It is no secret that Queens is one of the most diverse areas in the country and Jackson Heights is a testament to that.
“If you go down there, that’s called Little Bangladesh,” longtime resident and Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) said. “Then the next street, that’s little India.”
After at least 26 members of the City Council last week signed a letter telling retail giant Walmart and its owners’ family foundation that donations from them to organizations in the city are not welcome, several charitable groups that receive the contributions were quoted in the media as saying they have no intention of returning the funding.
“We will not give the money back, nor should we,” Joel Berg, executive director of the Coalition Against Hunger, told the New York Post. “Our determination of whether we ask for and take money is not how the company earned the money, it’s how they want us to spend it. In this case it’s on progressive values. Never has it been tied to any public-policy agenda.”
It’s no secret that bullying and violence in schools have been topics of conversation nationwide as of late. Stories of teenager suicides, triggered allegedly by hateful words, shootings in school buildings and violence between young children top headlines and leave people wondering what kind of world our children are living in.
One group is aiming to take on those problems, armed with paintbrushes, markers and glue.
The City Council LGBT caucus leads the way as the parade’s grand marshals with other Council members.
Councilman Danny Dromm, second from left, led a protest in Jamaica against a performance by Jamaican singer Queen Ifrica, who LGBT activists say promotes violence against the LGBT community with her lyrics.
Jackson Heights will be full of pride on June 1st when the 2014 Queens Pride Parade and Festival hits the streets.
The event, sponsored by the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee, has drawn thousands of people to the 37th Avenue area to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community for two decades.
City Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) joined a rally outside the Amazura Concert Hall on May 23 to protest a planned performance last weekend by singer Queen Ifrica, whom Dromm and members of Jamaica Anti-Homophobic Stand accuse of inciting violence against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender or LGBT, community.
Queen Ifrica comes from the island nation of Jamaica.
Joel Kim Booster, host of stand-up show “BRUCE.”
For Joel Kim Booster, finding a place for the queer and queer-friendly community to perform stand-up was important.
“There are plenty of gay-themed shows in New York City but most take place in gay bars,” Booster said. “These venues do play an important role, but I don’t want to just do comedy in the back of a gay bar.”
A five-alarm fire broke out in the Jackson Heights building that holds Plaza College, several stores and offices on Monday at 5:45 p.m.
The sun was just starting to set as gray smoke billowed out of the third- and fourth-floor windows, swallowing the surrounding area for hours.
A resolution wending its way though the City Council could send a seismic wave through community boards throughout the borough.
Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) wants borough presidents and Council members who make appointments to limit them to five consecutive terms; set term limits for board and committee chairmanships; and use things like meeting attendance and committee participation to end the practice of automatic reappointment.
Offended may be too soft a word to describe the reaction Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) had when a staffer showed him a poster he saw on Roosevelt Avenue promoting a comedy show last weekend featuring performers in black face and dressed in drag.
“It’s disgusting and offensive,” he said at a press conference outside the Boulevard restaurant “It’s racist, homophobic, transphobic and doesn’t belong in this community.”
Rocky Sanabria was seen as different for much of her life.
On the outside, she appeared to be a normal girl who was a bit boyish but otherwise nondescript.
A Jamaica resident was charged last week in connection with a Jan. 17 altercation that left a prominent Manhattan journalist hospitalized with head injuries.
Leighton Jennings, 25, of 166th Street was charged with second-degree assault on Jan. 28 for allegedly throwing a punch that caused Randy Gener, 46, to strike his head on the sidewalk on Seventh Avenue in midtown.
Mayor de Blasio’s decision to not march in Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade over organizers’ opposition to allowing LGBT groups to march is leading to a wide range of reactions in Queens.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) called the decision unfortunate and said he hoped the mayor would reconsider.
Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) is urging the United States Department of Homeland Security to end the practice of placing immigrant detainees in solitary confinement — an act he says does not coincide with the charges these people face in most cases.
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, immigration detention is supposed to be a civil, nonpunitive measure to ensure a detainee attends immigration court hearings and complies with court orders.
Costumed children and adults can get a head start on Halloween with events throughout Queens that begin this weekend and run through the actual holiday on Thursday, Oct. 31.
The Howard Beach Kiwanis Club will kick things off with its 27th annual Halloween Parade on Saturday.
A small bit of Forest Hills history is in the making as the neighborhood’s first gay bar in decades plans to open its doors next weekend.
