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Some of the city's best basketball this winter will not feature the NBA's Knicks and Nets, but Queens' own St. John's, with a team ready to make noise page 14

The state's free college tuition program has been a success for some, while others have had to compromise their values to qualify page 8

A game of snooker can help pass the time as you wait for authentic (and spicy) Bhutanese and Tibetan food at Woodside's Weekender Billiard page 12

Since 1970 Oct. 18 - Oct. 24, 2018



Allison Alexis (left) reflects on her breast cancer journey, which she took with the help of Anna Kril (center) and Anna Zabniak (right) of SHAREing & CAREing.

After defeating breast cancer, South Jamaica’s Allison Alexis is using her experience to inspire others, providing hope and comfort to those battling breast cancer through her organization Angels of Hope, and in collaboration with Queens-based SHAREing & CAREing. Read our #Pinktober section on page 17



he city’s new Office of Nightlife paid a visit to the Queens Borough Cabinet meeting on Tuesday to explain its functions and responsibilities, in addition to receiving feedback from the Cabinet, which did not hold back. In an effort to promote a safe and vibrant nightlife scene, the Office of Nightlife was enacted in September 2017, serving as a central point of contact among city agencies, nightlife business owners, residents, employees, patrons and artists. “A lot of the frustration and miscommunications that have transpired up to now between the industry, the city and the residents is in large part because there was no central point of contact within the mayor’s office to help to streamline and coordinate the city agencies to support the industry as well as the community,” said Ariel Palitz, senior executive director at the Office of Nightlife. Palitz said that the Office of Nightlife will be creating a multi-agency working group to look at the big picture and try to come up with system-

ic citywide solutions. She added that the Office is still conducting its listening tour, hearing concerns from the residents in each borough. Therefore she can’t give specifics about what the Office plans to do until it has a better idea of what individual neighborhoods need. “[Nightlife] is the other 9-to-5,” said Palitz. “New York is a 24-7 city, and I feel that for the most part that when the city has clocked out at 5, it should support life at night so that it works as efficiently as possible. I think nightlife goes beyond just the liquor license and the venue operator; it goes into coordinating the city’s services that go into making sure that life at night is livable for everyone and works for everyone so people can coexist in a peaceful way.” Florence Koulouris, district manager for Community Board 1, who was on the edge of her seat waiting for the floor to be opened, said that although Long Island City is only five minutes from Manhattan, it is “not like Manhattan.” “What’s been happening is we have

been waddled away with tools in our toolbox to use when there are issues,” said Koulouris. “We have been dumping things on the police department expecting for the police to act and react, and my board is very proactive. We send out stipulations with the laws of the city of New York, the laws of DCA [Department of Consumer Affairs], the laws of the health department, the laws of the SLA [State Liquor Authority]; they’re on there. Restaurants get pushbacks all the time. They don’t want to sign; we get them to sign. Then they come up with things like signing affidavits swearing they’re not going to be a gentlemen’s club and they’re not going to be a bikini bar, but what they’ll do is give girls a one-piece bodysuit that’s a thong and think, ‘OK, we’re not a gentlemen’s club.’ And there are no tools, no place we can go.” Koulouris said her district is mostly residential, but the urban aspect of it often raises quality-of-life issues. “We have the most unenclosed cafes outside of Manhattan,” said Koulouris. “When those French doors

open, 30th Avenue rocks; 2 in the morning you hear the guitar player five blocks away. I mean I know you quote unquote want to be proactive, but with the grandma around the corner, what are you going to do to help us? We don’t need proactive to make the businesses better; we need the business to understand. You’re a neighbor, you live in this neighborhood by all means of business, and you have to behave like a neighbor. What’s going to be done to make them behave neighborly?” Palitz said she understands the frustration. But she reiterated that the Office of Nightlife is not an enforcement agency, and that it’s working to ensure that all parties are happy in the long run. Tuesday evening, the Office of Nightlife held a listening tour at LaGuardia Community College with over 10 city and state agencies to hear comments, concerns and ideas for improving nightlife in the borough. Reach Ariel Hernandez at ahernandez@ or @reporter_ariel



At the start of school in September, hundreds of kids across Queens were left stranded when buses did not pick them up and take them to school. Elected officials cracked down quickly on the companies leaving kids stranded. This week they went a step further, passing a host of bills to better monitor bus companies in order to ensure they are taking care of our kids. The comprehensive STOP legislation, standing for Student Transportation Oversight Package, was born out of data collected by the City Council that found that bus delays averaged more than 28 minutes, often caused by traffic and mechanical problems. Some buses were delayed considerably longer. The Package includes the requirement that GPS technology be put on all buses going forward and that all bus drivers have twoway radios. Lawmakers are also requiring the Department of Education (DOE) to better track complaints from students and parents about bus drivers, and to follow through with investigations where warranted. Queens Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) included a bill requiring the DOE to share a School Bus Bill of Rights. “This package of school bus safety legislation will help ensure that all students have safe and timely transportation to and from school. No-show buses, massive delays in service and unsuitable drivers negatively impact parents, children and educators alike,” Dromm said. “These bills will help restore parents’ confidence in yellow school buses by implementing new safety measures, improving bus procedures and ensuring that families using DOE transportation are aware of their rights.” The City Council also put forth a series of recommendations to the DOE on how to improve bus transportation for disabled students.


The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018

Who Won The Week

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Ariel Hernandez, Reporter Marjorie Lipsky, Copy Editor Lianne Procanyn, Designer Pauline Shin, Designer

Maureen Coppola, Sales Manager Debbie DiPoto-Flynn, Sales Associate Fran Gordon, Sales Associate Nadia Hack, Sales Associate Donna Lawlor, Sales Associate Lorraine Shaw, Sales Associate Shari Strongin, Sales Associate Caitlin Durney, Sales Administrator

The Week In Tweets @klnynews The enemy of my enemy is my friend: from @NYGovCuomo: “I applaud Mayor de Blasio for boycotting the (Spectrum Cable) network and encourage other officials to do the same.

While our Mayor and Governor pretend to be ships passing in the night, neither of them can pass up a statement, dig or comment on each other. In the latest example, the Governor subtly whacks de Blasio by intimating the Mayor was a late arrival to support the striking Spectrum workers.

Chris Mullin William Ruggiero, Chairman Andrew Holt, President/CEO Michael Tobman, Counsel Jasmin Freeman, Executive Vice President Michael Gareth Johnson, Executive News Director

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The legendary St. John’s player and NBA Hall of Famer has had a tough time as head coach of his alma mater since taking over in 2015— leading the men’s basketball team to a disappointing record of 38 wins and 60 losses. But things are really looking up this season. Mullin has been able to lure a lot of talent to the Fresh Meadows campus, including former Auburn University superstar Mustapha Heron. This week, the NCAA ruled that Heron, who transferred to St. John’s to be closer to his sick mother, could play for the Johnnies starting this season—instantly making their team a contender to win the Big East and likely make the NCAA Tournament in March. For Mullin, and all of the St. John’s fans, the decree from the NCAA has breathed hope into the campus for an exciting season, and that’s why Mullin won the week.

@NYCCouncil The third week of October is men’s #breastcancerawarness week. In honor of that @AndyKingNYC and other members of the Council wore pink today. It’s important that men get screened too, breast cancer impacts everyone.

With breast cancer impacting more than a quarter of a million women each year, the fight against the disease needs as many supporters as possible. It’s nice to see the men in the City Council doing their part to call attention to the important issue.

Read our editorial comment about St. John’s season on page 14

KKEOEPHINLG’SKIDCS HAERALTEHSY Our 5-2-1-0 campaign is easy to remember and lets you work on one set of healthy habits at a time.

Every day we make lots of choices and decisions that can impact our health. Some decisions involve what we eat, where we eat, what we drink, how we get to school or work and how we spend our free time. With overweight and obesity affecting so many of our youth today, parents and caregivers need tools to help establish good habits that can have a lasting impact on their family’s health.

Kohl’s Keeping Kids Healthy Program

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The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018



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Around the Bourough

The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018






Assemblywoman Nily Rozic Presents Cop of the Month Award 03

On Monday, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows) attended the 109th Precinct’s Community Council meeting to present the Cop of the Month award to Deputy Inspector Keith P. Shine. Rozic thanked Shine and the entire precinct for the important work the NYPD does to keep communities safe and protect consumers from unsolicited phone calls and rampant mail phishing schemes. Unsolicited phone calls, particularly robocalls in Chinese, have become a frequent scam throughout New York. Earlier this year, radio station WNYC interviewed Officer Donald


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McCaffrey of the Queens Grand Larceny Division, who told the station that he received Chinese robocalls on his NYPD department cell phone. McCaffrey was investigating the calls, which appear to originate in China, and which have been estimated to have defrauded unsuspecting speakers of Mandarin of more than $3 million since last December alone. People receiving these calls are urged to report them to the Federal Trade Commission. The 109th Precinct serves a northeast portion of Queens, including Downtown Flushing and Queensboro Hill. -Ariel Hernandez

New Soccer Field Compliments of NYCFC



“Five More Seconds” film screenings at Local Projects This past Saturday, Local Projects gallery in Long Island City hosted an evening of film screenings titled “Five More Seconds.” The screening derived its name from Wim Wender’s famous quote “Before you say ‘cut’ wait five more seconds.” The films aimed at exploring the metaphorical

five seconds when a scene or indeed a film might escape the control of its makers and form a life of its own. Eleven submissions were chosen from an open call, and the evening was curated by Sueng Hee Kim. – Thomas Moody

The playground at PS 220 in Flushing has a brand new soccer pitch as part of the New York City Soccer Initiative, launched in 2016 by the New York City Football Club. The $3 million public-private partnership with the city and NYCFC is slated to build 50 soccer pitches in underserved city neighborhoods by 2021. By the end of this year, they will have 20 pitches up and running. The shared goal of the partnership is to create safe places to promote physical health and youth development and community engagement where soccer is not always accessible. “Soccer is a great team sport with international appeal. We’re thankful to the Mayor’s Office, NYCFC and all of the partners involved in the New York City Soccer Initiative. The new pitches at Playground 62 in Queens and Castle Hill Playground in the Bronx will give kids a kick-start to lead healthier and more active lifestyles,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver. Currently NYCFC plays their homes games in Yankee Stadium, but they have been seeking a more permanent home for years. This summer, there has been a refocused push from several elected officials to build a soccer stadium at Willets Point, which many have suggested could be that permanent location for NYCFC. – Ariel Hernandez



