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Volume 14 Issue No. 50 Dec. 13-19, 2013



Members of a St. Albans civic group are pushing back against a church looking to build a mixed housing complex on this lot on Farmers Boulevard. By Natalia Kozikowska … Page 3.

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News Briefs Marshall Cuts Ribbon At Event Center

One of Borough President Helen Marshall’s last projects is nearing its completion. The Forum at Queens Borough Hall will be a new event space area adjacent to the Borough’s political headquarters. The $23 million center, which was completely funded by Marshall, will host public events, such as award ceremonies, community meetings and possibly concerts, in the future. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the center on Monday, the outgoing Borough President said Queens Borough Hall will soon have an open space for public hearings and other events just like the borough halls in every other borough currently has. The 11,000-square-foot center has been under construction since January 2012 and is expected to be completed this upcoming February. Marshall had received criticism for the project in the past. During its construction, about 20 cherry trees were cut down, fueling a war of words between Marshall’s office and environmentalists who called for the trees to be replaced. She said, despite past criticism of the project, she went ahead with it because it is what the people of Queens needed and the trees will be replaced.

City Council Approves Ozone Park Rezoning

Ozone Park’s zoning has officially been changed, which will allow new types of businesses to open in the neighborhood. The rezoning, passed by the City Council on Dec. 10, will change about 530 blocks in Ozone Park to reflect the neighborhood’s current building patterns and allow for new development. The rezoning is the second largest

that has taken place in Queens and it is the first time Ozone Park has been rezoned since 1961. It encompasses most of Councilman Eric Ulrich’s (R-Ozone Park) district as well as a small part of Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) district. The rezoning is bounded by Rockaway Boulevard, Atlantic Avenue and 101st Avenue to the north; the Van Wyck Expressway and Lefferts Boulevard to the east; the Belt Parkway to the south; and the Brooklyn borough line to the west. It will change the zoning of a few major corridors within Ozone Park, including Liberty and 101 Avenues and Rockaway Boulevard.

Gregory Meeks Attends Mandela Services

On Dec. 8, Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined the U.S. Congressional Delegation to South Africa for the memorial services of former South African president, Nelson Mandela. “It was inspiring to see over 101 head of states come to memorialize a man who changed the course of history through his dedication focus and sacrifice,” Meeks said in a statement about the services. “To know that if one stands on high moral ground you can have people from all over the world come to salute you and aspire to achieve a more equal world no matter your race, religion, ethnicity or wealth.” “I will always remember Nelson Mandela’s electrifying visit to New York shortly after his release from prison,” he added. “I will always cherish having met Nelson Mandela on several occasions — especially the laughter, stories, and insight he shared with me and other members of a congressional delegation during a wonderful lunch at his home.”

Dec. 13-19, 2013 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 3


Civic Vocalizes Opposition To Church Project The St. Albans Civic Association stood their ground at last week’s Queens Borough Board meeting, vocalizing its opposition and concerns regarding four variances applied for by the St. Albans Presbyterian Church to build a mixed-housing complex on Farmers Boulevard. Last week, The Press reported on the Civic’s outrage with the church’s proposal, which aimed to approve variances pertaining to the floor-area ratio, height, dwelling units and parking required for the fixed income building. At November’s Community Board 12 meeting, board members reluctantly approved the variances with 19 votes in support of, nine votes against and eight abstainers. But members of the St. Albans Civic said they were unaware of the proposal and were upset they did not have any input. Bernard Harrigen, president of the Civic, said that the group was not notified of the proposals and felt insulted that the church did not reach out for feedback, especially considering they organized a trash cleanup at the property earlier this year. “We cleaned up that place and it seems very disrespectful to the Civic when we are familiar with the property, we have done things with the property, and no one took the time out to ask us what our thoughts were,” Harrigen said. “We are the homeowners in the area and we should be given an opportunity to respond.” The Civic’s members, who said they learned of the variances only after reading The Press, only had a week to try and garner support

Photo by Ira Cohen


Similarly, Platnik claimed that Trinity needed a variance pertaining to the floorarea-ratio [FAR]. The zoning of the property only permits for 44,000-square feet whereas the developer is seeking approval to build 64,000-squarefeet for the unit. The last variance, a parking variance, aims to reduce the number of required parking spaces for the housing complex. The property’s current zoning requires Trinity to construct a minimum of 62 parking St. Albans Presbyterian Church is looking to construct a new mixed-housing complex on Farmers spaces but the group Boulevard, but members of St. Albans Civic Association are doing everything in their power to asked for permission make sure it does not happen. to reduce parking to 23 spaces. before Queens Borough President that magnitude can not be sustained CB12 found the parking variance Helen Marshall made her recom- by their resources.” to be the most troubling, with many According to Eric Palatnik, a expressing concern that the lack of mendation for the project. Still, the group was able to collect the signa- spokesperson for Trinity, the partner- parking will further congest Farmers tures of 97 potentially affected resi- ing development group, the proposed Boulevard. dents that were in opposition to the mixed-income housing complex will Platnik tried to reassure board contain 67 apartments – 32 one- members that the reduced parking proposal. “They [the church] were a little bedroom units and 35 two-bedroom variance will not gravely impact the taken back. They did not expect us units. number of parking spaces available At November’s CB12 meeting, on Farmers Boulevard. He claimed to be at Queens Borough Hall,” said Sharon Johnson, first vice president Palatnik explained that in order to that Trinity hired a traffic consultant of the Civic. “There were at least 10 meet the requirements by the State, to go and study the area and that the of us that spoke against it. In a mat- they would need to construct a five- consultant determined impact will be ter of a few days, we got about 100 story building, which is not compli- minimal. signatures and we brought the letters ant with the property’s current R3A But the St. Albans Civic did not zoning. In order to be profitable buy it and Johnson, who lives three with us.” “We stood our ground and we enough to gain the State’s financial doors down from the proposed site, challenged them,” she added. “They support, he argued, Trinity will need did not believe a traffic consultant are going to have a big show at the to construct a building that is 55 feet could ever make that determinaCity’s meeting because we are all on tall – 20 feet taller than the permit- tion. the same page – a development of ted 35 for the zoning. Since the Borough Hall meeting, the St. Albans Presbyterian Church leadership has agreed to sit down with Civic members to discuss their plans. “Ms. Marshall suggested we all Laboz did not return requests for Petra Capital Management, a pricomment, but multiple reports indi- vate investment management firm speak and they agreed,” Johnson cate that H&M is just one of many that filed for bankruptcy protection said. “I’m not even sure what the purpose of the meeting will be because in 2010. prospective tenants. Although the rumor could not they seem cocky this is a done deal. I But United American Land has a history with H&M. In July of be confirmed by Nicole Christie, a don’t want to fight but this is going to 2012, Laboz and his brother Al- spokesperson for H&M, a 2012 re- be a fight. We have to let them know bert Laboz, collaborated with the port claimed that United American the St. Albans residents are fighting brand to build a store along Ful- Land wanted the property to be re- for their survival and they’re fighting ton Street in Downtown Brooklyn. developed and leased to a “big box to maintain a quality of life. We are going to rise up.” United American Land purchased retailer.” The St. Albans Presbyterian As of now, there is only one H&M the Brooklyn property for $12 milstore in Queens, at the Queens Cen- Church has not returned request for lion in 2005. comment as of press time. In August, United American ter Mall, in Elmhurst. Reach Reporter Natalia KozikowsReach Reporter Natalia KozikowsLand similarly purchased the 56,000-square-foot Jamaica Avenue ka at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or ka at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or or property for $14 million. The devel- or @nkozikowska. opers purchased the building from @nkozikowska.

H&M May Come To Jamaica Avenue BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA Last week, reports surfaced that the Swedish retail store H&M has been eying a vacant property along the bustling commercial strip of Jamaica Avenue. The retail frontage, located at 160-08 Jamaica Ave., is owned Jason Laboz of the development group United American Land. The space has been sitting vacant for more than 20 years and was once a furniture store. According to the reports, the retail mega giant has already sent a letter of intent for the building, which is currently undergoing renovations.

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Walcott Looks Back On Chancellor Term Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott swung by a Queens school to talk about the strides the public school system has taken in the last few years with him in charge. Walcott visited classrooms and met with students at the Queens Gateway to Health Sciences Secondary School in Hollis on Wednesday, Dec. 11, as part of his last planned trip to Queens as Chancellor. After his tour, he stopped to talk about the state of Queens schools and responded to criticisms that have plagued the Dept. of Education. It was his second stop of the day in Queens, having gone to the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts earlier that morning. The trip took place in Walcott’s own backyard, as the Chancellor is a lifelong resident of Southeast Queens, having attended PS 36 in St. Albans, IS 192 in Jamaica and Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows. Accompanied by Principal Judy Henry, the Chancellor stopped to chat with several students about their studies, what organizations they are involved in and for seniors, where they plan to attend college.

