage Therapist: Nail Salon: Personal Trainer: Veterinarian:


NIGHTLIFE Local Band: Local Musician: Movie Theater: Nightspot: Theater Group:

Handyman: Landscaper: Mover: Painter: Plumber: Roofer:

SERVICES Auto Repair: Cleaner: Contractor: Electrician:


Please attach any additional comments, photos or information about your entries to this coupon.

For Advertising Information On "The Best Of Queens 2011" Edition Call The Tribune At (718) 357-7400

July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 15

FOOD & DINING Bagels: Bakery: Bar: Breakfast: Burgers: Butcher: Chinese: Coffee Shop: Cookies: Deli:


What’s Up SATURDAY, JULY 30 Youth & Tennis The Youth and Tennis group meets every Saturday morning at Roy Wilkins Park Saturday. To learn more, call Bill Briggs at (718) 658-6728.

Walkers for Wellness Club Looking for a fun way to improve your health? Join the Walkers for Wellness Club at New Hope Lutheran Church of Jamaica. Under the guidance of a Walking Leader, you will walk two to three times each week at a comfortable pace with others along routes throughout Southeast Queens. The club is open to walkers of all ages and abilities. The walking schedule is Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m., and Saturdays at 8 a.m. Walkers meet at New Hope Lutheran Church, located at 167-24 118th Ave. T-shirts and pedometers will be provided. Contact Thurkessa Brown at (917) 553-1089 for more information.

Tai Chi Stay fit and have fun with a series of free fitness activities at Idlewild Cricket Field in Idlewild Park Preserve. Learn the basics of this ancient Chinese martial art that combines exercise, moving meditation, and self defense with instructor Raymond Hernandez. Come and find out why this meditative art is practiced daily by millions of people, young and old alike. No prior experience necessary. All are welcome! Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. This free event will take place at Idlewild Park – Brookville Boulevard at 149th Avenue – from 9:15-10:30 a.m.

Wayanda Park Family Day

Page 16 PRESS of Southeast Queens July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011

The Dept. of Parks and Recreation, Councilman Leroy Comrie, Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica, Project Hope New Direction, and Wayanda Civic Association are pleased to present the 10th Annual Wayanda Park Family Day and Gospel Fest – featuring Impact Repertory Theater from Harlem. Bring a blanket or a chair and enjoy a day of free games, rides, health screenings, BBQ, live jazz, face painting, arts and crafts, access to community services such as HPD, DEP, KOF, NYPD, NYFD, and much more. For additional information, call (718) 776-3700 or go to This free event will take place at Wayanda Park - Hollis Avenue and Robard Lane – from noon to 4 p.m.

“Smooth Soul Hitmakers” Margert Community Corp. and Councilman James Sanders Jr. are pleased to present the Garvey-Tubman Music Series. This free summer concert series will feature the following smooth soul hitmakers: Meli’sa Morgan Alyson Williams, and Jeff Redd, with a special performance by Toni Ann Semple. Bring your family and tell your friends. Bring a chair and a cold soft drink. For more information, call (718) 527-4356. This free event will take place at Brookville Park – Brookville Boulevard at 143rd Avenue – from 3-7 p.m.

commissioned musical production from noted playwright Chisa Hutchinson that celebrates the magical effect of music on the life of a young boy, performed with hand-crafted puppets that will captivate audiences of all ages. For additional information, visit, send an e-mail to, or call (212) 3602777. This free event will take place at Springfield Park – Springfield Boulevard at 145th Road – at 8 p.m.

MONDAY, AUG. 1 Adult Chess Club Practice your chess skills weekly, on Monday and Thursday evenings. The event is held at 6 p.m. every Monday at Queens Village Library, 94-11 217 St., (718) 776-6800.

Crafting Your Resume Are you ready to apply for jobs? Are you avoiding common errors? Does your resume stand out? Participants will learn: how to get started; types of resumes; what to include and not include on your resume; and tips for making your resume stronger. This free event will take place at the Queensborough Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., at 6 p.m.

The Great Debaters A Better Jamaica’s Family Movies in the Park is pleased to present “The Great Debaters”. This touching drama is based on the true story of Mel Tolson, a professor at Wiley College who inspired his students to form the school’s first debate team. This group of kids was the first African American team to ever go up against Harvard and defeated the famed debate team in the national championships. Come on out, bring the whole family. This free event will take place at Cambria/Cabbell Park – Francis Lewis Boulevard at 120th Avenue – at 8 p.m.