First Woman Campus Security Director Appointed 02


Health Department Expands Hours At Sexual Health Clinic The Health Department celebrated National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day by announcing the expansion of the hours and services at the Corona Sexual Health Clinic. The Corona Sexual Health Clinic—located at 34-33 Junction Blvd.—provides services primarily to Latino gay and bisexual men, also known as men who have sex with men (MSM). The Health Department announced the second installment of the “¡Listos!” (“Ready!”) campaign, which promotes HIV testing, prevention and treatment among MSM, due to the growing diagnoses of HIV in New York City. The campaign, which is largely in Spanish, was unveiled at the Coronal Sexual Health Clinic because of the large number of Spanish-speaking patients. Through the expansion of the campaign, the

clinic is now open five days a week and will offer same-day initiation of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily pill that reduces the risk of HIV. “Improving access to PrEP, HIV testing and HIV treatment services for Latino gay and bisexual men and other MSM is key to improving the health of this community,” said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, deputy commissioner for the Health Department’s Division of Disease Control. “By being culturally and linguistically responsive, we hope ‘¡Listos!’ will help raise awareness of the many options available to prevent HIV and its complications in a community overrepresented in our city’s HIV epidemic.” The Health Department’s goal is to end the HIV epidemic in the city by 2020. – Ariel Hernandez

Queens College president Félix V. Matos Rodríguez announced on Friday the appointment of the first woman ever to serve as the campus security director at a senior City University of New York (CUNY) college. For 22 years, Dr. Beth LaManna, former New York-based Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent, was assigned to the criminal division and conducted investigations involving organized crime and racketeering, complex financial fraud, money laundering, the 9/11 attacks and civil rights violations. “We are delighted and proud to welcome Dr. LaManna to Queens College,” said Matos Rodríguez. “Her combined background in law enforcement and educational, clinical and community psychology is uniquely suited to the role of security director in a senior college environment.” LaManna attended Wayne State University, where she earned a master’s degree in school and community psychology and a doctorate in educational and clinical psychology. After completing her education, she provided clinical counseling and school psychological services at Detroit public schools, in addition to maintaining a private clinical practice in Michigan. “I am both excited and honored to be a part of the Queens College community,” said LaManna. “I look forward to the opportunity to interact and work with the faculty, staff, students and guests, and to ensure that Queens College remains a safe and secure environment for all.” – Ariel Hernandez



DA Charges Alleged MS-13 Members In LIRR Stabbing The Queens District Attorney has charged two Jamaica men, Dani Cruz, 25, and Maxwell Martinez, 24, for the gruesome beating and stabbing of a teenager at the Jamaica Long Island Rail Road station back in August. Police say the two are members of the MS-13 street gang. The criminal complaint alleges they pummeled the victim and stabbed him numerous times in his back, torso and arm. The victim, a 17-year-old man, sustained extensive nerve damage to his arm and required surgery. Cruz and Martinez are both charged with second-degree attempted murder and first- and second-degree assault and face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. District Attorney Richard Brown said in a


statement, “The two defendants in this case are alleged to be members of the notorious MS-13 street gang. A young man, just a teenager, was viciously beaten and stabbed repeatedly and is lucky to be alive today. This kind of brutality is unacceptable in a civilized society and shows a disregard for human life. The two defendants face a long term of incarceration for this heinous crime.” The DA’s office said during the investigation both Cruz and Martinez admitted to being members of MS-143. DNA evidence collected from their clothing was matched to the victim, according to court filings. – Michael Gareth Johnson


Community Celebrates Margie Boyd Way The Cambria Heights community gathered at New Greater Bethel Ministries to honor the life of Margie Boyd, the wife of the late Pastor John H. Boyd Sr. Along with her husband, Margie Boyd started New Greater Bethel Ministries in 1972 in a small tent on the corner of Linden and Francis Lewis boulevards. Three years later, the ministry had grown to include more than 2,000 members. The Boyds purchased the former Cambria Heights theater complex, making it the church’s new home. The church provided a food pantry, soup kitchen, prison ministry, 24-hour prayer line and radio


broadcast. It also expanded to a location at 215-32 Jamaica Ave., accommodating 1,500 people and offering Christian literature, media and drama centers, and recording and television studios. Pastor Boyd, who passed away in 2012, was honored in 2013 with a street co-naming at the intersection where Margie Boyd Way is now placed. “Today’s street co-naming recognizes Mother Margie Boyd’s contributions to our community,” said Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans). “It’s fitting that it is at this intersection and next to her husband, Pastor John Boyd Sr.” – Ariel Hernandez


ENGINE 251 Receives Funding For Renovations Engine 251 will get a facelift, thanks to an allocation by Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Glen Oaks). Last Thursday, Grodenchik announced a $75,000 allocation to FDNY’s Engine 251, located at 254-20 Union Tpke. The allocation will fund a new overhead door for the station house to facilitate the efficient delivery of emergency services in eastern Queens. “The firefighters of Engine 251, Battalion 53, deserve an entrance that is safe, functional and re-

flective of the critical work that they perform,” said Grodenchik. “Every day, the men and women of this station risk their lives to keep our community safe, and they must have the best possible facilities out of which to operate.” During the announcement, Assemblyman David Weprin thanked the engine for responding to fires, medical emergencies and disasters. “As New York’s bravest, our firefighters deserve the best,” said Weprin. – Ariel Hernandez


The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018












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The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018

MOVING THROUGH QUEENS A look at transportation issues around the borough



By THOMAS MOODY New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer has called on the MTA to drop prohibitively expensive Metro-North and Long Island Railroad (LIRR) fares to the price of a MetroCard swipe for all trips within the five boroughs. A new report released by the comptroller’s office this Tuesday said that a leveling of ticket prices would greatly expand transit access in over 30 neighborhoods throughout Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn that have Metro-North or LIRR stations. Tickets for commuter rail stations are nearly four times as costly as a MetroCard swipe, and are often the only mass-transit option for 1.4 million residents of the outer boroughs, the report showed. The excessively high fares force residents of these neighborhoods to take lengthy trips by road, subway and bus. The report asserted that the lowering of fares, and

allowing of free transfers between commuter rail, subways and buses for all trips in the city, would have systemwide benefits and help alleviate the city’s transit crisis. In total, 38 Metro-North and LIRR stations serve 31 neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. These neighborhoods are home to 327,000 jobs and 1.4 million residents—all of whom, the report said, would benefit from improved mobility and a better-integrated transit system. From 2000 to 2017, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn were responsible for a staggering 84 percent of the city’s net employment growth and 73 percent of its residential growth. Less than 40 percent of non-Manhattan residents now commute to Manhattan for work. As job opportunities and the population expand in the five boroughs and commuting patterns shift, the report added, so too must the transit system. To extend the reach of the transit system, improve job access and relieve overcrowding on the subway, the report gave the following recommendations to the MTA: Reduce fares for all in-city commuter rail trips and make more local stops; better connect buses to commuter rail stations; and make all commuter stations fully accessible, as half of the Metro-North and LIRR stations in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens are not currently accessible as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The report concluded by noting that the above steps will necessitate “improved coordination between the MTA’s Metro-North, LIRR and New York City Transit divisions, which for too long have operated in bureaucratic silos, squandering opportunities to better integrate service and to better serve New Yorkers.”

NEWS & NOTES Reps. Meng and Suozzi Fight For Quiet Skies The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been given a deadline to develop new methods for measuring aircraft noise. The timeline was written into the FAA Reauthorization Act, recently signed by President Donald Trump, thanks to the work of Congresswoman Grace Meng and Congressman Tom Suozzi. The co-chairs of the Quiet Skies Caucus fought for the continual development of alternative metrics to the Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL), which is the current national standard to determine aircraft noise. A recent medical report suggested that continual exposure to elevated airplane noise could lead to shorter lifespans for Queens residents, as well as have such health impacts as a higher risk for heart disease. “Residents of Queens continue to do battle against the deafening airplane noise that has plagued our borough for way too long,” said Meng. “I have worked on numerous initiatives to combat this problem, and many of the provisions in the FAA Reauthorization Act will help us make major progress in this fight. The people of Queens deserve relief!” In a press release, Meng added that the new FAA bill also includes provisions that will ensure there is a robust community-engagement process for new or adjusted flight paths and procedures, a study on the health impacts of flight noise in New York and other parts of the country, an update to noise-exposure maps to determine eligibility for noise-mitigation funding, and reviews of phasing out older aircraft with loud engines. “As co-chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus, I’m proud of the work the caucus is doing to increase awareness of this issue and demonstrate to all members of Congress that the concerns of our constituents are significant

Due to signal modernization, Queensboro Plaza-bound 7 trains will skip 33, 40, 46, 52 and 69 Street stations in Queens from 12:15 a.m. Saturday, Oct 20 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Oct 22. Due to signal modernization E N R W S trains and free shuttle buses will replace 7 service between Queensboro Plaza in Queens and 34 St-Hudson Yards in Manhattan from 12:15 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 to 4:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 22. Also, Flushing-bound 7 trains will skip 33, 40, 46, 52 and 69th street stations. Until further notice Flushing-bound 7 trains will run at a slower speed in the area of 61 St-Woodside in Queens Due to signal improvements Coney Island-bound F trains run via the E from Roosevelt Ave in Queens to 5 Ave/53rd Street in Manhattan from 11:45 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19 to 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 22. and demand action,” said Rep. Tom Suozzi. “Today, with the multiple provisions included in the FAA Reauthorization Act, we are taking another step closer to mitigating aircraft noise and improving quality of life for those impacted.” Top Lyft Ridesharing Destinations The top Lyft ridesharing destinations in New York City were released this past Monday, with destinations in Queens featuring heavily. Not surprisingly, LaGuardia and JFK airports came in first and second respectively, while the Queens Center was just outside the top 10. The full list as follows is: 1. LaGuardia Airport; 2. John F. Kennedy International Airport; 3. Pennsylvania Station; 4.Port Authority Bus Terminal; 5. Grand Central Terminal; 6. Commodore Barry Park; 7. The Metropolitan Museum of Art; 8. IKEA Brooklyn Home Furnishings; 9. Atlantic Terminal; 10. St. George Ferry Terminal; 11. Queens Center; 12. The Brooklyn Mirage; 13. Times Square 14. USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center; 15. YOTEL New York

Because of a station improvements, E trains and free shuttle buses will replace J service between Crescent St in Brooklyn and Jamaica Center in Queens from 3:45 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21. Astoria-bound W trains will skip 36 Ave. and 30 Ave. stations in Queens from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21, because of station enhancements. Alternative service will be provided with special W service runs between Whitehall Street in Manhattan and Ditmars Blvd. in Queens on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF QUEENS A look at development and its impact on the borough

LONG ISLAND CITY IDEAL FOR GROWING LIFE SCIENCES INDUSTRY, REPORT FINDS By MICHAEL GARETH JOHNSON With roughly 8 million square feet of office and industrial space, the booming Long Island City area has been tapped as an ideal place to grow New York City’s lagging life sciences industry, according to a report released this week by the East Egg Project Management, which was commissioned with $100,000 in state funds. Life sciences, which encompasses everything from pharmaceutical drug manufacturing to food science, agricultural development and medicine research, has been a growing industry in the United States for decades, but New York City has trailed the rest of the country in this sector. According to the Long Island City Life Sciences Feasibility Study, which was conducted by the Long Island City Partnership, the neighborhood offers plenty of solutions including ample development sites and versatile building stock, which is a must for the highly scientific fields. Another positive feature of LIC is its proximity to the Cornell Tech innovation campus on Roosevelt Island, as well as to the East Side medical research corridor in Manhattan. “This study…uncovered a specific and essential role for LIC in the development of a

self-sustaining life sciences cluster in the New York region,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership. “Simply put, LIC’s strengths as a community and opportunities for space align with life sciences company needs and the NYC market’s specific demands.” The report also cited Long Island City’s access to airports and mass transportation, its educated workforce and its lower land costs as positives for the area’s development. “New York City is home to some of the finest life sciences research institutions in the world,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) president and CEO James Patchett. “ESD [Empire State Development] and the Long Island City Partnership’s work affirms that the commercial life sciences sector is poised for growth, and that Long Island City is a great home for it.” The report estimated that Long Island City would be able to develop 1.5 million square feet of space for the life sciences industry during the next 10 years. Combining that with development planned for Manhattan would create a life sciences sector that would rival all other U.S. hubs. Long Island City Partnership estimates

that by 2028, an investment in life sciences could create 5,500 short-term jobs and 15,000 permanent jobs, generating more than $2 billion in annual earnings.