When members of the school’s Senior Council and Student Government asked Walcott what his future plans were, he said he was not sure. As he left, Walcott mentioned that he was proud of the students’ dedication and hard work. “This is one of the many great schools not just in the borough of Queens, but throughout the City,” he said. “City- Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott met with students during a visit to the Queens Gatewide, over the last 11 way to Health Sciences Secondary School in Hollis on Dec. 11. and a half years, I think The Chancellor used Martin Van we’ve constructed roughly 165,000 dressing overcrowding. Another issue that has been wide- Buren High School as an example of new classroom seats. Queens has had a significant bulk of those spread throughout Queens and the a recent co-location that was done City is the public reaction to school to relieve overcrowding in northseats.” Many of those seats have been closures and co-locations, with some east Queens and give both schools a added to help relieve overcrowding in parents and community leaders feel- boost. “[Van Buren] has a new principal Queens, but some districts still need ing that the schools being closed help. Walcott touched on areas like should have had more support from and I think he’s wonderful but there District 24 and District 30 that need the DOE. Walcott argued that co- was also space availability there. I more classrooms and said that the locations help to maximize the use think the sharing of space there will DOE is always looking for new sites of space and said failing schools are benefit both schools and hopefully to build schools. The DOE has pro- given a lot of attention before they relieve some of the overcrowding in the northern tier of Queens,” he posed a $12 billion, five-year capital are closed. “We don’t take phase outs lightly, said. plan that should be adopted by the Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at new City Council in June. The Chan- but I still think it’s a necessary step cellor said “a significant portion” of for schools that aren’t meeting the (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@, or @Joey788. that amount will be dedicated to ad- muster,” he said. Photo by Ira Cohen


Dec. 13-19, 2013 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 5

Carwasheros in Queens are unionizing By Trisha sakhuja The carwasheros of Queens have led the charge through the WASH NY campaign by exposing abuse on the job, demanding respect, safe working conditions and decent wages. In the past few months, Jomar Car Wash of Flushing and Sutphin Car Wash of Jamaica have ratified a three-year contract to unionize with the RWDSU. Their contract includes a series of raises, a set schedule with a minimum of 40 hours a week, a paid 30-minute break, bonuses on the major holidays and five paid days off. With the help of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Make the Road New York and New York Communities for Change, the WASH NY campaign, which launched in March 2012, has gained a lot of momentum by organizing protests, filing lawsuits against car washes and winning six National Labor Relations Board car wash elections to unionize throughout the City. To further this fight, the City Council’s Committee on Civil Service and Labor held a hearing on Dec. 12 to urge the City to pass the Car Wash Accountability Act of

one-year licensing, ownership transparency, environmental regulations and other rules over an industry which, advocates say, may be engaging in environmentally problematic practices, and failing to protect consumer rights. Valerio said more carwasheros are recognizing the need to unionize, beCouncilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito stood with cause before the WASH elected officials, workers and advocates to urge the NY campaign began, wage theft ran rampant, City to pass the Car Wash accountability act. there were fewer protections and workers were 2012, sponsored by Councilwoman at the mercy of their employers. Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhat“Since we started the campaign tan). we’ve seen some small, but drastic Rocio Valerio, a WASH NY cam- changes in the industry,” Valerio paign coordinator, said the car wash said. “Now workers are reporting industry is one of the most unregu- their tips are no longer shared with lated industries in the City. She said management.” being a carwashero is one of the Carwasheros at Hi-Tek Car Wash hardest jobs, since workers usually and Lube in Astoria were the first to work 12-hour shifts, while only mak- unionize on the east coast in Sept. ing $5.50 an hour. 2012. “The Car Wash Accountability Omar Gomez, a Colombian native Act is designed to not only protect and oil change worker at Hi-Tek Car workers, but also look out for our Wash and Lube for 23 years, said he communities,” Valerio said. is happy that the union has signed a The proposed act would mandate contract with his employer because

it guarantees a higher salary and respect for workers. “I have been working here for a long time, and it fills me with satisfaction to know that the workers who come after me will have a union contract guaranteeing them a better quality of life,” Gomez said. Federico Rosales, a native of Mexico and a carwashero at Jomar Car Wash, said he has worked at the car wash for 10 years, where he makes $6.15 an hour, plus tips. “It is hard to survive on such a low salary because I have to support my family here and I also send money to my sick mother,” he said. After the contract-mandated raise and State minimum wage hike goes into effect on Jan. 1, he will make $8.46 an hour. “I am very happy to have won this election because I know it’s the only way we are going to achieve a workplace where we are treated with respect,” Rosales said. Valerio said even though they have made small strides in their fight to bring justice to all of the carwasheros in the City, many workers are still left with very limited protections at their job. Reach Reporter Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, tsakhuja@, or @Tsakhuja13.

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Page 6 PRESS of Southeast Queens Dec. 13-19, 2013

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

Steven J. Ferrari Contributing Editor:

Marcia Moxam Comrie Production Manager:

Shiek Mohamed Queens Today Editor

Regina Vogel Photo Editor: Ira Cohen

Reporters: Natalia Kozikowska Joe Marvilli Luis Gronda Trisha Sakhuja

Art Dept:

Rhonda Leefoon Lianne Procanyn Barbara Townsend Maureen Coppola Advertising Director Alan Goldsher Director of Marketing Advertising Executives Merlene Carnegie Shari Strongin Brenda Jones

A Queens Tribune Publication © Copyright 2013 Tribco, LLC

Michael Nussbaum Publisher Ria McPherson Comptroller

Editorial New Future For Education Needed Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott may have made his last official visit to Queens schools this week, as we wait to find out who Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will appoint as his chief education official. It was good to see a Queens native lead the Dept. of Education over the last two-and-a-half years, but we wish Walcott’s time as Chancellor would have been marked with more educational successes and less controversy over test scores and school closures. Whatever intentions Walcott had when he took the position in 2011, his time in the role is undeniably tied to the wildly unpopular educational policies of the Bloomberg administration’s last four years. We credit the Mayor for taking on the responsibilities of overseeing the City’s education system, something no Mayor before him wanted to do. During his first eight years, Bloomberg sought to reform the education system, expand technology in the classroom and improve the learning experience for students. However, his last four years have been disastrous. Over the last few weeks, we have expressed a wishlist for our incoming electeds. On top of that list is a desire for wide-reaching education reforms. Instead of trying to close struggling schools, the City needs to find ways to help those schools achieve greater heights. Instead of creating a culture of inequality by co-locating more resource-rich schools into one with significantly less, we should find ways to provide the latest technologies and textbooks to all students. We hope that whoever the Mayor-elect selects as his new schools chancellor eschews the positions of the past 12 years and finds ways to raise the standards of the City’s educational system to new heights.

Letters Education Inflation

To The Editor: Mayor Bloomberg claims that our educational system has made “incredible progress” under his reforms. His evidence is the increase in the graduation rate. Many people blast this graduation rate as due to “diploma inflation” but you continue to be a hawk on these phony “reforms.” After all these years, can’t you admit that there’s another side to the story? This “inflation” effect, codenamed the Michelin Factor after the car tire mascot, may be an example of the “defensive education” that principals and teachers are forced to practice to protect their careers and save their schools. They are under pressure from the Dept. of Education to “look good” and that’s defined almost entirely by the smudged face of marketable statistics. The DOE is far more concerned about a school’s Progress Report than it is about legitimate achievement, no matter how miraculous. They’d prefer a higher graduation rate with lower actual achievement to a slightly lower graduation rate with vastly superior academic results. Educators may subconsciously inflate grades to be left

in peace by their supervisors. It’s only natural and not a failure of integrity. It’s called the survival instinct. They’d rather their futures travel on smooth pavement than bumpy road. The DOE craves illusions that give them credibility and they’ve served notice on the education community that it had better give them what they want or else. When the propaganda sunsets, the whole truth will see the light of day. Ron Isaac, Fresh Meadows

School Selection Deplorable

To The Editor: I have been a satisfied customer of Keil Bros., for many years and will miss its friendly and competent service. It should come as no surprise given the Bloomberg Administration’s long standing contempt for the small businessman. The people of this city should make it clear to all councilmembers who supported this deplorable act, that it will be an election issue in any future elective office they seek. Benjamin M. Haber, Flushing

Churchill, Stalin, FDR They Are Not, But That’s OK A Personal Perspective By MARCIA MOXAM COMRIE “Selfie-Gate.” That’s what they are calling the self-portrait seen ’round the world with President Barack Obama and the British and Danish prime ministers at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service earlier this week. It seems the idea to take a cell phone photo originated with Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the Danish leader, as she’s the one holding the camera phone with her male counterparts, Obama and David Cameron of Great Britain leaning in. Obama, with his longer arms, seems to be helping her out with it too. Many Americans were quick to condemn President Obama for being “inappropriate” at the South African icon’s funeral and it does not help his case that First Lady Michelle Obama seems to be scowling on the periphery. But we may never see what the camera phone cap-

tured. According to ThorningSchmidt, the “selfie” did not turn out as well as the picture of them taking it, so she won’t be posting it. But I have to say, knowing the story behind the selfie moment makes all the difference. As it turns out, the photographer who captured the three capturing themselves has explained it was a light moment during the service. People were celebrating the former South African prisoner and president’s life with music and dancing and the three photogenic leaders were just waiting for things to get somber again. He also says the First Lady had been chatting and smiling just prior to the shot. The photographer said he thought it was a lovely moment that showed these three world leaders being completely human. Good for him for defending them and good for him for giving us a great image that will be part of the Mandela memorial archives and part of his-

tory. Every photograph of an American president is game for history. In fact, there’s a picture of President Kennedy holding one of Caroline’s stuffed animals as he exits a room with two other important-looking men, while the child skips ahead of them. Not only does the Obama/ Cameron/Thorning-Schmidt photo show three current leaders, we have to remember that these are people who are hip to modern technology. In fact, one (Obama) at 50 is a member of the last wave of the Baby Boom generation and two (Cameron, 48 and ThorningSchmidt, 45) are Gen-Xers. They carry devices that the rest of the world does and they are going to use them. No, none of us can imagine that Churchill, Stalin and FDR would have been doing a selfportrait even if they had the technology, but theirs was a generation that had been tested far more seriously than the late Boomers and Gen X-ers who

have not gone to war will ever be, it seems. Was that the brightest thing they could have done? No. But it was a moment in time that one of them wanted to capture for posterity and that’s fine. What’s more important in that moment is that they were there to honor a great human being who brought his nation into the light and that his message was about forgiveness and reconciliation. That is a message that goes even deeper than politics and sociology. It is downright biblical. May Nelson Mandela’s gentle soul rest in peace and may we long remember the lessons he taught us. As for the three leaders caught mid-self-portrait, may they incorporate some of Mandela’s humility and wisdom into their own leadership roles. And going forward, may we never have anything any more serious than this to criticize them for as they serve out the rest of their terms.

