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Christine Haider, seated right, will become the chairwoman of Community Board 11 in April. The others elected as vice chairwomen are Eileen Miller, seated left, Ocelia Claro, standing left, and Laura James.
Just in time for Women’s History Month, Community Board 11 on March 3 elected an all-woman slate for its top four positions.
In what may be a first for community boards in Queens and definitely for CB 11, the new all-female leadership includes Chairwoman Christine Haider of East Flushing; First Vice Chairwoman Laura Jones of Little Neck; Second Vice Chairwoman Ocelia Claro of Bayside; and Third Vice Chairwoman Eileen Miller of Bayside.
Queens Library President Thomas Galante at a roundtable held recently. His salary and budget spending have been called in to question by elected officials including City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who launched an audit of the library several weeks ago.
Forgive state Senate Democrats if they view their colleagues from Queens with a jaundiced eye.
Depending on whether Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) can win re-election, and just whom he winds up caucusing with, he may become the second Queens Democrat in two election cycles to cost his party working control of the august body in Albany.
History has the power to educate if one is willing to learn. Hitler increased the size of Germany by the Anschluss with Austria in August 1938. Immediately thereafter he began to claim that German citizens residing in the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia needed his protection.
The premier of England, Neville Chamberlain, became infamous by caving in to Hitler, claiming he gained peace. Not being confronted, Hitler invaded Poland thereafter, beginning the Second World War, with the greatest holocaust and devastation ever inflicted upon the world.
Jimmy Carter played a coward’s game when the Iranians seized Americans within the U.S. embassy in Tehran. His lack of courage determined that Americans would not re-elect him. Reagan stood tall when confronted by Russian aggression.
Vladimir Putin is a KGB thug whom the Russians apparently accept as a “strongman” and believe should remain president. The world has witnessed the abuses Putin has perpetrated upon his opponents, the corruption he has encouraged and the naked aggression he favors, as witnessed in Georgia
in 2008 and now in the Crimea. Putin clearly believes no nation will have the courage to do anything other than mouth off about it. Putin and Russia lost nothing for the invasion of Georgia.
The answer is simple, as everyone who has confronted a bully knows: Stand up and fight back or pay a higher price when the bully is given carte blanche. The price for not taking on Hitler in 1938 was over 20 million deaths. The cost to America’s standing in the world when Carter hid within the White House is the Iranian nuclear program.
This is one time that Obama must step forward. Quiet diplomacy will only result in Russia laughing and our enemies in Iran, North Korea and elsewhere knowing they have nothing to fear. By simply not attending the G8 in Sochi, Obama will earn American dismay and scorn.
The Department of Homeless Services has extended invitations to area elected officials for a meeting later this month regarding the proposed Glendale homeless shelter.
A 125-family shelter at the site of a former factory at 78-16 Cooper Ave. has been a thorn in the side of politicians, Community Board 5 and area residents over the last year, and DHS has confirmed the elected officials opposed to the project will be able to speak their mind in a conference with agency commissioner Gilbert Taylor.
Someone should tell Malcolm Smith that the weather’s warming up and indeed spring is nigh.
The state senator from Hollis seems stuck in wintertime. Maybe the harsh season gave him a bit of cabin fever. Or maybe there’s some other explanation for the oddball fundraising “event” he has planned for March 24.
In the last week a number of elected officials have lamented the Department of Education’s decision not to withdraw the co-location plans at Martin Van Buren High School. Unfortunately, these local elected officials are out of sync with the local community on this issue.
Just prior to the mayoral election, civic leaders from nine of the largest civic associations in eastern Queens, representing thousands of families zoned for MVB, met and voted unanimously with one abstention to support the DOE’s P-Tech co-location proposal. A P-Tech school focuses on certain technical skills with a pathway to a tuition-free college education and a career.
Decades of failure have transformed MVB from a school having deep community roots into one where 96 percent of its student population comes from outside of the local area. The thousands of families represented by these civic leaders are in distress over sending their kids to MVB. The P-Tech co-location initiative attempts to fast-track the turnaround of MVB and create a safe school environment.
Local parents of high school-age students are stressed out by the thought of sending their kids to MVB. Despite valiant attempts at improvement, MVB’s School Environment Rating is stuck at an unacceptable “D.” Recently installed school Principal Sam Sochet, who is popular with the local community, has had some success, raising the school report card to a “C,” but more than a decade of decline has made that job difficult for one person. The MVB “brand” is dead and needs to be reinvented. This reinvention begins with P-Tech: a school within a school providing its graduating students with a tuition-free two-year college education at Queensborough Community College and a pathway to a career with one of the “Fortune 500” corporate partners of the program.
Handled properly, the P-Tech co-location will attract a student body from the local community that is more engaged in the educational experience. Over time this will boost local enrollment of students as parental perception changes and the excellent programs being initiated by Principal Sochet take root and become more widely known.
I urge Councilman Mark Weprin, state Sen. Tony Avella and Assemblyman David Weprin to rethink their opposition and embrace the P-Tech co-location rather than seeking its demise. Join us in our support of this initiative and help return this failed school to its storied and illustrious past.