NEWS & NOTES Lawmakers Angered By Homeless Shelter Rumors In Maspeth While there has not been any formal proposal put forth by the city Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to turn PS 9 on 57th Street in Maspeth into a homeless shelter, that hasn’t stopped local elected officials from railing against the rumored idea. Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, a veteran Queens lawmaker, has sent a letter to the de Blasio administration calling the mayor’s push to add another homeless shelter in Maspeth a “disregard for western Queens.” “It is my hope that our communities will come together to oppose the potential placement of a shelter at 57th Street. An old school building in this section of Maspeth is not an appropriate location to place homeless individuals,” Nolan said in a statement. Assemblyman Robert Holden has also spoken out against the shelter. He said he hopes to work with the School Construction Authority (SCA) to remake PS 9 into a school, but admits that elected officials and the community will still have to work to find an alternative location for a new homeless shelter. A town hall meeting, hosted by Juniper Park Civic Association, is being held Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Hope (61-27 71st St., Middle Village) to discuss the issue. Residents Rally Against Proposed Target In Elmhurst Activists from Queens Neighborhoods United (QNU) are organizing a rally against the proposed development of a Target at 40-31 82nd St. in Elmhurst that will take place Thursday at 11 a.m. The rally is in front of

the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), which has given approval for the Target development to proceed. QNU is appealing the decision in conjunction with the Community Development Project, and this past summer the Department of Buildings (DOB) issued a stop-work order on the development. Democratic Assembly candidate Catalina Cruz, who is likely to win her general election race easily, is expected to attend the rally. Steinway Library Shutting Down The Steinway Community Library is closing for renovations next Saturday, Oct. 27, at 5 p.m. The library, located at 21-45 31st St. in Astoria, is expected to reopen in the fall of 2019. Mobile library service will be provided on Wednesdays and Saturdays beginning Nov. 3, from 10 5 p.m. During the closure, the library recommends visiting nearby branches in Astoria, Broadway and Long Island City. The renovations, which have been budgeted at $3.9 million, will add an elevator and new entrance ramp for full accessibility, revamp the building’s second floor, and address external issues to ensure the building’s long-term structural integrity. “With these renovations, Queens Library’s Steinway branch will be more technologically efficient, eco-friendly and accessible to everyone,” said Queens Library president and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “Our patrons deserve no less, and we are grateful to Mayor de Blasio, Assemblywoman Simotas, Borough President Katz and Council Member Constantinides for securing the funds that will help Queens Library transform lives and create inviting spaces where people can learn, discover and grow.”

The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018

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The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018

NYS Free College Tuition Plan Is Great, If You Qualify By ARIEL HERNANDEZ Last year Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Excelsior Scholarship law, providing tuition-free college at New York’s public universities to families making no more than $110,000 a year. As the program enters its second year, it has created frustration on the part of many students who are struggling to gain admission to the program. In order to be eligible, an applicant must be a New York resident and a U.S. citizen; have a high school diploma and a gross income of no more than $110,000; be enrolled in a state university of New York (SUNY) or city university of New York (CUNY) and taking at least 12 credits per term; and also have a nondefault status on a student loan under any New York or federal education loan program. The Queens Tribune spoke with a couple of college students enrolled in the program to hear about their experience. LaShae Jones, 19, is a freshman at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), majoring in liberal arts. “I was accepted into the Excelsior program on March 14,” said Jones. “I was babysitting my nephew when I got the email and I almost woke him up from his nap because I was screaming of excitement.” Jones’ father has been in jail her whole life and her mother, who is wheelchair-bound and unable to work, relies on disability checks to pay her rent and care for Jones. “The day I graduated from high school my mom cried,” said Jones. “I thought she was crying because she was proud of me, but later on that night she told me she was crying because she felt so bad that she wouldn’t be able to pay for me to go to college.” It was Jones’ English teacher who told her about the Excelsior Scholarship and helped her to apply. Between financial aid, the Excelsior Program and other scholarships she qualified for because of her living situation and her high GPA, Jones not only attends school tuition free, but she doesn’t have to pay for books either. “It’s truly a blessing,” said Jones. Jones said if she wanted to, she could have gone to a SUNY school, but she didn’t

want to leave her mother. “I know a few people that were also accepted,” said Jones. “I’ve never been happier. The fact that I can wake up every day, go to class and truly focus on my academics without having to worry about the financial burden is the best feeling ever.” While Jones’ experience with the scholarship is an easy and stress-free success story, thousands have been denied. According to the Center for an Urban Future, in 2017 the state received 64,000 applicants for the Excelsior Scholarship and 44,000 were denied. The Queens Tribune spoke to one student at a CUN Y school whose name we have changed to protect his identity. “Bill” said that when he applied, a friend of his told him that the requirements were intense and that “almost nobody gets approved.” As a technology major with a dream of being a graphic designer, Bill decided to take a risk and edited his mother’s financial documents, altering the number of dependents in his household and making his application seem like his father, who collects roughly $75,000 a year in salary, was not a part of the household. It worked and he was approved for the scholarship. Bill said that although his family has a gross income of over $150,000, they still struggle and would not be able to pay for his tuition. His mother has four children in total; his younger siblings are 7 and 12 years old. “My siblings play sports, and that’s not cheap,” said Bill. “My dad has children of his own and pays child support. We live in a house that my mom isn’t done paying the mortgage on. We have three cars and there are so many other bills. The main thing is I told my mom that I wouldn’t be going to college. It wasn’t until last year that I decided I would. For so many years I was that kid that was like, who cares about college? I planned to do computer work with my high school diploma and for a while it was working, but I wasn’t making the kind of money that would allow me to survive on my own.” Bill said he was at a family function when he got a wakeup call.

“My cousin is 26 and he’s a lawyer. We were sitting in my grandma’s living room cracking jokes on each other, you know? Regular cousin stuff,” said Bill. “And out of nowhere someone says, ‘That’s why you make $400 a week and are going to live with your mom your whole life.’ I usually laugh when my family jokes on me, but I did only make $400 a week and I thought that was good money honestly. It wasn’t until that moment that I was like, I need

to get my life in order.” With his mother on a set budget, Bill said she wouldn’t have been able to put him into school until 2021, when she will be done paying her mortgage. He didn’t want to wait so he took his own route: He altered the documents and was accepted into the program, knowing full well that what he was doing was wrong, and possibly even illegal. Although he pays no tuition given that he

has both the Excelsior Scholarship and financial aid covering his total tuition cost, he said that every time he gets a call or email from the school, he panics. “I don’t know what’s going to happen if they ever find out,” said Bill. “I’m just trying to get my degree and make a life for myself.” Reach Ariel Hernandez at ahernandez@ or @reporter_ariel.


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The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018

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Making The Most Of A College Campus Visit BY KRISTINA JOHNSON

The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018

If you’re a high school student hoping to someday become a college student, you have some tough choices to make.There’s a lot to consider when picking the right college or university— its cost, its academic reputation, the size of its student body, etc. You can glean lots of information about a school from visiting its campus, but you may have to dig a little deeper if you want the real story and not just what looks good in the brochure. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to get the most out of a campus visit.

Start Early

Campus tours shouldn’t wait until senior year of high school, when you will be busy enough working on college essays and applications. Ideally, you will begin scouting campuses with your parents during junior year. Spending some time on campus will help you determine if the school falls short of or exceeds your expectations. Either way, a visit could very well affect your ultimate decision of where to apply. If a campus tour during junior year seals the deal, you could then have the option to apply for early acceptance. That could give you a slight edge at a school with a competitive acceptance rate.

Go When School Is In Session

Summer break and school holidays may be the most convenient time for you to make a campus visit, but you might find it a ghost town. Checking out a college when classes are in session is more likely to give a true sense of what campus life is like. If you’re able to observe some actual classes or poke around the library, you may get an idea of how engaged students are. Remember, however, that your own school schedule comes first; college visits shouldn’t pull you out of class if it can be avoided.

Don’t Just Take The Official Tour

While campus tour guides will obviously be a great source of information, they have a vested interest in showing off the school’s best side. Explore a bit on your own to see what’s beyond the highlights. And while you’re at it, see if you can chat with some current students. There’s a good chance they’ll be willing to offer you a much wider range of opinions on their school than those who are getting paid to do so. Ask what they think of the campus, the professors, the tuition, etc. The more perspectives you can take in while you’re on campus, the better.

Get A Feel For Residential Life

Campus will be the centerpiece of your life for four years, so it’s important for you to feel

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like it’s a place where you can thrive. Check out all the facilities you can, from the dorms to the library to the gym. Do the classrooms and lecture halls feel welcoming and modern? Do the residence halls seem like party central? Does the campus feel like a safe place to walk alone after dark? Any of those things can have a big impact on your campus experience and are worth considering when you’re choosing a school. And of course, don’t forget to hit up the dining hall. College could be the first time you’re on your own for every meal, and if you’re going to be spending a few years scarfing down inedible grub, you’ll want to know beforehand.

Check Out The Neighborhood

Whether you’re considering a college across the country or across town, it’s important to get a sense of the surrounding neighborhood. Most students will end up living off campus at some point, so knowing that the housing options nearby are safe, affordable and in good supply is crucial. If you will be attending as a commuter, make sure the campus has good options for you such as accessible parking areas.