Dec. 13-19, 2013 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 7

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“Setting The Standard” For Comptroller

From City Councilman to City Comptroller, John Liu, the first Asian American elected to a citywide office, has established himself as a political force in New York, and has made headlines for reasons good, bad and everywhere in between. Last week, Liu sat down with the PRESS editorial staff to discuss the many ups and downs of his political career and concluded that while he may have encountered his fair share of setbacks, he does not feel his legacy has been tarnished by the negatives. Liu, who was sworn in as City Comptroller in 2010, said he was incredibly satisfied with the way he did his job – particularly fond of being able to “raise the bar” in standards set forth for the citywide position. “We have saved $5 billion from vigorous audits, careful contract scrutiny and also refinancing outstanding debt,” Liu said. He highlighted his work on the 2011 CityTime corruption scandal, in which a City-employed contractor responsible for creating a payroll system had stolen tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money. “CityTime was certainly a highlight. It was an exercise of careful contract scrutiny and audit. Careful contract scrutiny saved about $200 million that would have otherwise been spent in additional contracts, which I did not allow,” Liu said. “CityTime was a highlight not just for the City, but really of historic proportions nationally.”

Council Or Comptroller

But before Liu served as the City’s chief fiscal officer and auditor officer, he served two terms in the City

Council, from 2002 to 2010, representing District 20 in Queens. Having experiences working both in local office and citywide office, he compared the two distinct roles. “Obviously, the Comptroller’s office has a great deal more power and authority – you can do a lot more things and you have a much larger budget, whereas in City Council, the office is much smaller and you have many people that demand things of you as a Councilmember,” he said. “That demand is often much more direct, upfront, close and personal.” “I find it impossible to say whether being Comptroller is harder or City Councilman is harder. But both of them have been thoroughly enjoyable,” he added. In both his elected roles, a number of media outlets have reported on Liu’s hectic schedule. Many acknowledge that before and during his mayoral campaign, he attended more events, press conferences and parties than any other candidate. His drive to be so active and involved with the community, he said, was out of pure choice and passion for what he does. “I don’t work at all. This is not work. That to me has always been a perk of being in office,” he said. “Work is, as I often say, my mom spending 15 to 16 hours in a sweat shop and having no choice but to do that to survive. I don’t have to do any of this. It’s out of choice.”

Watching Flushing Blossom

Being able to witness the incredible economic progress of Flushing over the course of a decade has been rewarding for the former Councilman, who has a soft spot for the neighborhood he still calls home. “I continue to marvel at what hap-

Photo by Luis Gronda

John Liu Reflects On Time In Office

Comptroller John Liu discussed a variety of issues with the PRESS editorial board last week. pens in my hometown of Flushing,” he said. “If you look at Flushing, it’s been as recession-proof as any place could be. Even in the worst of the recession, there was still a lot of activity – buildings going up, new businesses opening.” Liu acknowledged that not all businesses survived, but overall, the economy in Flushing remained strong. “You don’t see a lot of open space and empty storefronts in Flushing,” he added. “It is the vitality of a neighborhood like Flushing that should be exampled for the rest of the City to follow.”

Elephant In The Room

A business card from John Liu’s first City Council campaign in 1997.

In discussing his bid for mayor earlier this year, it was difficult for Liu to avoid the elephant in the room. Liu, who said he is proud of the campaign he ran, was open with his feelings about the investigation, the negative media coverage and his denial of matching funds from the City. “In the summer of 2011 my theo-

retical campaign for mayor was rocking and rolling. Poll numbers were sky high, fundraising was coming in the door [and] people were banging on the door to get on the 2013 bandwagon,” he said. “And then, for whatever reason, two months later all hell broke loose – first with this New York Times front page story that talked about how I’ve got this fake donor scheme going on in my campaign.” “Not one of those examples [cited by the Times] were ever validated, even though the Federal Investigation was looking for anything they could possibly get,” a frustrated Liu added. “Every time I see those New York Times reporters, I look them in the eye and say, ‘hey, hey, where are those fake donors?’” Liu similarly criticized the City’s repeated failed attempts to catch him committing a crime even after wiretaping his phone for more than a year, leading investigators to plan a sting operation. (continued on pg 9)

Dec. 13-19, 2013 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 9

Queens Leaders Discuss John Liu’s Service BY JOE MARVILLI From the City Council to the Comptroller’s Office, John Liu has had an impact on not just Flushing or Queens, but New York City as a whole. During his time in public office, Liu has influenced many of Queens’ community leaders and elected officials, some directly and some through his actions. As he wraps up his time as Comptroller, some of these individuals looked back on the job he has done and how he has changed Flushing and the City for the better. One of the biggest impacts Liu has had in Flushing was his work in spearheading the creation of the Flushing Business Improvement District. The BID’s executive director, Dian Yu, thought Liu did a “fantastic” job as Comptroller, and that he changed the face of Flushing with his successful push to create a BID in the neighborhood. “I think he played the crucial role in forming the Flushing BID. He was the one who strongly pushed for it,” Yu said. “He had a vision of what the BID could be. The community will be forever indebted to him for what he did.”

Councilman Peter Koo that Liu’s continued (D-Flushing) took over the awareness of social isseat that Liu held in District sues helped make him a 20, before he became Compgood Comptroller. troller. Since they first met, “Although his main Koo said he has seen Liu as role as Comptroller was a dedicated and energetic to be the City’s fiscal man who did his best to help manager, he also worked his community. on social issues that are “His passion for Flushimportant to everyday ing and for New York City people,” she said. “I in general was incompara- John Liu has made a lot of friends within the Flushing com- hope that one day he ble to any dedication I had munity, the area he represented in the City Council. returns to government seen in the past. His love where his talent for pubfor his community only grew as he downtown Flushing. Kim said that lic service can be put to good use.” served the community, and then, the Liu’s determination and dedication Christopher Kui, the executive dito helping the community has not rector of Asian Americans for EqualCity,” Koo said. The councilman also praised Liu’s wavered at all during his career. ity, applauded Liu for his role as an “When I first met him as an in- Asian-American leader in a citywide work as Comptroller, giving him top marks for his work in saving the City tern back in 2002, I found him to be position, as well as for his work in extremely passionate and tenacious bringing together diverse communimoney. “Liu has done a wonderful job as toward his work,” Kim said. “As ties to create change. Comptroller, and if I had to review Comptroller, he brought the same “Through my time working on his work personally, I would only be type of hard work ethics as when he the [transportation] committee, he’s able to give him the highest grade was a councilmember. He was visible been a great mentor and advisor to possible,” he said. “His influential in every single community. He truly me in quality of life and transportawork in shutting down the CityTime reflected the voice of the outer bor- tion issues for downtown Flushing,” program has saved the City millions ough communities.” Kui said. “John was a trailblazer not One of Liu’s longtime supporters only for the Asian-American commuof dollars over the past few years.” Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flush- has been State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D- nity, but the entire City.” ing) got his start in public service Flushing), who first met him when he Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357in then-Councilman Liu’s office, was president of the North Flushing 7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstriworking on quality of life issues in Civic Association. The senator said, or @Joey788.

(continued from pg 8) “Instead of wrapping up the investigations at a time when I was doing very well in a hypothetical mayoral election, they instead conducted a sting operation that successfully got my campaign to accept illegal contributions, because we had every reason to believe they were legitimate,” he said. “But that kind of sting operation – we would have had the same result had they conducted it with any other campaign in the City,” he argued. Even after the highly-publicized scandal, Liu does not believe that his reputation as a strong and proven leader will be tainted. “I don’t see any taint at all. It’s been how many years now. I have continued to say – ‘put up or shut up,’” he said. “I have never questioned why they started an investigation in the first place. If any law enforcement agency thinks that anything is going on – go ahead, look. And look they did and for two years intensively – they’ve found nothing.” While Liu believes the investigation and arrests of two of his campaign workers may have hurt his poll numbers, he said the thing that hurt

him the most in his bid for mayor was being denied matching funds. “It was politically motivated, because that happened at the apex of the presumed mayoral campaign,” he claimed. “At the end of the day, it wasn’t even the investigation that harmed me the most. Even after the verdicts of two people connected with my campaign, they were found guilty and even then, I still racked up more endorsements then anyone else.” “The Campaign Finance Board made this ridiculous decision to yank three-and-a-half million from my campaign,” he continued. “I challenge you to go on their website and read the reasons why they denied me threeand-a-half million dollars – ‘because of possible’, ‘because this suggested’, ‘the potential’ – I mean if you have something, say what you got!” Being denied $3.53 million in funds, Liu said, resulted in a playing field that was not leveled. “I wasn’t able to get my message out because everybody else had millions of dollars for commercials – and I didn’t have a single commercial up. I couldn’t do any of it,” he said. “My whole campaign was flushed down the toilet because of the three-and-ahalf million dollars.”

Photo by Ira Cohen

John Liu Reflects

Liu has been a frequent guest at parades, in schools and to various civic organizations, not just in Queens, but throughout the City. He said having the opportunity to make these visits was one of the best parts of his job.