TUESDAY, AUG. 2 Job Club Every Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Jamaica Neighborhood Center offers a free service to assist people from Southeast Queens with job-readiness skill sets in writing a professional resume and cover letter; interviewing practices and techniques; applying on-line procedures; elevator pitch and Microsoft Suite 2007. For additional information, contact Lenin Gross, Job Coach, at (718) 739-2060, Ext. 18 or This free event will be held at the Jamaica Neighborhood Center - 161-06 89th Ave.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. York Observatory Open Night The York College Observatory is open to the public every second or third Wednesday of the month - rain or shine - at 8:30 p.m. Gather in room 2E01 and then proceed to the fourth floor terrace off G corridor if it’s clear. For additional information, contact Tim Paglione at or (718) 2622082. This free event will be held at the York College Academic Core Building (AC 2E01), 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd. from 8:30-9:30 p.m.

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

The Dark Night A Better Jamaica’s Family Movies in the Park is pleased to present “The Dark Night”. Batman continues his seemingly endless effort to bring justice to Gotham’s crime syndicate. This time the Dark Knight faces a rising psychopathic criminal called The Joker, whose eerie grin belies a dangerous agenda. Come on out, bring the whole family. This free event will take place at Baisley Pond Park – Foch Boulevard at Long Street – at 8 p.m.

THURSDAY, AUG. 4 Walkers for Wellness Club See Saturday’s listing. At 7 p.m.

Basic Writing for Job Seekers In a tough job market, spelling, punctuation and grammar errors in a resume or cover letter can mean that a potential employer will toss your resume in the trash. Brush up on essential writing skills: sentence and paragraph construction; proper grammar; proper use of punctuation; basic structure of a cover letter. This free event will take place at the Queensborough Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., at 3:30 p.m.

Career Exploration

The Southeast Queens Camera Club meets at Roy Wilkins Park, Administration Bldg., 2nd Floor, 177-01 Baisley Blvd. Summer photography classes occur on the second, third and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 p.m. Classes are free - bring camera manual. For full details, visit or (718) 723-6849 or (516) 328-3776.

Take the Career Exploration Inventory, a self-scored, easy-to-use guide to choosing a career based on your interests and experiences. After taking the CEI, participants will: learn about different resources for further career exploration; explore training and education opportunities for career development. Job Information Center staff will be present to assist and answer questions. This free event will take place at the Queensborough Public Library’s Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., at 6 p.m.

The Great Debaters

All Stars Comedy

Camera Club

Tunde’s Trumpet Join SummerStage Theater presented by Time Warner for Tunde’s Trumpet, a

This free event will take place at Brookville Park – Brookville Boulevard at 143rd Avenue – at 8 p.m.

See Monday’s listing.

York College and Ray Dejon are pleased

to present an evening of all star comedy. Enjoy a night of comedy with the best comedians in New York including Jon Laster, Nikki Carr, and Jay. Hosted by Ray Dejon of Video Music Box. When: Thursday, August 4th - 8:00 pm (Doors Open at 7:00 pm) This event will take place at the York College Performing Arts Center, 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10-$20.

The Dark Knight See Wednesday’s listing. This free event will take place at Saint Albans Park – Merrick Boulevard at Sayres Avenue – at 8 p.m.

FRIDAY, AUG. 5 Senior Theatre Acting Repertory Calling all older adults: Join our galaxy of STARs to perform theatrical works at the library with a great group of people while brightening your life. Rehearsals are held at 10:30 a.m. Fridays at Queens Village Library, 94-11 217 St., (718) 776-6800.

JAMS Festival 2011 Cultural Collaborative Jamaica is proud to present the 15th anniversary of the Jamaica Arts and Music Summer. Come on out for a day of festival splendor. For additional information, contact (646) 5243554 or

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

Laurelton Flea Market A flea market has opened at 221-02 Merrick Blvd. On sale are a wide range of items, including household items, jewelry and clothing. The market is open every Thursday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Models Of Queens

Just Julia

Julia Gorbach Home: Bayside Age: 20 Height: 5’ 3" Weight: 115 lbs Stats: 34-27-37

The petite beauty hails from the Ukraine, but she’s happy to call New York home. She’s lived in Queens and two other boroughs, and got help launching her career thanks to the folks at Bayside’s Shortstack Modeling. Though she keeps herself busy as a Media Studies and Russian Language and Literature double major and Political Science minor at Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, she is also a contestant for the Miss NY pageant this coming January. “If someone told me even a year ago that I would be a contestant of the Miss NY pageant, I would have been very skeptical,” she said. “As big of a fan of [the Sandra Bullock movie] ‘Miss Congeniality’ as I was growing up, I never saw myself as the ‘pageant type’ of woman. Yet, when I came into the information session and met some of the other contestants, I was instantly impressed and awestruck at all the different powerful, influential, and strongwilled women that surrounded me. It was truly inspiring and wonderful to be part of a team- a sisterhood- of a group of intelligent, generous, curious, down-to-earth and openminded women.” Julia credits Shortstack as giving her the inspiration to enter the modeling field – and for broadening her horizons. The non-profit company helped her believe in her talent and overlook her height limit. She has had a slew of modeling work, including pieces for the Village Voice,, an event at the Indian Embassy and even some magazine spreads. A student of yoga and meditation, and “a constant ponderer of life,” Julia describes herself as “a beginner student of holistic health and nutrition, and, in all honesty, quite an addict – to buying books, that is.”