Ask About Discounts

Nothing about college is cheap, and if you’re looking at campuses out of town, the expense of the visit is also a factor. The cost of airfare, hotels and food can add up fast, especially if you’re looking to visit a few different schools. Check with the admissions office to see if it can provide any sort of break on the costs—it may have worked out a discount with local hotels, or even allow visitors to overnight in empty dorm rooms when school isn’t in session. If you do decide to apply to a school, there’s usually a fee. Ask if the admissions office will be willing to waive that as well.

Take Notes

Not every campus you see will necessarily be memorable. After visiting a few, all the details may start to blur. That’s why it’s important for you and your parents to jot down impressions of each school and compare notes afterward. You may each be struck by different pros and cons of a campus, and discussing your impressions may help move the decision-making process along. Choosing a college is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, one that could impact your future prospects and earning power forever—not to mention your happiness for the next several years. With so much riding on the decision, leaving no detail overlooked is key.


The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Board of Elections in the City of New York is hiring Poll Workers to serve at poll sites across New York City. Become an Election Day Worker and you can earn up to $500 for completing the training course, passing the exam and working two Election Days.



REQUIREMENTS • Registered voter residing in the City of New York

REQUIREMENTS • A permanent U.S. resident over 18 years of age and a resident of New York City

• Enrolled in the Democratic or Republican party • Able to read and write English DUTIES • Prepare the poll site for voters • Assist voters during the voting process • Close the poll site • Canvass and report election results • Assist other poll workers as needed TRAINING • All Inspectors must attend a training class and pass the exam SALARY • Earn $200 per day • Earn $100 for training (Note: You will only be paid for Training if you pass the exam and work on Election Day.)

You can earn up to $500 for completing the training course, passing the exam and working two Election Days.

• Fluent in English and the interpreter’s language • Spanish interpreters needed in all boroughs • Chinese interpreters needed in Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens • Korean, Hindi and Bengali interpreters needed in Queens For Hindi Interpreters: Please note on your application if you can also speak Punjabi.

• Does not have to be a registered voter DUTIES • Assist non-English speaking voters by translating voting information into covered languages during the voting process TRAINING • All Interpreters must attend a training class and pass the exam SALARY • Earn $200 per day • Earn $25 for training (Note: You will only be paid for Training if you pass the exam and work on Election Day.)

You can earn up to $425 for completing the training course, passing the exam and working two Election Days.

HOURS/LOCATION • 5:00 a.m. until the polls are closed and results reported, which will be after 9:00 p.m. • Must be willing to travel within the borough for assignment to a poll site


Visit to apply. If you have any questions, call 866-VOTE-NYC (866-868-3692).




SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21ST 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM Albert H. Mauro Playground 73rd Terrace & Park Drive East, Kew Gardens Follow our spooky Halloween map and pick up clues along the trail. Suggested donation $5 per family, you must pre-register at Meet at the start of the Pat Dolan Train to get your map and claim your prizes. All families who pre-registered will receive a goodie bag.


HAUNTED HALLOWEEN NIGHTS ~ A HAUNTED HOUSE AT COE HALL ~ FRI 10/19 • SAT 10/20 THURS 10/25 • FRI 10/26 • SAT 10/27 7:00PM - 9:30PM Coe Hall opens its majestic doors to present you with Haunted Halloween Nights. This Haunted House will thrill you with exciting special effects, frightening ghosts, live music from Jack Kohl, and performances throughout each evening.


Prizes for Top 3 BEST Kid & Pet Costume

$20 non-members I $10 members PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE AT PLANTINGFIELDS.ORG/EVENTS Cash only at door For information: Maximillian Fogel (516) 922-8668 NOT RECOMMENDED for children under 14. Children under 12 are NOT PERMITTED. Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Children must be accompanied by parents/guardians and all Pets must be on a LEASH





Food Review

The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018

Eat the World Queens A Partnership with

Weekender Billiard A Bhutanese Snooker Hall Finds Its True Calling By JARED COHEE Dispatch from 54th Street, Woodside: From the outset, Pema Gyeltshen, the co-owner of Weekender Billiard, got his ratios wrong. When he opened his snooker hall in 2014, four of the larger-than-billiard tables filled the space with a kitchen and a few dining tables placed as an afterthought. Over time, one snooker table was removed in favor of more space for dining customers, and then another. Now the space is almost evenly cut in half: two snooker tables for gaming on one side, and about a dozen dinner tables for satisfying the demands of the many regular customers on the other. Over a cup of his homemade and probably best-in-the-borough butter tea, Pema told me about his casual relationship with snooker, a game very popular back home. The decision to open Weekender as a gaming location with his cousin Lhendup Zangmo and her husband, Jamyang Tsultrim, who is from Tibet, mostly stemmed from not wanting to make people wait for their meals without something to do. “Our food takes longer to prepare than most,” he explained simply. But based on the constant stream of business in evidence whenever the restaurant is open, most do not mind the wait even if they have no idea how snooker works. Amateur billiards players will often boast that somewhere between their second and fourth beer, their game is at its peak. But you will not often find the players here with beers because snooker is not a game for the drunk: The pockets are so much smaller than billiards and the distances to them longer. As a result, most people have that butter tea or possibly a can of Red Bull. The tables are often empty during weekdays, but on the weekend (as the name of the place suggests), you will probably have a bit of a wait for one of the $13/hour tables. This is also the time you may find an impromptu jam session breaking out on Weekender’s stage if people have brought their instruments and have a beer or two. When the snooker hall is open, the kitchen is too, but from the street you might think you have arrived before opening time. Unless it is dark out, the tinted windows almost obscure

everything within, and heavy drapes sometimes block the rest. But if the metal gate is up, be confident you can swing open the dark, heavy wooden door and come inside. Chef Norbu Gyeltshen (no relation to Pema) is from Tibet, the place in South Asia that most closely resembles Bhutanese culture and language. Since the Bhutanese community in New York City is much smaller than the Tibetan one, the menu here (and the awning outside) caters to both. Furthering the family-owned feel of Weekender is Pema’s sister Jigme, who can be found here often but also helps out in the kitchen when dinner crowds start to overwhelm the chef. Many folks who did not grow up in the high elevations of the Himalayas and who may have done a Google search before coming for this new food will veer towards the list of datse. The dish ema datse, a combination of chilis and cheese, is even said to be the national dish. It is wonderful here in all its fiery glory, but during one of my first visits, Pema set me straight when we talked about a typical meal and what needed to be ordered. On the menu underneath these datse—which can be eaten also with potato, mushroom, beef or pork—is listed the phagsha sikam pak. It is this dish of which he spoke most highly and said could not be missed. “This is the real Bhutanese food,” Pema explained. And most real Bhutanese food of any variety must be eaten with the country’s unique semimilled red rice, which grows at the high elevations. Eue chum has an earthy, nutty taste to it, and will be your only relief during the meal if you have trouble with spicy foods. The phagsha sikam pak, a dish of thick stir-fried pork belly slices, is laced with red pepper and served with vegetables or beans. This “dry” style of meat is also available with beef or fish. In addition to the rice, Weekender now has bottled beer in its fridge, which can help with the heat of its dishes. In the beginning the word “bar” on the awning was more an aspiration, but even now I do not see many people drinking alcohol except on weekends. Instead, they are hovering over bowls of bathup, a complex

Snooker is a game better played sober, with butter tea rather than beer.

meat-of-your-choice soup that is full of thick hand-cut noodles and runs an orange-red color thanks to the peppers used to make the broth. You will rarely find diners here alone; rather, groups of young and old Bhutanese and Tibetans have full tables of food like jasha maroo, another spicy dish that could translate as Bhutanese chicken stew, and bumthang putang, buckwheat noodles that probably could be categorized as an acquired taste. If people do come solo, they usually grab a quick order for takeout and chat with Pema or Jamyang while waiting. Crossover dishes eaten in both Bhutan and Tibet like momos and chicken and beef chilly are found in the appetizers section and make an appearance at most tables no matter who the diners may be. The atmosphere here might not earn any stars from food critics, but for my taste it is hard to beat. Like other favorites around the city, it knows who it is and focuses in on that. Besides serving wonderful food, Weekender feels like the place Bhutanese people in Queens come to interact and feel community. The flag is on the wall and some tourism posters surround the dining room, but the people make it more than that. As guests from places other than the Himalayas contemplate why Bhutanese food is so spicy and uses so much cheese, regulars and staff here will be happy to welcome you in and divulge these and other secrets. Bumthang putang, buckwheat noodles

Weekender Billiard 41-46 54th St., Woodside 11377 Sun.-Tue., Thu. 12:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 12:30 p.m.-midnight; closed Wed.

Phagsha Sikam Pak

FAC T S & FI G U RE S The flag of Bhutan features Druk, a legendary dragon in Tibetan and Bhutanese mythology, and the name Bhutan roughly translates to “Land of the Thunder Dragon.” Bhutan is slightly larger than the state of Maryland. It is mostly mountainous with its highest peak, Gangkar Puensum, measuring nearly 25,000 feet above sea level. Following the 2010 Census, Bhutanese, Burmese and Nepalese immigrants were removed from the “Other Asian” category because of their growing numbers. Roughly 75 percent of Bhutanese people are Buddhists.

Jasha maroo centers a Bhutanese feast

Shamu datse

The Queens Tribune has partnered with the website to profile the food and culture of restaurants in all corners of the borough. For more reviews from Queens and beyond, please visit

50 Plus

The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018


Holiday Office Party, Family Gathering or Celebration

Queens Tribune 1/8 page

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (“Parks”) is issuing a significant Request for Proposals (“RFP”) for the sale of specialty food from mobile food units at various locations citywide. All proposals submitted in response to this RFP must be submitted no later than Friday, November 30, 2018 at 3:00 PM. Hard copies of the RFP can be obtained, at no cost, commencing on October 11, 2018 through November 30, 2018, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., excluding weekends and holidays, at the Revenue Division of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which is located at 830 Fifth Avenue, Room 407, New York, NY 10065. The RFP is also available for download, on October 11, 2018 through November 30, 2018, on Parks’ website. To download the RFP, visit and click on the “Concessions Opportunities at Parks” link. Once you have logged in, click on the “download” link that appears adjacent to the RFP’s description. For more information or to request to receive a copy of the RFP by mail, prospective proposers may contact Jocelyn Lee, Project Manager, at (212) 3603407 or at

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The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Cost Of Speaking Truth To Power The recent disappearance, and apparent murder, of Jamal Khashoggi, a frequent critic of the Saudi Arabian government in the pages of The Washington Post, has reminded us of the risk of speaking truth to power. It can cost you your life—and not just if you live in the Middle East, but right here in the United States. In fact, the borough of Queens has its own example to point to from two decades ago. In March 1992, Manuel de Dios Unanue was sitting in a Spanish restaurant in Elmhurst, a block from the 82nd Street stop of the 7 train, when he was shot in the head. The murder was a hit ordered by Colombian drug lords. Reports at the time said it was the first time the cartel had killed a reporter critical of its activities in the United States. De Dios, a Cuban-born, Puerto Rican-raised journalist, was a leading voice in exposing the evil of the South American drug cartels, which were leaving the streets of New York City crippled with violence and littered with lives lost from overdoses. Before de Dios was killed, he had made himself a thorn in the side of the cartels. He wrote a book titled The Secrets of the Medel-

lin Cartel. Unafraid, he published names and photos of alleged drug dealers in magazines. He also went to the radio airwaves, traveling daily from Queens to Manhattan studios to broadcast the exact addresses of drug-infested blocks in the five boroughs. His tips came from local leaders and some law enforcement people whose efforts to stem drug trafficking fell short. Through his program “Lo que otros callan” (“What Others Keep Quiet”), he gave the addresses of the buildings and stores where the drug dealers were set up for business. At times he would also give the name of the local dealer. The uncompromising investigative journalist was fearless when it came to speaking truth, just as Jamal Khashoggi was in his columns critiquing the Saudi government. Truth is one of the key foundations of a democracy. Truth empowers people. It weeds out corruption and malfeasance. It also engenders confidence in governments and institutions that are the bedrock of society. Speaking truth to power is as necessary today as it has ever been. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi is just the latest reminder in a long line of examples that includes Manuel de Dios Unanue and many others.