Looking To The Future

With Scott Stringer being sworn in as New York City’s next Comptroller on Jan. 1, Liu said he is already looking forward to his future, although he is not sure what his future will entail. “I have not decided [what I will do when I leave office]. My wife and I haven’t been able to take time off,” he said. “I’ve spent most of my career in the private sector but going forward, no matter what my job it is that I draw my paycheck from, I’m going to be very much involved with

what’s happening in Queens and what’s happening in the City.” He said he hopes to have a new job by Jan. 1 and said he is not ruling out any of his options. “I’m not exactly keen on appointed office. I’m not ruling anything out and the options are there, but I don’t think people have to be in government their whole lives,” he said. “You can certainly make an impact from outside of government.” Reach Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or or @nkozikowska.

Page 10 PRESS of Southeast Queens Dec. 13-19, 2013

Holiday Greetings from The PRESS’s Friends and Family

Dec. 13-19, 2013 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 11



Stop in this December for

$20 BBQ Combo for 2.

“Thick, sweet and spicy!” Tomatoes and molasses, with a shot of aged bourbon.


Page 12 PRESS of Southeast Queens Dec. 13-19, 2013

Dec. 13-19, 2013 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 13

Police Blotter 102nd Precinct


The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance identifying an individual wanted in connection to a homicide that occurred at 3:40 p.m. Dec. 4. Police responded to a 911 call of an unconscious male inside of 10808 Jamaica Ave., Richmond Hill, with trauma to his head. The man, identified as Noel Hidalgo, 58, of Richmond Hill, was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS.

107th Precinct

Attempted Bank Robbery

The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance with the whereabouts and identity of the following individual wanted in connection with a bank robbery that occurred 10 a.m. on Nov. 27. According to a police report, a male walked in to a Bank of America, located at 175-57 Hillside Ave. The suspect then approached the teller and passed a demand note. The teller walked away from the suspect, who then fled the scene without any cash. The suspect is described as a Black male in his 30s, approximately 5-foot-8 and 160 lbs. He was last seen wearing a black hooded jacket and black jeans.

Police are looking for information on this individual, wanted in connection to an attempted bank robbery in the 107th Precinct. able to flee from the vehicle. The victim and the suspect are known to each other. Wu Lin is described as being 5-foot-7, weighing 140 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes.

109th Precinct

Sexual Assault

Police are looking for information on this individual, wanted for questioning in regards to a homicide within the 102nd Precinct.

110th Precinct

Police are asking the public’s assistance in locating Wu Lin, 35, wanted for a rape that occurred at approximately 10 p.m. Dec. 4 inside a vehicle parked at Kissena Park. The suspect was inside the vehicle with the victim, a 31-year-old female, when he assaulted her, burned her hair and clothing, and sexually assaulted her. The victim was finally

Forcible Touching

The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance identifying and locating the following suspect wanted in connection with a forcible touching incident. At 1:10 p.m. on Dec. 3, onboard a south-bound E train in the vicinity of Roosevelt Avenue, the male suspect

Police are looking for this individual, wanted in connection to a rape in the 109th Precinct. approached a 33-year-old female and forcibly touched her. No other injuries were reported at this incident.

114th Precinct


The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance identifying and locating the following suspect wanted in connection with a commercial burglary within the confines of the 114th Precinct. At 4 a.m. on Nov. 24, the male suspect entered the Venzini Clothing Store at 30-64 Steinway St., Astoria, and fled with approximately $5,000.

Borough Beat BY JOE MARVILLI The New York Cardiac Health Center is run by a team of heart specialists who work around the clock to keep tabs on those who use the facilities. In recent years, the patients have started giving back. The Fresh Meadows health center, located at 174-03 Horace Harding Expy., is home to a group of patients who call themselves the Tuesday Tigers. During the holiday season, this assembly takes up a money collection to give en masse to the staff that makes sure their every need is taken care of. “Everybody here is a heart patient. All the staff are heart-trained specialists,” Berge Kayaian, the founder of Tuesday Tigers, said. “These people are on the ball. Professionally, they’re very, very good. Once in a while, something serious happens, and you should see them jump into action.” With a hospital only two miles away, the center’s staff is able to quickly take care of any emergencies that come up with its patients. However, most of the time, the patients

do not regularly interact with this portion of the team. Kayaian came up with the idea of a collection about five years ago. Around Christmas, he noticed some members of the cardiac center were giving gifts in envelopes to the staff members who work by the desk. He thought that it would be a good idea to put together a gift for the entire staff, so that way those who work hard behind the scenes get rewarded for their work as well. “The money goes to the entire staff because they all work for us,” he said. “It caught hold. Now, we’ve been doing this every year and every year, we have beaten the year before.” The collection program generally starts around the end of November or early December. Besides the money envelope that is given, the contributing members also write messages on a card for the staff. There is no set amount to give, with Kayaian saying that everyone does what is in their heart to do. Since the collections started, the patients at the cardiac center have turned into a group called the Tuesday Tigers, a name Kayaian created. They even

Photo by Ira Cohen

Local Group Gives Back To Hospital Staff

The Tuesday Tigers, who exercise at the New York Cardiac Health Center, take up a collection for the center’s staff each year.

made their own T-shirts, with a tiger’s roaring face coming out of a heart. They have more than 50 shirts so far. “So I got their attention and said what do you think about us making T-shirts as the Tuesday Tigers? They all laughed and all their hands went up,” Kayaian said. “It’s a funny thing. They enjoyed it. It was something they could hang their hats onto.” The Tuesday Tigers have now become a close-knit crew that does oth-

er activities together aside from their exercise programs at the Cardiac Center. They will chip in on lottery tickets and put together pools for the World Series and Super Bowl. “It’s the togetherness. It’s the ambiance that’s in here,” Kayaian said. “We all laugh. We have fun. The underlying denominator of this whole thing is fun.” Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@, or @Joey788.

Page 14 PRESS of Southeast Queens Dec. 13-19, 2013


Comic Features Food, Fun And Fitness Multi-talented Beechhurst artist Stan Goldberg recently lent his talents to the creation of “Discovery Kidz Learn About Wellness” an educational comic book to teach kids about healthy food and fitness. Goldberg’s accomplished career includes decades of drawing countless popular comic books featuring world-famous teenagers Archie, Betty, Veronica and their friends, for Archie Comics; along with countless cartoons, comic strips, illustrations and other types of artwork. The “Discovery Kidz” are six lively children: 11-year-old Brandi, 10-yearold girls Ana and Angela, 10-year old Tony, Brandi’s eight-year-old brother Kevin and nine-year-old Leon. As they prepare for a party and a race, have a scavenger hunt, shop for food and prepare it, the multi-ethnic group (and the reader) learns about choosing healthy food, exercising and the importance of reading food labels. “The Discovery Kidz book is the first one to feature these children,” Goldberg said. “I did other public

Stan Goldberg service comic books using the Archie Comics characters for groups like Big Brothers & Big Sisters.” Exercise advice, easy recipes and fun cartoon activities are included between the stories, which were written by John Wilcox, who worked with Stan Goldberg when the two wrote and illustrated an Archie comic book series entitled “Riverdale High,” later creating a special comic book with a

LIC Flea Is Back For The holidays By TRIShA SAkhujA The Long Island City Flea and Food is back after a successful summer run, to feature a holiday market with more than 75 vendors. The market’s kickoff took place on Dec. 7 and it will continue to operate on Dec. 14-15 and Dec. 2122, starting from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership, one of the many partners of the LIC Flea, said this summer the LIC Flea was a huge attraction and an asset for the neighborhood. “We are delighted to be part of extending its season to brighten our winter,” she said. Shoppers can enjoy various vendors offering handcrafted jewelry, skincare and fashion items. Vintage items including clothing, furnishing, and home and holiday décor will be available, plus art work by painters and photographers. Several new vendors who will meet everyone’s holiday shopping requirements will also take part in the market. Fresh Christmas trees and wreaths will also be sold at the holiday market.

Some vendors will offer food and the market will play live holiday music, including the Dandy Wellington Band. Free pictures with Santa Claus from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., plus activities like ping pong, to autograph signings and soccer activities with the 2013 North American Soccer League Champions, New York Cosmos soccer club, will be available. Other activities include a bowling lane provided by JIB lanes, a neon lights show and a Hologram Art Exhibit. The market is located at 5-25 46th Ave., in a warehouse connected to the Flea’s outdoor lot, which is one block behind the Pepsi-Cola sign. It is walking distance from the No. 7, E and G trains, as well as the LIC East River Ferry stop and a parking garage is located on 5th Street. From small artisan businesses to more established, all are welcome to apply at For more information, visit Reach Reporter Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, tsakhuja@, or @Tsakhuja13.

plot about avoiding bullies. “My goal was to keep the stories positive and keep them moving,” Wilcox said. “I know all about how ten-yearolds talk from talking with my nieces and nephews.” Thanks to Goldberg’s artistic expertise, each child displays a unique way of walking and moving to match each one’s unique personality. For instance, Brandi is the organizer, Kevin is enthusiastic, and Leon is helpful in the kitchen, fantasizing about a future as a chef. “Wellness” was funded by a grant. Thousands of copies have been distributed in other states and in upstate New York. For more information, go to - Barbara Arnstein

Red Storm Score 104 In Victory Over Fordham The Holiday Festival has given fans memorable moments since its inception in 1952, and the St. John’s men’s basketball team added another on Saturday, scoring more than 100 points in a game for the first time since 1999. The Red Storm knocked off intracity rival Fordham 104-58, in the 85th meeting between the two teams. St. John’s hit 17 shots in a row at one point, on its way to win number six of the young season. The 46-point margin accounted for the biggest victory in the series dating back to 1909. “I doubt we’ll play a game like this the rest of the year,” said St. John’s Head Coach Steve Lavin after the win. “We were taking turns dominating,” JaKarr Sampson, who made all six of his shots, said. It was the first game of the season at Madison Square Garden for St. John’s, after playing early home games at Carnesecca Arena. “It’s my first time playing at Madison Square Garden,” Orlando Sanchez, who scored a game-high 19 points, said. “It’s everybody’s dream to play here.” It was the third borough St. John’s played in this season, having already played at Carnesecca Arena in Queens and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The old record for margin of victory in the rivalry had been 41, when St. John’s beat the Rams 97-56 in 1978. It was the 64th win for St. John’s against Fordham against 21 losses.