Page 18 PRESS of Southeast Queens July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011

We all know that Starbucks is everywhere. It seems there’s one on every corner. Even “The Simpsons” mocked the coffee house chain once showing Bart walking through a mall where every store was a Starbucks, except one, which was closing to become a Starbucks. On the Seattle-based chain’s Wikipedia page, there’s a section dedicated to “Criticism and Controversy,” and the first criticism is of its market strategy: saturating the market. As a visual example of Starbuck’s “saturation,” the Wikipedia page features a picture of two Starbucks in one shopping center, right here in Queens. The picture is of the Stop & Shop shopping center on Union Turnpike in Forest Hills, where there was a standalone Starbucks store, and a kiosk inside the Stop & Shop, within feet of each other, which Starbucks’ licensing allows. The standalone store has since closed, while the kiosk in Stop & Shop remains, but there are two more Starbucks within walking distance on 71st Avenue and in Atlas Park, so the point stands; many in Queens live closer to Vanilla Bean Frappuccinos than they do to a park.

Buzzworthy When a friend of Arthur “Tip” Sempliner asked to move his more than 5,000 bees to his Douglaston home, he thought it was a pretty cool idea. That is, until 67-year-old Sempliner was stung with a $2,000 City fine for not providing water for the bees. According to Sempliner, there is a water dispenser two feet from the hive, but the bees will not drink it because they prefer salt water. Sempliner, who is a cartoonist for a local Queens newspaper,” now has to attend an administrative hearing in lower Manhattan next month. What a buzzkill.

Though not Sempliner’s hive, a home for bees needs water nearby, apparently.

Typically, we don’t expect our borough to be the center of anything citywide – we know that when it comes to movie premieres, red carpet walks and opening night galas, most of the time Queens doesn’t make the invite list. So imagine our surprise when NYC & Co., the City’s official marketing arm, announced a series of promotions “citywide” to usher in the latest incarnation of “The Smurfs,” which was set to come to theaters nationwide July 29. We eagerly checked out the map on the NYC & Co. Web site to see where these blue dudes would be headed in Queens. Would they Papa Smurf paints the town blue romp through Flushing Meadows? in NYC & Co.’s promo. Dine in Forest Hills? Climb to the top of the Queens College clock tower? No. It turns out that “citywide” only means Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn. The smurfs will show up at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the NY Botanical Garden in the Bronx, but Queens – it seems the City has told us to go smurf ourselves. What the smurf is wrong with the smurfs at NYC & Co., who spend all their smurfing time helping promote the most smurfy attractions in the Manhattan, yet can’t be bothered to give a smurf about the people of Queens? We’re blue!

Smurfed Again

Tax Man Tags Rule Hollis has been famous for producing rappers including Run DMC, LL Cool J and Ja Rule. Run DMC were some of the greatest rappers of all time and LL Cool J always appeals to the women. But, Jeffrey Atkins, a.k.a. Ja Rule, keeps finding himself behind bars. On Monday, the multi-platinum artist was sentenced to two years in federal prison for failing to file over $3 million in income Ja Rule came to give out Christmas taxes. This only makes things presents to Queens kids a couple of worse because he is already servyears ago – and without the court ing up to two years in state prison ordering him to. Photo: Ira Cohen for possession of an unregistered semi-automatic firearm in 2007, though he will be able to serve the two sentences concurrently. Who knows, maybe he will continue to make albums from his cell block just as many other rappers have done.

Weiner’s Return? A tale of two coffees.

As disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner fades in the memory of New York’s media, one more conservative Islamic outlet is rehashing the bulge

Confidentially, New York . . .

that was. In the latest edition of Al Qaeda’s emagazine (not that we subscribe to it), “Inspire,” a fake ad “brought to you by A Cold Diss” depicts Weiner sporting that unforgettable snout, sneering before the House of Representatives. The weasley Weiner is placed next to a quote he gave just after Weinergate broke. “This seems like this was a prank to make fun of my name! You know, when you’re named Weiner, that happens a lot!” The fake ad is a poor attempt to get back at Weiner for speaking out against Shaykh Anwar alAwlaki video posts on “the world’s largest bully pulpits,” Youtube. Touché Al Qaeda! Who would have thought the terrorist network had a sense of humor.

July 29 - Aug. 4, 2011 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 19

Southeast Queens Press Epaper  

Southeast Queens Press Epaper 072911

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