Knicks And Nets Stink, But Queens Has Good Basketball

LETTERS digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively. In an environmentally sustainable world, just as we replace fossil fuels by wind, solar, and other pollution-free energy sources, we must also replace meat and dairy products in our diet by vegetables, fruits, and grains. Our next supermarket visit offers a superb opportunity to get started. Felix Britt, Fresh Meadows

To The Editor: This week the NBA season kicked off, and the Nets and Knicks are projected to stink once again. Vegas oddsmakers predict the two teams might win 60 games, combined. So if you love basketball, instead of trekking to MSG or Barclays, you may want to look into getting tickets to see St. John’s—a team that actually has a lot of promise heading into this season. This week, Auburn transfer Mustapha Heron—a highly recruited 6’ 5’’ shooting guard who lit up the SEC for the past two years—was ruled eligible to play for the Johnnies this year after forgoing the NBA draft in order to move closer to his ailing mom in Connecticut. Heron’s story of passing up millions of dollars and his dream to play in the NBA to spend more time with his sick mom and his family is heartwarming, and reason enough to support this bright young star. But when you couple his incredible talent with St. John’s’ already–NBA-bound star Shamorie Ponds, you have a team that is

sure to excite on the court. In fact, when you look at returning starters Marvin Clark, a transfer from Big 10 powerhouse Michigan State; and Justin Simon, a transfer from the prominent Pac-10 program Arizona, you could argue that the Johnnies may be able to put forth one of the best starting fives in the Big East. In addition to seeing some high-quality basketball, you can’t beat the price: Season tickets for some of the best seats at St. John’s will run you $660. Compare that to one courtside ticket for the Knicks this Saturday against the Celtics—which is going for about $5,500. The Johnnies are probably not going to win the Big East. They are still likely not as good as returning national champion Villanova or perennial tournament team Butler, but they are definitely poised to give their opponents a challenge this year. And they will likely give the borough a team to cheer for in the NCAA tournament come March. Go Johnnies!

To The Editor: Right on the heels of utter devastation wrought by Hurricanes Florence and Michael, comes an alarming report in the prestigious journal Nature that mitigation of global climate change will require a massive switch to plant-based eating. The report concludes that global warming threatens the world’s very food supply, in addition to generating scorching heat, raging wildfires, devastating hurricanes, massive flooding, and rising sea levels. It was compiled by an international panel of 23 climate experts and follows the latest warning about rising temperatures by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A 2010 United Nations report blamed animal agriculture for 19% of greenhouse gas emissions, 70% of freshwater use, and 38% of land use. Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by operating factory farms. The more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from

[Responding to] your 10/11 report: “Meng rallies against postal privatization.” Readers should join the protest against privatizing the U.S. Postal Service. This is a GOP move to turn a public service into a private profit center at our expense. In fact, the money-bleeding USPS could make a profit if it were not for the Postal Accountability & Enhancement Act of 2006, which requires pre-funding retiree health benefits 75 years in advance. Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) & Rep. Thomas Davis (Virginia) co-sponsored this bill, which Pres. George W. Bush. signed into law. Democrats can repeal that law if they gain control of Congress in November’s election. Even in our digital age, the USPS is vital service for many who use it to pay bills, receive checks & get their medications, magazines & other publications by mail. The Postal Service is our nation’s largest employer of military veterans, who are among more than 600,000 USPS employees. (Source: AARP Oct. Bulletin). Our Constitution’s creators called for a postal service to unify this vast nation nearly 250 years ago. It still does that job today. Richard Reif, Kew Gardens

Editor’s Note About Protecting Sources In this week’s newspaper, we are running a story about the state’s free college tuition program, the Excelsior Scholarship. In our story (on page 8), we have chosen to hide the identity of one student who is currently attending a CUNY school and admitted to us that he lied on his application about his family’s income in order to be eligible. The decision before “Bill” (a name we made up to protect the person’s true identity) was a difficult one. He clearly wants to have more opportunity in his life and understands the importance of a college education in achieving his career goals. But in order to reach that goal, he has compromised his values. During the reporting of this story, Bill made it clear that he knew he had done something wrong. He also made it clear to us that he would not have been able to go to college otherwise. We think Bill’s story is an important one to tell. However, we don’t think it is our place to reveal him to government officials, who would likely take action against him—either kicking him out of the CUNY system or taking criminal legal action against him. As a news organization, we don’t condone illegal activity. But we also understand there are a lot of gray areas in this world where people are forced to make compromising choices to better their lives. Our goal is to truthfully tell the stories of our readers so we have a better-informed society. In this instance, we felt protecting Bill’s identity was necessary to bring our readers the truth. — Michael Gareth Johnson Queens Tribune editor-in-chief and Ocean Gold executive news director



The Queens Tribune, July 12, 2018


The agon as spectacle

In the late second century, the early Christian writer Tertullian composed a moral treatise on the Roman games—De Spectaculis, or On the Spectacle. The mere act of watching, Tertullian argued, made the spectator a participant in the games. Accordingly, witnessing such brutal violence perpetrated by gladiators in the Colosseum or the Circus Maximus morally injured the spectator as deeply as any of the physical wounds suffered by the bloodied competitors. “The show,” Tertullian wrote, “always leads to spiritual agitation.” One wonders about the moral health and spiritual temperament of contemporary society, where the advent of the smartphone has allowed for any happening—the more brutal, horrific or sentimental, the better— to be broadcast live to social media, to be watched instantly and repeatedly. We have entered the era of the daily spectacle. The strange and disturbing have become quotidian, and we thirst to be shocked and alarmed ever more fiercely and frequently. Take, for example, last week’s visit to the White House by the musician Kanye West, and the whole sordid discussion that has followed in its wake. It is a discussion that reeks of latent racism; the morbid curiosity of watching someone fall from a great height; and a disturbing trend to label anyone crazy or abhorrent if he does not act

or think as we might expect or want him to. The lampooning of West on Saturday Night Live was particularly distasteful. Any person who has been exposed to mania or psychotic episodes could immediately recognize the signs that something was not quite right with the rapper. The sketch was even more unpleasant in light of the recent history between West and SNL. Last month, after hosting the show, West apparently went on an off-air “pro-Trump rant.” One of the show’s cast members, Pete Davidson, who has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder—a form of depression—addressed the incident on the show the following week. He said that “being mentally ill is not an excuse to act like a jackass,” and urged West to get back on his medication because “there is no shame in the medication game.” Davidson’s monologue, which was received with near unanimous acclaim, displays some worrying tendencies in the way we speak about mental illness. The first is that a mental illness is used as “an excuse,” as if it were a choice. Davidson is correct in saying that it is not an excuse; it is the reason people who suffer from bipolar or borderline personality disorder or schizophrenia often behave in a way that is at odds with their usual manner. The choice, Davidson suggests, is that one can

medicate the illness away. This leads to the second worrying trend: Davidson’s statement implies that all mental illnesses are equal and can be treated equally effectively. Davidson may very well be satisfied with the way his medication works in treating his illness, but he has no idea how West responds to his. Some sufferers of mental illness are so devitalized by their medications that the choice between 1) a constant, medicated incapacity to think and feel and 2) a period of “normalcy” interrupted by moments of mania or depression, no matter how difficult, frequent or sustained, is no choice at all. The reason Davidson gave for wanting West to be medicated—that he “acted like a jerk” backstage and went on a political “rant”—sets the bar low in resolving to subject someone to drugs that are laden with negative and often permanent side effects. One gets the feeling that the politics of this rant might have influenced Davidson’s opinion more than the state of West’s mental health. Do we now medicate anyone whose views we do not approve of? I am not an admirer of either President Donald Trump or of West. However, far more frightening to me than their politics is the expressed desire to see them silenced or suppressed through medication. Let us not forget that at the beginning of the 20th century, eugenics was the darling of progressive, liberal thought. West’s White House visit came a day after #mentalhealthday. Beyond the irony of the hashtag—social media are proven to increase levels of anxiety and depression, the two most frequently cited mental health “issues” in the country—the conversation around the day exposed how infantilized and pathologized sufferers of “mental illnesses” are in this country, and how ready we are to allow big pharma to once again come to our rescue and cure our ills. One of the problems with the term “mental health” is that it can only be defined by what it is not, or what is absent; that is, we can only judge a person’s health in relation to “illness.” Therefore we must ask, who gets to define what constitutes an illness and declare who is mentally healthy and who is not? After the UN’s recent climate report, which more or less confirmed our worst fears, a sufferer of anxiety or mild depression might very well wonder what the “healthy” posture of being in contemporary society is, if not anxious or depressed.