La Salle defeated Stony Brook 6557 in the first game of the Holiday Festival doubleheader, as La Salle Head Coach Dr. John Giannini relished playing at the Garden. “I am a child of the 70s. I have seen Led Zeppelin go through these tunnels over here in their limo, and I thought that was really cool,” the victorious coach said. “Once you get on the court though, they made it nice. It’s not old. It doesn’t feel like the 70s.” The Red Storm will play their next game at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 15 against Syracuse. -David Russell

Dec. 13-19, 2013 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 15

Queens today

FRIDAY 12/13

from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The show will feature more than 150 musicians, members of the Corona Youth Music Projects orchestras, choir and orchestral initiation ensembles. For more information, call (718) 592-9700.



Jazz guitarist and composer Amanda Monaco will perform at Flushing Town Hall at 8 p.m. She will be joined by her quartet, “Formula One,” in this show titled “Carols & Car Races.” They will play original compositions inspired by car racing, as well as some holiday classics. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for students and members. For more information, call (718) 463-7700. Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Blvd.


Gamelan Son of Lion will perform in the theater at the Outpost Gallery in Ridgewood at 8 p.m. The group will play compositions on several percussion instruments like gongs, marimbas and drums. Traditional java and bali will also be played at the show. To finish the show, “The Shadows of Treason” video will be shown. It highlights the story of Benedict Arnold and the American Revolution. The Outpost Gallery is located at 1665 Norman St. in Ridgewood.


The Corona Children’s Orchestra will perform a concert at Queens Museum

Theatre Time Productions will present “Holiday Memories,” a Christmastime musical spectacular at the Colonial Church Of Bayside. Directed by Kevin Vincent and with musical direction by Brett Roelofs, the show will feature seasonal favorites such as “Jingle Bells,” “Silent Night” and “Little Drummer Boy.” Take a free photo with Santa during the intermission. The show takes place at 8 p.m. and will repeat on Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $17 for general admission, $15 for seniors age 65 and over and $10 for children who are 12 years old or younger. The Colonial Church Of Bayside is located at 54-02 217th St. Call (347) 358-8102 or visit for tickets.



Join Flushing Town Hall for a night of Korean traditional folk music at 7 p.m. The Gayakeum Ensemble, led by Master Gayakeumist and composer Gye Ok Kim, will play beloved folk songs such as “Arirang,” “Doraji” and more. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for students and members. For more information, call (718) 4637700. Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Blvd.


The Transportation Alternatives Queens Activist Committee will host a winter wander event, walking along Queens Boulevard, highlighting the dangerous intersection that has concerned area



VALERIE SIMPSON Kupferberg Presents will present Valerie Simpson at LeFrak Concert Hall at 8 p.m. As half of the sensational duo Ashford and Simpson, she wrote songs like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “You’re All I Need to Get By” and “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand.” Tickets for the concert range between $39 and $75. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www. or call (718) 793-8080.

residents in the past. It will begin in Elmhurst and end in Forest Hills. The history of the street along with challenges faced by pedestrians and cyclists. The walk starts at 1 p.m. at the New Life Fellowship Church at 82-10 Queens Blvd.


The Ozone Park Civic Association will host Santa Claus at the Ozone-Howard little league. Children and adults will be able to take a picture with Santa and receive a gift. Please bring a camera if you would like the photo. It will begin at 11 a.m. The little league is located at 97-14 135th Drive in Ozone Park.

thE NIGhtMARE bEfORE chRIStMAS Join the Laughing Devil Comedy Club for classic comedies, day drinking and their brunch menu for $7. The fun runs from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The club is located at 4738 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City.

SUnDAY 12/15 hOLIdAyS AROuNd thE WORLd

The Queens Symphony Orchestra will pay homage to winter and holiday traditions with music from around the world. Taking place at Queens College’s LeFrak Concert Hall at 3 p.m., the concert will feature music from diverse cultural traditions, bound together by the themes of joy, unity, and the winter season. The orchestra will be conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for kids who are 13 years old or younger and 10 for seniors who are 65 and older. For

more information, visit or call (718) 793-8080.


The New York Hall of Science is holding a Little Makers workshop called “Gingerbread Extravaganza,” which will run from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Attendees will get the chance to whip up some gingerbread cookie dough and create the best gingerbread house they can. There is an $8 fee for materials per family, in addition to the cost of general admission. Call (718) 699-0005 for more information.

bOOk tALk

The Central Queens Y will host a discussion between Muslim-Jewish relations at the Forest Hills Jewish Center. Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali co-authored a book on the subject called Sons of Abraham. In the book, they discuss the difference between the two groups and urged both to take steps to find common ground. The discussion will begin at 2 p.m. The Jewish center is located at 106-06 Queens Blvd. Tickets cost $15 in advance and $20 at the doors. For more information, contact the Central Queens Y at (718) 268-5011, ext. 151 or log onto tickets.


Join a beginner’s workshop dedicated to guiding you on a path

to health and happiness, featuring a 30 minute Pilate’s class, 30 minute discussion on health and nutrition tips and 30 minute yoga alignment class at the Astoria Fine Arts Dance Center, located at 38-01 23rd Ave, Astoria. Space is limited so reserve a seat by sending an email to or calling (917)474-8232. Class runs from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is $20 at the door, $15 in advance. For more information, visit www. VIpVaaZf.dpuf


Parents, bring your children five years old and up on Sundays from 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., to the Queens Museum of Art for free art workshops. Children with special needs welcomed, adaptations available. The Family Drop-in Art Workshops is a means to develop art skills through a variety of materials and themes. This program offers fun and educational activities to fuel conversations about art on view. Our programs are accessible to all families, including those whose children have special needs and those for whom English is a new language. All of these elements create a palpably pro-family, personable, and friendly atmosphere. To learn more information, visit www.queensmuseum. org/events/families/artworkshops-for-families.

Page 16 PRESS of Southeast Queens Dec. 13-19, 2013

AmeriCorps needs you for a care-giving respite program called Willing Hearts-Helpful Hands.

Volunteer to help older adults and their families. Make a difference by helping to ease the burdens of family caregivers of older adult loved ones‌ And receive $110 per month for 10 hours per week. You can also earn $1,468 for an educational voucher.

Limited opportunity. Call now.

(718) 289-2100 Ext. 4296

Dec. 13-19, 2013 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 17

Queens Today Section editor: reGinA VoGeL

Send announcements for your club or organization’s events at least TWO weeks in advance to “Queens Today” Editor, Queens Tribune, 150-50 14 Road, Whitestone NY 11357. Send faxes to 357-9417, c/o Regina or email to queenstoday@ Yearly schedules and advanced notices welcome!

tALKS MUSLiM-JeWiSH S u n d ay, d e c e m b e r 1 5 Central Queens Y. 2685011, ext. 151. FiFtY SHAdeS thursday, december 19 “The Cartel” discussed at the Central library at 6:30.

SeniorS Free LeGAL SerVice every other Friday 9-12 at the Pomonok Senior Center. 591-3377. AArP 3334 Monday, december 16 at St. Kevin’s Parish Center in Flushing. 224-0478. deFenSiVe driVinG Monday, december 16 Laurelton and Queens Village library. Register. Line dAncinG tuesday, december 17 at the St. Albans library at 1. BASic coMPUter tuesday, december 17 South Ozone Park library at 11. deFenSiVe driVinG tuesday, december 17 Auburndale and Forest Hills library. Register.

coMPUterS BeGinnerS tuesdays Laurelton and Rosedale library. Register tYPinG LAB Wednesday, december 18 Central library at 4:15. coMPUterS Wednesday, december 18 Windsor Park library at 11:30. oFFice SUite thursday, december 19 Poppenhusen librar y at noon. BeGin coMPUterS thursdays, december 19, 26 Ozone Park library. Register. BeGin coMPUterS thursday, december 19 Rosedale library at 5:45.

teenS & KidS QUeenS LiBrArieS Check local libraries for toddler, pre-school, youth and teen programs. cHeSS cLUB Fridays, December 13, 20, 27 Laurelton library at 3. BooK BUddieS Fridays, December 13, 20, 27 Bayside library at 4. teen HAPPY HoUr Fridays December 13, 20, 27 Flushing library at 4. teen JeWeLrY F r i d a y, D e c e m b e r 1 3 Langston Hughes library. Register. teen AdViSorY Bd Friday, December 13 Laurelton library. Register. JAPAneSe MonSterS Friday, December 13 McGoldrick library at 4. FridAY FUn Fridays, December 13, 20, 27 Sunnyside library at 4:30. HW HeLP Fridays, December 13, 20 Douglaston library at 4. GAMe FridAY Fridays, December 13, 27 Rosedale library at 4. BoArd GAMeS Fridays, December 13, 20 Windsor Park library at 4. Wii FridAYS Fridays, December 13, 20, 27 Hollis library at 5. cHeSS cLUB F r i d a y, D e c e m b e r 1 3 Woodside library at 4. crAFtS Fridays Ozone Park library at 3, Briarwood and East Flushing at 4, Pomonok library at 4:30. StorYtiMe Fridays South Hollis library at 11:15. crAFt cLUB Fr idays Peninsul a and Ozone Park library at 3. GAMe dAY Fridays Queens Village library at 3:30. cHeSS cLUBS Fridays Auburndale library at 3:30 and Windsor Park. Register. Winter FUn Saturday, December 14 Alley Pond Environmental Center. 229-4000. Winter SoLStice Saturday, December 14 Alley Pond Environmental Center. 229-4000. cHeSS cLUB Saturdays Flushing library at 2. HoMeWorK HeLP Saturdays, december 14, 21, 28 Bayside librar y at 10. Pre-Ged cLASSeS Saturday, december 14 Cambria Heights library. Register. PictUre BooK Saturdays, december 14, 21, 28 Ridgewood library at 10:30. KWAnZAA Saturday, december 14 all