You are cordially invited to more than nine hours of golf in the outdoors, in the company of and in honor of state Sen. Malcolm Smith.
Community Board 9 elected a new slate of leaders on Tuesday night in Ozone Park in what ended up being a rather anticlimactic vote after weeks of rumors of a brawl between incumbent chairman Jim Coccovillo and his opposition on the board.
Coccovillo opted not to seek a second term as chairman, instead nominating Ralph Gonzalez of Ozone Park — whose name had been mentioned by several members as a potential opponent of Coccovillo’s. Gonzalez won the chairmanship unopposed. Raj Rampershad, the board’s executive secretary, was elected first vice chairman unopposed.
Ralph Gonzalez was elected the new chairman of Community Board 9 on Tuesday night.
“Forest Hills has become ‘Deforest Hills,’” a man shoveling snow remarks about the community he’s lived in for years. Pointing to his windows, the man says they remain constantly shut. Trees that used to absorb exhaust fumes along the road have been largely cut down, in apparent violation of city laws requiring greenery.
Despite his concern of the lack of trees, the man says he doesn’t complain to the Department of Buildings over the violations and chooses to remain anonymous when voicing his opinion.
Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) kicked off his campaign for re-election in the 14th Congressional District of New York on Sunday.
The congressman was joined by hundreds of supporters and elected officials from across the district during his St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Sidetracks Restaurant in Sunnyside.
Plans to relieve some of the bus traffic around the historic St. George’s Episcopal Church in Flushing will require drivers on two routes to turn right on 39th Avenue instead of left.
And six months.
As part of its ongoing Professionals on Campus series, which brings distinguished alumni back to discuss their careers, Queens College welcomed Diane Patrick, the first lady of Massachusetts, to address students Friday on the Flushing campus.
Patrick, who has been married to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick for nearly 30 years, recounted her “victim to survivor” story, covering topics from the prevention of domestic violence and her own life as an abused wife in a former marriage to the influence the college has had on her professional and personal lives.
Former city Comptroller John Liu, who hails from Flushing, gave a thumbs-up Monday to the re-election bid of Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing).
Speaking at Meng’s Flushing headquarters, Liu dispelled the notion that he would run for her seat but did not rule out running elsewhere.
Eyesores and community terrors were the main topics of discussion at last Thursday’s Juniper Park Civic Association meeting, with positive news being delivered by authorities on both fronts.
As an angry JPCA President Bob Holden held up an image of a graffiti-covered commercial box truck illegally parked in the driveway of a residential building, Department of Buildings Queens Community Liaison Ken Lazar reported to the crowd of around 60 people that the agency is continuing to issue summonses to the owners of such properties.
St. Patrick’s Day came early in Sunnyside. Children wearing bright green shamrock-shaped hats waved and smiled to the rainbow of people parading down Skillman Avenue in the St. Patrick’s Day for All Parade on Sunday. Though it was a cold March day, the spirit of love and equality fueled the crowds of dancers, marching bands, bagpipers, activists, politicians and spectators.
Many of the participants, including Mayor de Blasio, will not be marching up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on March 17 because lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning people have been barred from openly partaking in the event with banners and as organized groups since 1991.
Community Board 11 voted Monday to recommend that the city Board of Standards and Appeals disapprove the plan of a new owner to finish developing four attached brick houses on 47th Avenue off 198th Street in Auburndale, despite a longstanding effort to resolve what residents and board members have regarded for years as a potentially dangerous eyesore.
The site has access on 47th Avenue but uses a 198th Street address due to the configuration of the houses.
The words “commute” and “New York City” usually make one think of squeaky, dirty, crowded subway cars snaking through tunnels and along elevated rails. Or perhaps one conjures up thoughts of passengers packed into buses like sardines or jockeying for room under bus shelters. Some, especially out here in Queens, may think of a commute as idling on a packed highway in a car.
One thing that most New Yorkers may not think of — unless maybe you’re from Staten Island — is boats.
Obamacare is the term used by both the president’s supporters and critics when discussing his signature legislative initiative, the federal Affordable Care Act.
And with the March 31 deadline for those without health insurance to apply without paying a penalty, the Jamaica Branch of the NAACP is pulling out all stops in its effort to get residents of Southeast Queens to sign up.
Hundreds gathered in Sunnyside on Sunday to watch the St. Patrick’s Day for All Parade where Mayor de Blasio, City Council members and other electeds marched.
Unlike the Manhattan parade, St. Patrick’s Day for All allows the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning and other groups to march openly. De Blasio has already stated he will not march in the Manhattan parade.
Borough President Melinda Katz, second from left, and Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie, right, honored four individuals on Feb. 25 as part of Katz’s inaugural African American Heritage Month event at Borough Hall
Honorees included John Crow Alexander, left, host and producer of “Caribbean Classroom”; former Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, who held the position for 12 years before Katz was elected last year; and Andre McKenzie, vice president for academic support services at St. John’s University.