One writer who perhaps did more than anyone else to humanize sufferers of mental illness was the Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing. In his groundbreaking work The Divided Self, first published in 1960, Laing made mental illness and the process of going mad comprehensible. He argued that patients should be seen as people, not objects; that the person comes before the “thing,” that is, a person is more than his or her brain and its functions or malfunctions. “Man’s being can be seen from different points of view and one or other aspect can be made the focus of study,” Laing wrote. “In particular, man can be seen as a person or thing. Now, even the same thing, seen from different points of view, gives rise to two entirely different descriptions, and the descriptions give rise to two entirely different theories, and the theories result in two entirely different sets of action. The initial way we see a thing determines all our subsequent dealings with it.” His work with schizophrenic patients in London changed the way we view those who suffer from that disease. No longer were they merely “cases”; they were people, with histories and stories that were as important to their mental health as any chemical balance in their brain. We too often classify people with erratic behavior as “sick” or “ill,” pathologizing and objectifying them. We would suppress West’s behavior and medicate him because we cannot understand it fully. At the same time, we don’t hesitate to lampoon it, for it is just another spectacle to enjoy. “Our civilization represses not only ‘the instincts’ but any form of transcendence....” wrote Laing. “In the context of our present pervasive madness that we call normality, sanity, freedom, all our frames of reference are ambiguous and equivocal….Thus I would wish to emphasize that our ‘normal’ ‘adjusted’ state is too often the abdication of ecstasy, the betrayal of our true personalities, that many of us are only too successful in acquiring a false self to adapt to false realities.” If anyone has any interest in the ways in which our minds inhabit, tolerate and defend against the world into which they are thrust beyond the platitudes, slogans and monologues of comedians, I would recommend The Divided Self.

person with health insurance.” So opens Barbara Ehrenreich’s often caustic, funny and deeply profound book in which she takes on both the medical industry and its alternative cousin, the “wellness” industry. Natural Causes is a sequel to her famous 2001 essay “Welcome to Cancerland,” in which Ehrenreich detailed her “journey” through breast cancer, in which she felt objectified by doctors and infantilized by the pink-ribboned commerce around the disease, and lost much faith in the medical industry. A scientist by training, Ehrenreich points out just how unscientific many of the medical procedures forced upon us by our doctors are, while at the same time taking aim at “holistic” approaches to delaying the inevitable—death. The specter of the great nothing beyond is a constant presence throughout the book, which asserts that there is no surefire way to delay it. Interestingly, Ehrenreich ends in deeply philosophical territory regarding the very modern notion of the “self,” of who we actually are: a collection of cells that make up a body, not all of which have our best interests

at heart; the voice in our head, our consciousness; or some indefinable mixture of the two?

BRIEFLY NOTED The Best American Poetry 1988, 30th Anniversary Edition Guest Editor John Ashbery, Series Editor David Lehman (Scribner, $18.99) The Best American Poetry series turns 30 this year, and along with the launch of the 2018 volume, Scribner has released a new edition of the series’ very first installment, The Best American Poetry 1988, guest-edited by the late John Ashbery. It more than deserves its re-issue: The volume is a veritable who’s who of great American poets of the second half of the 20th century, featuring three Nobel Laureates and countless Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners among its 75 contributors. As such, the volumes’ Contents page is an astonishing litany of poets, including A.R. Ammons, Ted Berrigan, Joseph Brodsky, Wanda Coleman, Robert Creeley, Barbara Guest, Donald Hall, Seamus Heaney, John Hollander, Richard Howard, Donald Justice, Kenneth Koch, Philip Levine, Harry Mathews, Bernadette Meyer, James Merrill, Eileen Myles, Ron Padgett, Robert Pinsky, James

Schuyler, Charles Simic, May Swenson, James Tate and Derek Walcott. Also of great value is Ashbery’s introduction. He is famously enigmatic, so any insight into one of world poetry’s great minds—especially his thoughts on poetry itself— is to be cherished, and his short essay on the state of American poetry three decades ago does not disappoint. Ashbery opens in typical fashion by stating that “one of the minor disadvantages of being a poet (as opposed to the major ones, which everybody—every poet at least—already knows about) is being continually asked who reads one’s poetry. Or who reads poetry.” It is characteristic of Ashbery’s wit to lampoon the very pursuit he is undertaking, while still managing to convince us that the pursuit is a worthwhile one to undertake. “More to the point,” he asks later on, “do even poets read poetry? Having taught writing classes for quite a few years, I have my doubts.” This anthology should be read and cherished by all, poets or not.

Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, The Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer. Barbara Ehrenreich (Twelve Books, 26.85, hardcover). “In the last few years I have given up on the many medical measures—cancer screenings, annual exams, Pap smears, for example—expected of a responsible

The Flame: Poems, Notebooks, Lyrics, Drawings Leonard Cohen (FSG, $28 hardcover) Before Leonard Cohen was known for being the man with the golden voice, he was a poet and novelist. The Flame, a collection of poems, lyrics and drawings from his final few years, is a great testament to the artist Bob Dylan once referred to as the greatest living songwriter. Cohen sadly passed away in November of 2016, so this posthumous collection is the last offering from one of the most brilliant and prolific artists of our times. “This volume contains my father’s final efforts as a poet,” Cohen’s son Adam writes in his foreword. “It is what he was staying alive to do, his sole breathing purpose at the end.” His last breaths are full of dark and dry wit, deep reflection and an irresistible turn of phrase that will burn bright in our minds for decades to come.


This month marks the 75th anniversar y of the greatest literary hoax of the 20th Century, the Ern Malley affair. It was carried out by a couple of Australian soldiers at their desks in the offices of the Victoria Barracks, headquarters of the Australian Army, on a slow Saturday in October 1943. James MacAuley and Harold Stewart were a pair of Sydney poets and noncombatant soldiers with a shared hatred of modern poetry in general, and a particular animus towards Angry Penguins, an Adelaide-based journal edited by twenty-two year-old prodigy Max Harris, who championed the surreal and experimental. In a single afternoon, MacAuley and Stewart concocted the collected works of Ernest Lalor Malley. Mimicking the modernist poets they loathed, they lifted lines at random from papers on their desks (Shakespeare, a dictionary of quotations, an American report on the breeding grounds of mosquitos...), deliberately producing what they considered bad poetry. The hoaxers then wrote a preface to the work, giving Malley a heartwrenching biography written by his grieving sister, Ethel. It was she who sent Malley’s posthumous collection, The Darkening Ecliptic, to Max Harris, who bought it hook, line and sinker. Angry Penguins published the work in full, dedicating the entirety of the following issue to the poems, which had attracted much praise from the modernist set, including glowing words from Sydney Nolan, the most recognized Australian artist of the 20th Century. The magazine was ambushed by the hoax’s exposure in the press of June 1944. It was not only a fatal blow to Angry Penguins, which folded after the revelation, but also a deep wound in the progress of Australian modernist poetry, a wound which has never fully healed. “The Ern Malley affair was the century’s greatest literary hoax,” writes New York School poet, critic and anthologist David Lehman, “not because it completely hoodwinked Harris... but because Ern Malley escaped the controls of his creators, and enjoyed an autonomous existence beyond, and at odds with, the critical and satirical intentions of MacAuely and Stewart. They succeeded better than they knew or wished to know.”

APHORISM OF THE WEEK What writers, thinkers and artists of the past might have tweeted about the week that was. “There is hope, an infinite amount of hope—only not for us.” Franz Kafka After a week that saw the UN Climate report—which described a strong risk of crisis as early as 2040—given credence by yet another super storm, Michael, devastating the Florida coast, it is difficult not to think of Franz Kafka’s words to his friend Max Brod, that our world is merely ‘a bad mood of God, a bad day of his.” Kafka went on to say that outside of this manifestation of the world, there is hope, an infinite amount. Only we cannot reach it.


Queens Today

The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018


Alexa Tarantino Quartet

A Call For Climate Action

Fall Festival 2018

Complicated Territory

Play games, make corn husk dolls, churn butter 19th century style, press apple cider, interact with an historic interpreter. Starts at noon. King Manor Museum, King Park, vicinity of 153rd Street and Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica.

Exhibition curator Bridget Donlon and artists Alex McQuilkin and Erin M. Riley offer a tour of the title show, which explores parallels between second wave and contemporary feminists and art historical legacies. Starts at 3:30pm. Dorsky Gallery, 11-03 45th Ave., LIC.


A Call for Climate Action This refreshing and engaging ensemble performs original compositions and modern twists on classic jazz standards and favorites. Starts at 2pm. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd.




Bird Walks with the NYC Audubon

Twelve screenings of a shocking new documentary on Issei Sagawa. On June 13, 1981 in Paris, the Sorbonne student was caught discarding two bloody suitcases containing the remains of his Dutch classmate, whom he had murdered and begun to consume. Declared legally insane, Sagawa returned to Japan a free man. Since then, he has made a living off his crime by writing novels, drawing manga, and appearing in documentaries and sexploitation films. Directors Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor are in person on Oct 19 and Oct 20. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District.

Check out creatures of flight with experienced ornithologists. Starts at 9:30am. Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., Flushing. ----------------------------------------------


---------------------------------------------Julie Mayo: Terrific Freight

South American Women on the Mashup: Inkhay Rise Forum & & Rio Mira Expo Inkhay celebrates the indigenous music of the Andes Mountains with the woodwind instruments. Río Mira’s music is rooted in the Pacific Coast of Ecuador and Colombia with the marimba playing a unifying role in the sound. Each band plays a set. Then, they jam together. Dance lesson at 7 pm. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd.

A United Nations Day celebration with UNA-USA and the Climate Museum calling for action to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the Paris Agreement. The event includes a visit to the installation “Climate Signals” at the Unisphere with the artist, Justin Brice Guariglia, followed by a panel discussion with sustainability agents from the city, state and UN levels, and the director of Climate Museum on how to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Starts at noon. Queens Museum, NYC Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Two days of panel discussions, classes, chats, shopping, and networking with female authors, consultants, coaches, entrepreneurs, executives, and other professionals. Schedule: Oct. 19, 8 am to 10 pm; and Oct. 20, 8 am to 6 pm. LaGuardia Plaza Hotel, 104-04 Ditmars Blvd., East Elmhurst.


18th Annual Greater Jamaica Harvest Festival Pumpkins, cooking demonstrations, live music, sweet potato pie contest. On 160th Street between Jamaica and 90th avenues. Starts at 11am.

The Capitol Steps: Making America Grin Again!



Exhibition curator Bridget Donlon and artists Alex McQuilkin and Erin M. Riley offer a tour of the title show, which explores parallels between second wave and contemporary feminists and art historical legacies. Starts at 3:30pm. Dorsky Gallery, 11-03 45th Ave., LIC. ----------------------------------------------

It’s huuuuge, and it has nothing to do with Russia. Hear from Donald and Melania Trump, James Comey, Vladimir Putin, Elizabeth Warren, and even Hillary Clinton as they make comedy great again with help from The Capitol Steps. Starts at 3pm. Queensborough Performing Arts Center.


Frank Sinatra Books


Andean Music Workshop

James Kaplan, who has written two bestselling biographies on Sinatra (“Frank: The Voice” in 2010 and “Sinatra: The Chairman” in 2015), speaks about his works. This kicks off a three-presentation series. Starts at 7pm. Kupferberg Center for the Arts, LeFrak Hall’s Room 264. Queens College, Kissena Boulevard, Flushing.

Master Teaching Artist Pepe Santana shares the history of Andean culture, traditions and music, while also showing how to make and play a pentatonic panpipe. Starts at 11:30am. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd.



New Music NYC

South American Mashup: Inkhay & Rio Mira

Musica Reginae presents new music by New York composers for voice and ensemble inspired by Catherine Schmitt, James Joyce, Duke Ellington, and Thelonius Monk. Starts at 7 p.m. The Church-in-the-Gardens, 50 Ascan Ave., Forest Hills.