day at the Langston Hughes library, starting at 10:30. teen Zone Mondays-Fridays Queens Village library at 3. StorYtiMe Mondays, december 16, 23 Steinway librar y at 10:30. BABY & Me Monday, december 16 Bayside library at 11. MAnGA Monday, december 16 Ridgewood library at 4:30. crAFt tiMe Mondays, december 16, 23 Steinway library at 11. coMPUter HW HeLP Mondays, december 16, 23 Auburndale library at 5:30. Wii GAMeS Mondays and Fridays McGoldrick library at 5:30. teen LAPtoPS tuesdays and Wednesdays Hollis library at 3. LAnYArd cLUB tuesdays, december 17, 31 Richmond Hill library at 4. HW HeLP tuesday, december 17 Douglaston library. Register. KidS ZUMBA tuesday, december 17 Richmond Hill library. Register. crAFtY tUeSdAY tuesday, december 17 Forest Hills library at 3:30. crAFtY AFternoon tuesday, december 17 Glendale library at 4. LeArn to crocHet tuesday, december 17 Rochdale Village library at 5. ArtS & crAFtS tuesdays North Hills library at 2:15. nAtUre KidS tuesdays Sunnyside library at 3 and Woodside library at 4:15. reAdinG For FUn Wednesday, december 18 Laurelton library at 3. crAFtiVitieS Wednesday, december 18 East Flushing library. Register. cHeSS cLUB Wednesday, december 18 Poppenhusen library at 4:30. BoYS’ GroUP Wednesday, december 18 South Hollis library at 4. reAd, SiGn, PLAY Wednesday, december 18 Douglaston library at 1:30. cHeSS cLUB Wednesdays Queens Village library at 3:30. cHeSS cLUB thursdays, december 19, 26 East Flushing library at 4:30. crAFtS thursdays Pomonok library at 4:30.




SeWinG cLUB Fridays, December 13, 20 Central library at 11. KnittinG cLUB Fridays, December 13, 20, 27 Glen Oaks library at 11. KnittinG cLUB F r i d a y, D e c e m b e r 1 3 Queens Village library at 1:30. cHeSS cLUB Fridays, December 13, 20 Woodside library at 4. P-FLAG Sunday, december 15 PFLAG, a support group for parents, families and friends of lesbians and gays meet in Forest Hills. 271-6663. nY cAreS Monday, December 16 meeting to recruit new members at the Forest Hills library at 3. Knit & crocHet Mondays, December 16, 23, 30 Douglaston library at 4. QUiLtinG cLUB Mondays Alley Pond Environmental Center 2:30. $5. 229-4000. ScrABBLe cLUB Tuesdays, December 17, 31 Glen Oaks library at 2 and East Flushing library at 3:30. Knit & crocHet Tuesdays, December 17, 31 Windsor Park library at 2. Se QUeenS cAMerA Tuesdays, December 17, 24 at Roy Wilkins Family Rec. Center. 347-528-7178. AMer. LeGion Tuesday, December 17 American Legion McKee Post 131 meets at 10-20 Clintonville Street, Whitestone. 767-4323. BereAVeMent Tuesday, December 17 Bereavement Support Group at Holy Family in Fresh Meadows 7:30. 969-2448. Knit & crocHet Tuesday, December 17 Steinway library at 5. tALK oF toWn Tuesday, December 17 learn t he ar t of public speaking in St. Albans at 7:15. 640-7092. crAFt cLUB Tuesday, December 17 Broadway library at 12:30. Knit & crocHet Wednesday, December 18 South Ozone Park library at 1. Fdr deMocrAtS Thursday, December 19 FDR Democrats meet at 7:30 at the Chabad Center in Bayside. 460-8285. cdec 26 Thursday, December 19 public meeting at 7. MS67, 51-60 Marathon Parkway, Little Neck. 631-6927. FH VAc Wednesday, december 25 Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corp. 7932055.

cAreGiVerS SUPPort Do you provide care to a family member, friend or neighbor? Could you use some help yourself? 2685960, ext. 226. BP MedS Friday, december 13 managing blood pressure medication. 646-476-1294. SHAPe UP nYc Friday, december 13 Briarwood library at 11:30. SHAPe UP nYc Fridays, december 13, 20, 27 Richmond Hill library at 5:30. ZUMBA Fridays, december 13, 20, 27 Rosedale library at 6. intro YoGA Saturday, december 14 Steinway library. Register. FALL FitneSS Saturdays, december 14, 21, 28 Cambria Heights. 646-476-1294. BLood driVe S u n d ay, d e c e m b e r 1 5 10:30-4:30 Astoria Center of Israel, 27-35 Crescent Street. 278-2680 sign up in advance. SittinG eXerciSe Mondays, december 16, 23, 30 in Cambria Heights. 646-476-1294. ZUMBA Mondays, december 16, 23 Broadway library. ZUMBA Monday, december 16 Rochdale and East Elmhurst library. Register. MetAStAtic BreASt Mondays 1:30-3:00 at Adelphi School of Social Work. 516-877-4314. cHAir YoGA tuesday, december 17 646-476-1294. HeALtH inSUrAnce tuesday, december 17 on-site health insurance 2 Woodside library. ZUMBA tuesday, december 17 Briarwood library at 5:30. ZUMBA Wednesday, december 18 McGoldrick librar y. Register YoGA StretcH Wednesday, december 18 Richmond Hill library at 5:30. GentLe YoGA Wednesday, december 18 Woodside library at 5:45. HeALtH inSUrAnce thursday, december 19 on-site health insurance enrollment at 4 at the Jackson Heights library. MedicAre 101 thursday, december 19 646-476-1294. cAreGiVerS SUPPort thursday, december 19 646-476-1294. ZUMBA thursday, december 19 Woodhaven library. Register.

SWinGinG BLUeS F r i d a y, d e c e m b e r 1 3 Queens Village library 5. BroAdWAY nUMBerS Friday, december 13 East Elmhurst library at 7. cHAMBer MUSic Friday, december 13 at LeFrak Hall. 793-8080. KWAnZAA Saturday, december 14 all day starting at 10:30 at the Langston Hughes library. ALAddin Saturday, december 14 Karaoke at t he Movies at Queensborough Communit y College. $5. 6316311. VALerie SiMPSon Saturday, december 14 793-8080. Winter concert Saturday, december 14 Best of Ellington’s Sacred Concerts at Colden Auditorium. 793-8080. MUSic oF PerU Saturday, december 14 Ridgewood library at 2:30. PiAno GreAtS Saturday, december 14 Jackson Heights librar y at 3. cereMonY cAroLS Saturday, december 14 Britten’s Ceremony of Carols with the Forest Hills Choir at Church in the Gardens. 894-2178. StAMP SHoW Sunday, december 15 Bayside Stamp Show at the Ramada Hotel 10-4:30. Free admission and parking. 645-7659. iriSH cHriStMAS S u n d ay, d e c e m b e r 1 5 Flushing library at 2. HoLidAYS Sunday, december 15 at the Lefrak Concert Hall at Queens College. 7938080. SAcred MUSic Sunday, december 15 Sacred Music Society of Our Lady Queen of Mart yrs. 894-2178. $25 general admission, $10 children. GLee cLUB Sunday, december 15 Bayside Men’s Glee club wil present its Winter 2013 concert at 3 at Church on the Hill, 35th Avenue and 168th Street. Tickets at the door. cHriStMAS concert S u n d ay, d e c e m b e r 1 5 at the First Presbyterian Church of Newtown at 8. Free will donation. Queens Blvd. and 54th Avenue. FiLM & tALK Monday, december 16 “Lucky” shown with discussion at the Glen Oaks library at 2. cLASSic MoVie thursday, december 19 “White Christmas.” thursday, december 26 “Bachelor Mother.” Noon at the Central library.

Page 18 PRESS of Southeast Queens Dec. 13-19, 2013


CB12 Chair Has Found Her True Calling BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA Today, Hollis native Adrienne Adams is wrapping up her first year as chairwoman of Community Board 12. But before she found her true calling as a public servant and community leader, she was testing the waters in a number of different fields. Upon graduating from Bayside High School, Adams attended York College for about a year-and-a-half. Although she ultimately decided to “leave the nest” and continue her education at Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga., it was there she developed a passion for psychology. “I wanted to teach psychology to college freshmen because I had a wonderful role model at York College – Dr. Jacqueline Ray,” Adams said. “She was a wonderful role model for me and I loved psychology, so my intention when I graduated was to go on and teach psychology.” But, as fate would have it, Adams’ life took her in a completely different direction, and instead of going into teaching like she had initially hoped, she became a flight attendant. “I was doing that for about five years. Talk about a treacherous, treacherous commute. I would have a 4 a.m. check-in so I would be on the road to get to the airport around 2 or 3 a.m.,” she said. “It was quite a challenge but I enjoyed it a lot and I think that’s where I developed my love for speaking – I did the announcements as a flight attendant.”