The Ugly Duckling

Julie Mayo: Terrific Freight

Lightwire Theater uses electroluminescent wire to tell the classic story of “The Ugly Duckling” through a cutting-edge blend of puppetry, technology, and dance. Shows at 1pm & 3pm. Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Ave. S., Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

A dance of resilience that evokes a flood of shifting occasions, moving through a series of fractal, at times farcical, encounters among a “distributed conglomerate” of four performers. Shows at 8 pm every night. The Chocolate Factory, 5-49 49th Ave., LIC.


The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018


FREE MAMMOGRAMS FOR UNINSURED WOMEN Every year, about 266,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer. For many of them, the first inkling that something is wrong comes from an abnormal mammogram. The breastscreening procedure can detect lumps years before they’re big enough to be felt. Catching breast cancer early greatly improves a woman’s chances of survival, underscoring why mammograms are so important. According to the latest guidelines from the American Cancer Society, women between the ages of 40 and 44 should consider getting a yearly mammogram if they so choose. At age 45, an annual mammogram is recommended. Women 55 and over can begin spacing their mammograms out to once every two years. Regular mammograms are not typically recommended for women under 40, unless there are known risk factors such as a family history. Speak to your doctor about when to schedule a mammogram. If you’re a woman of an age for a mammogram, you don’t have to worry about how much the screening will cost: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) eliminates copayments for the test, which means your doctor will bill your insurance with no out-of-pocket cost to you. A Brown University study found that the ACA elimination of those costs resulted in a 6 percent increase in the number of women getting screened. For women who are uninsured, however, there are still mammogram options available in Queens. The American Italian Cancer Foundation (AICF) runs a mobile mammography van all over the city, as does a nonprofit called Project Renewal. Any woman over 40 is eligible for either. The AICF mobile care clinic can accommodate walk-ins, but appointments are advised. Call 1-877628-9090 to schedule. Take ID and if you’ve had a previous mammogram, take the film if possible. The clinic will be at the following times and locations: Wed., Oct. 24, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Rx Plus Pharmacy 71-30 Myrtle Ave., Glendale 11385 Fri., Oct. 26, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Public School 305 378 Seneca Ave., Ridgewood 11385 Fri., Oct. 26, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Canaan Baptist Church of Corona 39-8 104th St., Corona 11368 Thu., Nov. 1, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Joseph Addabbo Family Health Center 6200 Beach Channel Dr., Arverne 11692 Fri., Nov. 2, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. New York Community Bank 156-02 Cross Bay Blvd., Howard Beach 11414 Wed., Nov. 7, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Firehouse Health Center 89-56 162nd St., Jamaica 11432 Sat., Nov. 10, 9 .am. – 5 p.m. Cityview Pharmacy 23-07 Astoria Blvd., Astoria 11102 Mon., Nov. 12, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Safe Medical Care 97-47 77th St., Ozone Park 11416

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time when everyone impacted by the horrible disease comes together to remember the victims, celebrate the survivors, and draw attention to the latest health recommendations for prevention and treatment. It is estimated that about 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. While tremendous strides have been made in combating the disease, it is still estimated that roughly 40,000 women will have died from breast cancer in the United States in 2018. On Sunday, hundreds of people will gather for the American Cancer Society’s Queens Making Strides walk in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, to provide support and bring awareness to breast cancer. The opening ceremony will take place at 8 a.m., with the walk beginning at 10 a.m. In this week’s special #Pinktober section of the Queens Tribune, we highlight the inspirational story of one survivor who is passing along hope to others; look at some of the New York-based celebrities who have overcome the disease; and provide women with advice on how to get a mammogram for free in the borough.

Wed., Nov. 14, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Damian Family Health Center 137-50 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica 11435 At Project Renewal’s Scan Van, appointments are needed—call 1-800-564-6868. Dates and locations are the following: Mon., Oct. 22, 9 a.m. Community Healthcare Network 36-11 21st St., Long Island City 11106 Wed., Nov. 7, 9 a.m. Community Healthcare Network 90-04 161st St., Jamaica 11432 Mon., Nov. 19, 9 a.m. Community Healthcare Network 36-11 21st St., Long Island City 11106 Sun., Dec. 2, 9:30 a.m. Tvistomi Association 68-29 Springfield Blvd., Oakland Gardens 11364 Wed., Dec. 5, 9 a.m. Community Healthcare Network 90-04 161st St., Jamaica 11432 Mon., Dec. 17, 9 a.m. Community Healthcare Network 36-11 21st St., Long Island City 11106 One in eight women will battle breast cancer in her lifetime. Taking a few hours out of your day for a mammogram could save decades of your life.


Breast Cancer Awareness

The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018


Allison Alexis (left) with Anna Kril (center) and Anna Zabniak (right)

“You know how they say be careful what you wish for because you just might get it? Well, I did. I called it.” Allison Alexis, 51, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. While it was a shock, for her the cancer diagnosis was not the worst thing that could have happened. At the time, she felt that she had already lived through her most painful experience: losing her longtime partner in a failed relationship two years earlier. Alexis went on to realize that the cancer that could have killed her actually helped teach her how to live life again—giving her hope that she now passes on to hundreds of others as a breast cancer survivor. Alexis immigrated to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago in 1987 with her mother and younger sister. Just 20 years old at the time, she went her own way after a few months, moving in with her boyfriend of three years who had also moved to America from Trinidad. She settled in the Bronx against the wishes of some in her family. “That was tough because it was the first time I had ever left my mom’s house coming from the Caribbean,” said Alexis. “My analysis of that is that it was like sending a carpenter out with no tools.” Her mother ended up moving to Massachusetts with Alexis’ older and younger sisters, leaving Alexis on her own, with only her aunt and uncle in New York City. Shortly after, her boyfriend decided that he wanted to be a truck driver, which required him to leave New York for training. Alexis

“So many people battling cancer can’t talk to their families and friends because they can’t understand the pain and process.” went to Massachusetts to stay with her family for a few months until he returned. When he got back, Alexis spent about three and a half years with him on the road. “It was fun,” said Alexis. “I saw quite a bit of the United States.” After 25 years together, her boyfriend announced he didn’t want to be with her anymore, and Alexis found herself alone. At age 42, she was hurt and sad. She told the Queens Tribune she felt like she didn’t want to live anymore. Two years later the cancer came. Alexis began to feel lightheaded and dizzy each month. “It was so bad that every morning when I walked along Queens Boulevard, I couldn’t cross the street by myself because I knew that if I did, I would fall,” said Alexis. “So I would be begging people to cross me. It went

on every month.” Alexis’ doctor instructed her to take oral contraceptives, which would supply hormones. “I said no; hormones are bad,” said Alexis. But her doctor convinced her that a mild dose of birth control pills would stop the dizziness. “Little did I know that going on the mildest dose of birth control would be what brought my cancer forth,” said Alexis. As a woman in her 40s, Alexis went for a mammogram every year as instructed. After her mammogram in 2011, she started receiving calls to return for a follow-up— calls she refused to answer, as many women do when fearing bad news. “My primary doctor called me saying that I need to answer those calls and I need to go in to do another test,” said Alexis. “By then, I

suspected I had breast cancer.” Alexis said not only did she have to have another mammogram, but a sonogram as well, which showed the lump on her left breast. The next step was a needle biopsy, followed by a regular biopsy, followed by a CT scan, MRI and then finally a full body scan. “I’m lying in the room. The doctor comes in and begins stapling the breast,” said Alexis. “She’s clamping the area so that when I go for surgery, they know where exactly to go in. At this point, I know it’s positive. Why do I know it’s positive? Because after being with my [partner] for over 20-something years, taking care of him, doing everything for him, when I found out he was leaving, I didn’t want to live anymore. I called it. I called this. So when the doctor called me to tell me my results, I wasn’t surprised.”

Alexis was at work when she received the call that she was breast cancer positive. She said she could never forget boarding the Q10 bus on Union Turnpike, taking it to her Richmond Hill home. “I remember crying from the time I got on the bus to the time I got home,” said Alexis. From that moment on, everything happened quickly. With Alexis’ surgery set for April 18, 2011, her doctor recommended that she seek support from SHAREing & CAREing—a nonprofit that provides cancer outreach, education, support and advocacy services. “I will never forget the day I came in. Anna [executive assistant Anna Zabniak] was standing at the door with her arms open, literally,” said Alexis. “By then, my face was drowning in tears. She gave me the biggest hug and told me that they were there, and it’s true: They were. They’ve been there since 2011 and they’re still here for me now.” A couple of weeks after the surgery, Alexis would begin getting chemo every three weeks until August 4 of that year. “First rounds of chemo, my hair was gone,” said Alexis. “That was insane, but the most insane thing is that first chemo and the pain you feel in your joints. I had never felt anything like that in my life. It felt like someone was pulling the marrow out of my bones.” The pain Alexis was feeling was “normal.” After chemo, patients are given shots of Neulasta to build back the white blood cells that the chemo kills. “When I started chemo, many times I didn’t have anyone, and Anna would come sit with me and make sure I got home,” said Alexis. Anna Zabniak remembered one of the times that she attended chemo with Alexis. “I’ve been in rooms with people having chemo before, but there was a time that I went with Allison where they wanted to keep her nails from turning color so they would put bags of ice on her hands and I would keep talking so that she didn’t think about it,” said Zabniak. On Sept. 7, 2011, Alexis began her radiation treatments, which left a permanent dark discoloration on the left side of her face. It wasn’t until November of 2011 that Alexis’ treatments ended. Her cancer was gone, but she then faced the symptoms of menopause, in addition to having to take medication to get the chemo out of her system. “It took me two years to get rid of the chemo,” said Alexis. “To this day, I still have pain in my feet and my fingers randomly go numb. But I’m doing OK.” Although Alexis defeated the cancer, she didn’t forget about it. She instead decided to create a cancer walk in Richmond Hill, which has taken place every September since 2014, with all donations going directly to SHAREing & CAREing. “There are many that go through the process and get on with life and could care less about anyone else; those are the ones that usually end up with recurrences and become bitter,” said Anna Kril, president and founder of SHAREing & CAREing. “But Allison has made tremendous inroads and outreach in our most vulnerable populations. That’s why it’s so beautiful what she does—to go through her own personal hardships, be able to overcome that and then have this strength to help others. She always gives back and she also is saving so many people’s lives by making them aware that they have to do this.” During each cancer walk, Alexis awards either cancer survivors or those who are battling the disease for their strength and courage. In addition to the walk, Alexis established her own support group, “Angels of Hope.” “So many people battling cancer can’t talk to their families and friends because they can’t understand the pain and process,” said Alexis. “Through this group, we can support each other and comfort each other.” Alexis said that if she had the option to go back and change anything, she wouldn’t. “I didn’t want to be alive after being with someone for 20-something years,” said Alexis. “Today, I feel that battling breast cancer happened to me because I needed to pull up my pants and realize how strong I am. I know now that it wasn’t for me to die. It was for me to understand my strength and what I have to offer. All my life I’ve helped everyone I could help, and it’s what I’m going to keep doing until God is ready for me.” Reach Ariel Hernandez at ahernandez@ or @reporter_ariel

The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018

Breast Cancer Awareness



Breast Cancer Awareness

The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018

CELEBRITY SURVIVORS: 10 New York Stars Who Battled Breast Cancer By KRISTINA JOHNSON

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting women. While a diagnosis is obviously terrifying, with early detection and the right treatment, breast cancer is very beatable. The following 10 survivors with ties to New York are a testament to the odds: If it’s caught early, more than 90 percent of women will be healthy at the five-year mark. CYNTHIA NIXON Before she challenged Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a hotly contested Democratic primary in September, Cynthia Nixon battled breast cancer. The former Sex and the City star was diagnosed in 2006, undergoing a lumpectomy and radiation to treat it. She was 40 years old at the time, and it wasn’t the first time the disease had touched her life: Nixon’s mother also dealt with and survived breast cancer. In a 2008 Nightline interview, she said that knowing her mother had had the disease made her aware that her chances of also getting it someday were higher. Nixon, who is a mother of three, became an ambassador for the breast cancer foundation Susan G. Komen following her ordeal. SANDRA LEE Celebrity chef Sandra Lee—the longtime girlfriend of Cuomo and de facto first lady of New York State—learned she had breast cancer after a routine mammogram in 2015. The disease was caught early, but doctors still advised her to undergo a double mastectomy to help prevent a recurrence. She has been cancer-free since, but was rehospitalized several months after her surgery due to serious complications.