Adrienne Adams

Adams went on to pursue a number of other careers after she left Newark Airport. Using her college studies as a foundation, Adams worked with small children in early childhood education and also taught childcare providers “the art of teaching children.” She also tried her hand in corporate America, working for the leading global investment firm Goldman Sachs. Her experience there, she said, really helped her realize her true calling in life. “I had an epiphany four or five years ago. Goldman Sachs was my last corporate experience and it was there I had the epiphany,” she said. “I realized it was time for me to start giving back even more to my community and give at least 90 percent of my time.” Her passion for community ser-

vice, she said, truly began at Spelman College when she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha back in 1983. “Sorority and fraternity work is all about community service. Part of what we do is help our community, so I built the foundation of my community service work through my sorority and I remain active in my sorority to this day,” she said. While at an Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter meeting, Adams discovered that one of her sorority sisters, Adjoa Gzifa, was serving as CB12’s chairperson. Gzifa encouraged Adams to come to a board meeting. “I went and I absolutely fell in love with it – that initial point of governance to the community,” she said. In 2009, under the leadership of the late Councilman Thomas White, she became a member, and since then, a majority of her time is spent in public service, with CB12 as her primary platform. “I try to do what I can do as a public servant,” Adams said. “The need is so great, but the pay off is knowing you can help somebody who needs help.” It was not long before Adams held her first chair position on the community board. Gzifa, knowing of Adams’ education background, appointed her as the chair of the education committee. “She saw something in me that I didn’t see myself,” Adams said. “She saw my love for education and I jumped into local education feet first.” Adams admits that when she first

joined the community board, she had absolutely no intention of becoming chair. But her tremendous success as education chair and her popular committee reports began to catch the attention of residents who urged Adams to run for the position. “I got a lot of encouragement by folks that believed in me – and not necessarily folks in Community Board 12, but people outside of Community Board 12,” she said. “I was quite taken back by that.” And much to her surprise, Adams was selected as CB12’s new chairperson by an overwhelming margin last December. “I love this position. I didn’t know how much I would enjoy it quite frankly. It’s all a learning experience for me, whether I am doing the teaching or whether I am the student, and in this seat, I get to do both,” she said. Although Adams is not entirely too sure what the future will have in store for her, she did admit that running for an elected office is not out of the question. “To be perfectly honest, I have been approached on numerous occasions. I don’t have what I would consider to be the heart and guts of ‘politician,’” she said. “I’m not going to rule it out. I’m going to say that it’s something that may potentially have wings and take flight in the future.” Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or or @nkozikowska.

People The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Simmons is the granddaughter of Sarah Simmons of St. Albans.

Kalah Simmons

Air Force Reserve Airman Kalah Simmons graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The New York Army National Guard has announced the promotion of members in recognition of their capability for additional responsibility and leadership. They include: Norma Vegapacheco of Jamaica, serving with the 187th Signal Company, is promoted to specialist. Carla Jackson of Springfield Gardens, serving with the 719th Transportation Company, is promoted to sergeant. Sheldon Scarlett of Jamaica, serv-

ing with the Company A, 1-69th Infantry, is promoted to specialist. Joseph Husbands of St. Albans, serving with the Company B, 101st Signal Battalion, is promoted to private. Nicholas Vassell of Jamaica and serving with the Company B, 1-69th Infantry, is promoted to private first class. Anthony Vieira of Jamaica, serving with the Company F (Forward Support Company Infantry), 427th Brigade Support Battalion, is promoted to specialist. Newtown Literary reminds children and youth interested in writing that there is still time to enter the Queens Young Authors & Poets contest. The contest welcomes prose and poetry submissions from students in grades 3-12 until Dec. 20.

For information and submission requirements, visit or email contest@ St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children in Bayside has unveiled the Season of Possibilities campaign to celebrate and support the young children of St. Mary’s. Through the end of the year, supporters will participate in a range of fundraising to show their commitment to providing care to New York’s Children. For information, visit or call (718) 2818529. The Queens Library branch in Hollis will close at the end of business on Dec. 13 for approximately one week to upgrade to RFID-powered self service check-in and check-out.

Dec. 13-19, 2013 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 19


Book discusses Jewish-Muslim relationship By Luis Gronda Two authors are hoping to break down the barriers that exist between Muslims and Jewish people. Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali will discuss their new book, “Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation About the Issues that Divide and Unite Muslims and Jews,” at the Forest Hills Jewish Center on Sunday, Dec. 15, hosted by the Central Queens Y. The discussion will center around identifying what separates Muslims and Jews from each other, what they actually have in common and breaking down stereotypes that many say about both religions. Both Schneier and Ali said the

idea for the book came after they realized that each religion distrusted each other, in part, because of the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, along with the lack of understanding of traditions between the two religions. The two brought up the concept of “chosen-ness” as an issue between Muslims and Jews. Schneier said each religion refers to themselves as the “chosen people” and it often brought about the argument over which people are chosen by god. Stereotypes also exist between the two parties. Ali said one stereotype discussed is that Muslims believe Jews “have grand designs to rule the world” and “Jewish people will never be

pleased with Muslims anywhere, any time.” He added literal translations of verses in the Quran and the Torah can often add to this conflict. Schneier said there are extremists on both sides, including people who deny the Holocaust occurred. “And so writing this book is an eye-opener to both Muslims and Jews that what both know about each other needs to be clarified, renewed. Both need to transform their minds from suspicion to trust,” Ali said. The discussion will begin at 2 p.m. The Forest Hills Jewish Center is located at 106-06 Queens Blvd. Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@ or @luisgronda.

imam shamsi ali (left) and rabbi Marc schneier.


Humanities and the Arts H.S.

students Express Themselves Through showcase By naTaLia KoZiKoWsKa

into theater, dance and drama. You might not be writing a paper everyday or sitting down with a calculator but you’re still learning,” she said. “I feel like creativity is being taken out of high schools so with this, kids can discover talents they didn’t know they had.” Bragdon said she also she feels that it is important for teachers at the high school to see their students in a new light. “It’s exciting for me to see new kids discover new talents in a different way outside of the classroom,” she said. “That is why it is also important to teachers to watch them. Maybe they are not so great in a couple of subjects.

Maybe they don’t even the kid has much potential, but when they come to the show they get a whole new view of the kid. They might think, ‘wow, that kid is failing horribly, but look at him, he’s a really good dancer.’” The winter showcase will be held at the high school at 6:45 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Humanities and the Arts High School is located at 207-01 116th Ave., Cambria Heights. Tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for students that come with a student ID. Reach Reporter Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or or @nkozikowska.

Certified Students: Certified First responders in the Health Careers institute at Hillcrest High school work with PsaL coaches. The team of certified students regularly attend practice and sports games. Much like in a real CFr, they are available as needed to give first aid and to prevent accidents by encouraging the athletes to use the proper gear. shown is one of the CFr teams, consisting of sudia Mohamed (left), daisy sanchez (middle) and shaydee Gill (right).

Photo by Bob Harris

Although arts education has diminished in many City public schools, the staff at Humanities and the Arts High School in Cambria Heights does all it can to ensure that their students have a platform to express themselves. Every year since the school opened, more than 200 students at the high school put on a winter showcase – a program that allows them to present the artistic pieces that they have been working on in classes since the fall semester began. The showcase, which planned for Dec. 19 this year, embraces all different art forms, from dance to music to theater and art. “It’s to showcase what we’ve been working on. We are an arts school so we want to give the kids a chance to perform and show what they’ve learned and give them a chance to get on stage,” Mayna Bragdon, arts coordinator at the school, said. “They like to perform. Some of these kids would be on stage everyday if you let them. They get to be the stars for the day.” When students come to the school as incoming freshmen, they each must choose a ‘major’ – an artistic form in which they would like to focus on. Although some are

given their first choices, others are assigned to artistic forms outside of their comfort zone. The showcase, Bragdon said, gives those students an opportunity to explore the arts in a way they might not have normally been exposed to. “Some of the kids have to dance and they’ve never danced before or never wanted to dance, but they learn some basic steps in dance,” she said. “It’s exciting to watch them on stage. They realize they can actually do this. We want to introduce them to new things.” “At our school, they get a chance to explore all types of arts and see what they might be stronger in,” she added. “They may have never thought of arts as a career and discover that they are actually pretty good at it when they get a chance to showcase what they’ve learned and discovered about themselves.” As the arts coordinator and Humanities and the Arts, Bragdon said she feels it is important to give students an artistic outlet like the winter showcase, especially considering the arts are quickly diminishing from schools’ curriculums. “It gives them a chance to get out of the classroom scene and be creative and use their minds and bodies and show a different way to learn. They are still learning – a lot goes

Page 20 PRESS of Southeast Queens Dec. 13-19, 2013

What’s Up DEC. 13 NAACp’s Annual Freedom Fund Dinner Dance The Jamaica Branch of the NAACP will hold its 59th annual Freedom Fund Dinner Dance. The list of honorees include: Isa-AbdurRahman, Esq, Adrienne Adams, Scottie Coads, Rev. Larry Davidson, Anthony Harmon, Dr. Virginia Noville and the Springfield Gardens Taxpayers and Citizens Association. The brunch will take place at Antun’s, located at 96-43 Springfield Blvd., Queens Village, from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. Tickets are $90. For more information, contact (718) 723-3653 or email naacpjamaica@

Jack and the Beanstalk The Black Spectrum Theatre will hold a special presentation of Jack and the Beanstalk. Tickets are $8. The show will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the theatre, located at the intersection of Baisley Boulevard and 177th Street. For more information, you may call the theatre at (718) 723-1800.

Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme The York College Performing Arts Center will hold a special presentation of “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme” (The Middle Class Gentleman). Tickets are $10 for the general public and $7 for students. The show will be held at the performing arts center from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call (718) 262-3750. York College is located at 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., Jamaica.