Lee is now sharing intimate details of her diagnosis, treatment and recovery in a new HBO documentary called Rx: Early Detection, a Cancer Journey with Sandra Lee. The film was produced by actress Kathy Bates, a fellow breast cancer survivor. ROBIN ROBERTS Longtime Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts got her breast cancer diagnosis in 2007, announcing it on air. Roberts initially found a lump at home during a self-exam of her breasts. (Doctors recommend doing breast self-exams monthly.) The Upper West Sider would then undergo surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, as the disease was particularly aggressive. She adopted a healthier, largely organic diet and stricter workout regimen in hopes of staying healthy, but developed a rare blood cancer called myelodysplastic syndrome in 2011. Ironically, it can be a side effect of undergoing cancer treatment. That condition required a bone marrow transplant, but Roberts has been healthy since then. JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS In 2017, actress Julia Louis Dreyfus put production of her hit HBO comedy Veep on hold after learning she had breast cancer. The Manhattan-born

comedian broke the news to her fans on Twitter, expressing optimism about her fight and her support network. She also took the opportunity to advocate for universal healthcare to help women in similar circumstances. The Seinfeld star underwent surgery and finished up chemotherapy earlier this year, and recently returned to work on a new season of Veep. GLORIA STEINEM Activist and icon Gloria Steinem had a bout with breast cancer in the 1980s. She underwent a lumpectomy and followed it up with radiation. Steinem rose to prominence as a leader of the then-fledgling feminist movement in the 1960s. The Upper East Sider got her start as a journalist, jumpstarting her career with an explosive exposé of the New York Playboy Club. Despite her cancer battle three decades ago, Steinem is still going strong today at 84 years old. HODA KOTB TODAY Show anchor Hoda Kotb fought breast cancer in 2007 when she was just 42 years old. Her doctor delivered the shocking news to Kotb over the phone while she was in a meeting with an intern. The journalist was very open about her diagnosis and treatment, letting NBC cameras document much of her journey. She underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, dealing with it all in the midst of a nasty divorce from thenhusband Burzis Kanga. In 2017, Kotb celebrated two happy milestones: 10 years cancer free and the adoption of a baby girl she named Haley Joy.


CARLY SIMON “You’re So Vain” songster Carly Simon battled breast cancer in 1998 at age 52. The Bronx-born Simon had planned to keep the news under wraps, but went public with her diagnosis after the National Enquirer got wind of the story because she feared the paper would sensationalize it. She has said she struggled with depression during her treatment, which included a lumpectomy and chemotherapy. Simon, who shares two children with singersongwriter James Taylor, channeled her pain into her art. Her 2000 album The Bedroom Tapes included the song “Scar,” which highlighted her breast cancer fight. AMY ROBACH A TV segment may well have saved Amy Robach’s life. The former Good Morning America anchor and Manhattan resident underwent a mammogram on live TV for the morning show in October 2013 as part of a segment on breast cancer awareness. Weeks later, she took to the air to announce that she had stage-2 breast cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes. The journalist underwent a double mastectomy and eight rounds of chemotherapy in addition to multiple surgeries. She has also detailed her struggles with early menopause, a common side effect of chemotherapy. The mother of two left GMA earlier this year and became co-anchor of ABC’s 20/20 alongside David Muir. EDIE FALCO Actress Edie Falco found out she had breast cancer while in the middle of filming HBO drama The Sopranos in 2003. She was

40 years old at the time. The Brooklynborn Falco kept the news largely secret, continuing to show up to work even as she underwent chemotherapy. Chemorelated hair loss meant her character, Carmela Soprano, suddenly changed to a new, closely cropped hairstyle. A recovering alcoholic and former drug addict, Falco credited her sobriety with giving her the strength to make it through cancer treatment. The actress, who also starred in Oz and Nurse Jackie, has said that her battle with cancer makes her extra-grateful for her life. She adopted a son and a daughter after going into remission. RICHARD ROUNDTREE Richard Roundtree was a superstar in the 1970s, thanks to a starring role in Shaft. The New Rochelle native was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993 after finding a lump in his chest. He underwent a mastectomy to remove his left breast and a lymph node. Roundtree kept the news secret for about five years, until a TV role required him to remove his shirt and expose his scars. He is now an advocate to raise awareness for male breast cancer. Men make up a tiny fraction of breast cancer cases—about 1 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute. But these cases often go undetected and untreated until the disease has advanced, making it harder to fight.

The most advanced care in Queens.


LANA Briarwood, NY Survived pancreatic cancer

The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018


ACROSS 1 Migraine feature 5 Found in New York and L A 10 Advanced degrees? 14 Battleship game call 15 Japanese dog 16 --- -Z Chevy 17 Hair stripper 19 1971 Pan American Games site 20 Having no poles 21 They live just north of the Gulf of Aden 23 Undercover (Abbr.) 26 Short kin 27 “Goodnight” girl of song 30 Japanese IT firm 32 Double-dealing 35 Christine --- (“The Phantom of the Opera” heroine) 36 Freshen 38 1960’s chess champ 39 Admission requirements, perhaps 40 Experian, formerly 41 “Riddle me, riddle me --- “ 42 “As I see it,” in an e-mail 43 Granola grain 44 Spinach substitutes 46 Functions 47 1983 Michael Keaton househusband film 49 Houston Rocket man --- Ming 50 --- of time 51 You are, south of the border 53 Ankle covers 55 One day --58 Brown v. Board of Education city 62 The “C” in U P C 63 He was The Toast of the Town 66 All excited 67 Minneapolis suburb 68 Bombard 69 “Field of Dreams” setting 70 Anti-depressants 71 Exile isle

Last Week’s Answers

DOWN 1 “ ... to your beauteous blessings --curse”: Shakespeare 2 University by the Rio Grande 3 Bank take-back 4 Coal-tar dye feedstock 5 South Asian collaborative body 6 It gets you in (Abbr.) 7 “--- Bravo” (John Wayne film) 8 Possible response to “Nice job” 9 One who forks over 10 With grace 11 Changeover 12 Hindu spring festival 13 Biol. and chem., e.g. 18 Rural route 22 Ruckus 24 Can’t go back on one of these streets 25 Male convert to Judaism 27 Manner of speaking 28 “M*A*S*H” role 29 Long Island hamlet 31 Drive-in employee 33 Set, as a price 34 Shine 36 Departure’s opposite (Abbr.) 37 French possessive 40 “My Cousin Vinnie” Oscar winner Marisa --45 En tout --- (whatever happens) 46 Energy transporter 48 Daniel of Nicaragua 50 Acronym for a small-runway aircraft 52 Pintails 54 World supporter 55 Smoothie ingredient 56 Like some orders 57 Teaching quals. 59 Daredevil Robert’s nickname 60 Continental Army Major-General Baron de --61 Architectural pilaster 64 Said to senior officer 65 Seat of higher learning (Abbr.)




Legal Notices

The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018

Legal Notices

The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018


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The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018


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The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018








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• Paintings • Clocks • Watches • Estate Jewelry • Coins • Stamps • Antique Furniture • Hummels/LLadros • Records • Sterling Silver Swords • Knives • Helmets




House Calls & Same Day Service Available


Luke - Boss



• • • • • •

Building Maintenance


TREE SERVICE • Tree Removal • Stumps • Fertilization


BUYING OLD ROLEX WATCHES I am a watch collector looking to purchase old Rolex, Brietling, Cartier, Omega, IWC, Panerai, and more... Please contact me directly at

In Business 54 Years. Call Me 1st!



Attention Viagra users: Generic 100 mg blue pills or Generic 20 mg yellow pills. Get 45 plus 5 free $99 + S/H. Guaranteed, no prescription necessary. Call 877-845-8068.

Struggling with DRUGS or ALCOHOL? Addicted to PILLS? Talk to someone who cares. Call The Addiction Hope & Help Line for a free assessment. 1-855-995-2069

Donate your car to Wheels For Wishes, benefiting Make-A-Wish. We offer free towing and your donation is 100% tax deductible. Call (917) 336-1254


The Queens Tribune, Thursday, October 18, 2018

Medicare+Medicaid= More Benefits for You! Medicare Card NEW MEDICARE HEALTH INSURANCE Name/Nombre



You may be eligible for additional moneysaving benefits through our Dual Advantage plans, including:

Medicare Number/Número de Medicare

1XX0-XX0-XX00 Entitled to/Con derecho a



Coverage starts/Cobertura empieza

01-01-2018 01-01-2018

Medicaid/Common Benefit Identification Card (CBIC) NEW


Monthly OTC Card up to $100 (to pay for items like OTC medications, toothpaste, incontinence supplies, and more)



Care Management support

Top-quality doctors and hospitals

Discounts for hearing devices*

and many more!

For a complete listing of plans in your service area, contact the plan. The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information, contact the plan. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, premium and/or copayments/ coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. Out-of-network services may require more out-ofpocket expense than in-network services. Benefit restrictions apply. Fidelis Legacy Plan is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Fidelis Legacy Plan depends on contract renewal. *Fidelis Legacy Plan partners with TruHearing for discounted purchases of hearing devices.

Call us today! 1-800-860-8707 TTY: 711

Monday–Sunday, 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. from October 1–March 31 Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. from April 1–September 30

H3328_FC 18170_M