A Christmas Carol The Presbyterian Church of St. Albans’ Theatre of the Living Word will present Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. Join the TLW Players as they present this classic theater piece which introduces Benjamin Campbell as Tiny Tim. For additional information, or to purchase tickets, call (718) 528-2495 or e-mail Tickets are $20. The show will be held at the church from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The church is located at 190-02 119th Ave., St. Albans.

DEC. 14 hands on history: Snowflakes are Falling Celebrate winter and the holiday season at King Manor Museum. At this event, you will learn about historic winter fun, read stories and make snowflakes as well as other seasonal

decorations. The event will be held at the museum from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The museum is located at the Rufus King Park, 153rd Street and Jamaica Avenue. It is free to attend. For more information, call (718) 206-0545 ext. 13.

Return to Goree The Black Spectrum Theatre and the African Diaspora International Film Festival will present the finest in African films. A musical road movie, “Return to Goree” follows Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour’s historical journey tracing the trail left by slaves and the jazz music they created. Youssou N’Dour is performing the last concert in Goree, the island that today symbolizes the slave trade and its victims. The showing will be held at the theatre from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $12 and $10 for seniors and students. For more information, call (718) 723-1800.

the pirogue The Black Spectrum Theatre and the African Diaspora International Film Festival will present the finest in African films. In Moussa Toure’s powerful epic fiction film, Baye Laye is the captain of a fishing pirogue. When he is offered to lead one of the many pirogues that head towards Europe via the Canary Island, he reluctantly accepts the job. Leading a group of 30 men and a woman who don’t all speak the same language, some of whom have never seen the sea, Baye Laye will confront many perils in order to reach the distant coasts of Europe. The presentation will begin at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 and $10 for seniors and students. For more information, call (718) 723-1800.

A Night of praise The Greater Springfield Community Church will present “A Night of Praise,” featuring the Rev. Timothy Wright Memorial Choir. Do not miss what promises to be a splendid evening of praise, song and dance. Tickets are $20 to attend. The event will be held at the church from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Greater Springfield Community Church is located at 177-06 129th Ave., Jamaica. For more information, call the church at (718) 527-0100.

DEC. 15 York College Gospel Concert Under the direction of Jonathan Quash, the York College Gospel Choir will give a performance in the York College Academic Core Atrium

at 3 p.m. Bring friends and family. It is free to attend. For more information, call (718) 262-2000. York College is located at 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., Jamaica.

DEC. 17 Resorts World Job Fair Use this opportunity to work at one of the most dynamic organizations in New York City. The Council for Airport Opportunity is pleased to present a Resorts World Casino New York City job fair. Please visit www. to review current job openings. The job fair will be held at the casino from 10 a.m. to noon. It is free to attend. For more information, call (718) 523-7100.

DEC. 19 Fifty Shades Book Club A book discussion group began this fall at Central Library. It will meet on the third Thursday of every month from 6:30-8:00 p.m. to discuss popular works of fiction, such as “Fifty Shades of Grey.” No registration is required. The book club will meet at Queens Central Library from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is free to attend.

Students present Winter Showcase The Humanities and the Arts High School Presents a Winter Showcase. The school is located at 207-01 116th Ave., Cambria Heights. Doors open at 6 p.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. It starts promptly at 6:45 p.m. General Admission is $5 and with a student ID, it is $3.

DEC. 20 Annual Kwanzaa Celebration and Winter Concert The IS 59 School Community will present its 9th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration and Winter Concert featuring performances from students in both the Dance and Chorus Departments, a special performance by dancers from the ESOTA Dance Company and the celebration of the tradition and principles of Kwanzaa. The event is free and will be held at the school from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The church is located at 132-55 Ridgedale St., Springfield Gardens. For more information, please contact Mrs. Leverett, the IS 59 Parent Coordinator, at SLeverett@schools.

holiday Gala The Jamaica Performing Arts Center will present a Holiday Gala. . For additional information, contact Ty

at (347) 650-9476. For tickets, contact Ty at (347) 650-9476 or Dave at (516)-840-1404. Price includes food and drink. Tickets are $55. The gala will be held at the JPAC from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. JPAC is located at 153-10 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica.

DEC. 22 toy Giveaway The Kareem D. Sapp Foundation will host a toy give away to benefit all those who might just need a toy this holiday season. You can help by bringing a new toy that can be given to a child in need. In addition to the toys, there will be games, fun, music and more. For additional information, call the KDS Foundation at (516) 642-1276, or Larry Love at (917) 770-2896. The giveaway will be held at the Conduit Conference Center, located at 219-10 South Conduit Ave., Springfield Gardens. The event will be held from noon to 5 p.m.

toy Drive The Greater Fellowship Church will host a toy drive giveaway. The free event, supported by the Missions of CORAW, will be held at 1 p.m. The church is located at 106-01 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., Jamaica. For more information, contact Sharon Hawkins at (347) 624-2312 or Erang Russell at (516) 233-0476. It is requested you bring a new toy or a toy in mint condition.

oNGoiNG: The Greater Fellowship Church will host an ongoing coat drive. The church is now accepting coats for the entire family. It is requested you donate a jacket in new or clean and mint condition. The church is located at 106-01 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., Jamaica. For more information about the coat drive, call (718) 523-7309 or email the church at gkfocm@gmail. com.

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



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A Bad Example



Page 22 PRESS of Southeast Queens Dec. 13-19, 2013

Artists OF QUEENs

Milli Popoff

Look for us on Twitter: @QueensTrib

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Artists At It Again Considering the push New York State has given to opposing texting while driving, we would hope that our elected officials would be mindful of the fact and not promote the illegal act. And yes, that includes tweeting, although one City Councilman apparently did not see it that way. Late last month, Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) set a not-so-good example by taking pictures and tweeting…behind the wheel, as seen in the screen cap of the tweet above. No doubt, Ulrich was taken by inspiration when he saw his young daughter’s name on the license plate in front of him, but

that does not necessarily excuse the act. There is no doubt that Ulrich is guilty of the crime after openly admitting he spotted his daughter’s name on a license plate “while driving on Crossbay Blvd.” One can even spot the green traffic lights, further proving the Councilman was, in fact, moving at the time of the photo. We advise that the Councilman be a little bit more careful while behind the wheel in the future. After all, using your cell phone while driving is five points on your license and a $100 fine. Ulrich should be setting a better example for his constituents.

Trib on the Music Scene

A recent music video features a cameo by your favorite Queens weekly newspaper. About 25 seconds into the music video for “Hold My Hand” by Charlie Scott, you can clearly see a Queens Tribune article written by Joe Marvilli from earlier this year. Scott was the subject of a profile featured on our Leisure

page in July, where he discussed his career and what he went through to get to where he is today. We at QConf were happy to see Scott use the article in his video. To all past and future artists featured on this page: Do not be afraid to take Scott’s idea. We want to see more of the Tribune in other music videos.

The death last week of former South African president and revolutionary Nelson Mandela quickly became another piece in the ongoing chess match that is the saga of 5Pointz. Last week, the group was looking for a way to express their grief over the loss of Mandela, but they ran into a slight problem - there was no place for them to paint. They took to Twitter on Friday to ask Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer for his help getting access to construction boards along Jackson Boulevard. Not much later, when asked if Van Bramer replied, the account responded, saying that the Councilman said he would hold a meeting to discuss the artists' grievances. Of course, "it's the thought that counts" comes into play here, but we imagine the days of sanctioned graffiti in Long Island City may be over. Perhaps the artists should wait for the developers to build the designated art space at the the new structure...

Music has been a part of rapper Milli Popoff’s life from a very young age. When he was 8 or 9, he discovered his older brother’s rhyme book and soon wound up putting rhymes together himself. “I always had an ear for music. Music’s my passion. I guess you could even call it my first love,” he said. “I have garbage bags to shoeboxes full of rhymes now.” The artist, whose real name is Alistair Johnson, has been involved in the music industry for years, such as with a group he formed called The Rugrats. The members would write and record at Popoff’s place and then perform for the whole block, both younger and older generations. “We were even supposed to battle Kriss Kross but that never went through because their buzz was already too big from their hit songs “JumpJump” and “I Missed The Bus” and they knew we would hurt their career,” he said. While Popoff started in Flatbush, Brooklyn and then moved to the Bronx, he now lives in Far Rockaway, after having lived in Rochdale and Queens Village. Popoff added that he will be collaborating with Councilman Donovan Richards on a show on Beach 19th Street called “Far Rocks Got Talent,” which will focus on the area’s culture instead

of crime. “I’m from some of the hardest parts on New York City so my style is versatile, but basically real and authentic, like me. A mixture of all my different boroughs and environments,” he said. The two latest mixtapes from Popoff, “Foodch@in Murder” and “Str@8 To The Point,” gave him a fantastic feeling as they are sold in some of the biggest shopping centers in the City, such as Jamaica Avenue and Fordham in the Bronx. He said the mixtapes are also available in other states and a few other countries. Besides his music, Popoff is also a clothes designer with a line of products he is constantly adding to. He is involved with music label called Paper $ociety Inc. “I feel no one should put all their eggs in one basket, but focus on that one main goal and craft that one to perfection,” Popoff said. “There’s a lot on my plate, but that’s just to make sure my meal’s good.” With all of his projects on the table, Popoff still gets a rush from performing his songs in a live setting. “It’s the feeling of accomplishment of knowing I’m satisfying hundreds to thousands in an audience and the amazed look on everybody’s faces as they feel the music and bop their heads,” he said.

Got Talent?

Email for inclusion in a future edition. QConf is edited by: Steven J. Ferrari Contributors: Luis Gronda, Natalia Kozikowska, Joe Marvilli, Marcia Moxom Comrie, Michael Nussbaum, Trisha Sakhuja, Michael Schenkler.

Dec. 13-19, 2013 PRESS of Southeast Queens Page 23



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