Pride Restaurant Lounge and Bar, located at 70-15 Austin St. in Forest Hills, is primed to welcome patrons for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 26, thus making it Forest Hills’ first chic restaurant and nightspot geared toward the LGBT community.
Around lunchtime last Monday a 69-year-old man was stabbed to death on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, police said. The suspect told police he stabbed the victim because he thought the man was gay.
Ever Orozco was allegedly putting money in a parking meter on 90th Street when he was approached by Steven Torres of the Bronx.
De Blasio, Lhota at top in latest mayoral primary poll results
With primary elections now less than a week away, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has widened his lead over the other Democrats running for mayor while former Deputy Mayor and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota remains the favorite of Republicans, according to the latest survey.
Jackson Heights and Astoria have just named streets after inspiring members of their communities.
The corner of 73rd Street and 34th Avenue will now be known as Mary Sarro Way after the LGBT rights supporter, district manager of Community Board 3, where she served from 1977 until 1996, and founder or supporter of many organizations such as the 82nd Street Business Improvement District and the neighborhood’s designated precinct, the 115th.
On Monday a federal U.S. District Court judge ruled that stop and frisk, the controversial practice that allows police officers to stop and search any individual they deem suspicious, unconstitutional as it stands.
“… the City is liable for the violation of plaintiffs’ Fourth and 14th Amendment rights,” Judge Shira Scheindlin, who presided over the cases challenging the practice, wrote. “The idea of universal suspicion without individual evidence is what Americans find abhorrent and what black men in America must constantly fight. It is pervasive in policing policies — like stop and frisk, and … neighborhood watch — regardless of the collateral damage done to the majority of innocents. It’s like burning a house down to rid it of mice.”
Failed terrorist living in Jamaica gets 30 years for bomb plot
I was surprised and disappointed by your editorial denouncing the Queens Pride House for its sponsorship of a public forum that was critical of the Israeli government’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories, especially since your article reporting on the event was a perfectly straightforward and honest account of what happened (“An attack on Israel, here in Queens,” June 6).
Your labeling and name-calling does not help foster an atmosphere of debate and open discussion. For instance, calling Sarah Schulman “anti-Israel” because she put forth an articulate criticism of Israeli government policies makes me wonder if you would call me un-American since I am critical of several policies our own government pursues every day.
You also make it sound as if pink-washing does not exist. It is true that our LGBT Jewish sisters and brothers in Israel have secured some important civil rights, and it is also true that other nations in that region have terrible records in relation to LGBT people. But none of that negates another very important fact: Every day the rights of all Palestinians, queer and straight, are assaulted by the brutality of the Israeli occupation.
Additionally, one cannot dispute the fact that the Israeli government has been on a public relations campaign to clean up its image internationally, and one component part of that is to promote Israel as a haven for gay people. Their image has been sullied because of their horrendous treatment of the Palestinian people for decades. This is the context in which many of us have been speaking out against pink-washing by the Israeli government.
I also disagree with your assessment that Israel is a functioning democracy. Yes, there are important democratic rights granted to those who are Jewish. But if you are not Jewish, most of those rights disappear ... even if your family has lived there over several centuries. You cannot claim to be a democracy when significant portions of your own population are denied access to all of the rights accorded others, all based on religious identity. That’s not my idea of democracy, whatever nation it takes place in.
As a lesbian, as a person committed to ending military occupations everywhere, and as a citizen of the world who supports the struggles for full social, political and economic rights here in the U.S., in the Middle East, and wherever they are being carried out, I say thank you to the Queens Pride House for hosting this event. I hope they will invite us to other forums like this in the future and not shy away from what might seem to be controversial issues.
I was disappointed to read your editorial attacking Queens Pride House for holding a forum that was critical of Israeli occupation and apartheid. There is a wave of Islamophobia sweeping across the United States and anyone who doesn’t share that ugly prejudice risks being labeled ‘un-American’; in my view, that goes against the very values that makes this country so great, including freedom of speech.
It’s true that gay Muslims may face persecution in some countries because of their orientation; but those who flee to the US often face discrimination and harassment because of their religious beliefs. What Pauline Park did in organizing the June 4 forum was to provide an opportunity to examine the situation in Israel/Palestine at an event that was not dominated by those with a bias against Muslims and Arabs, and that was a real service to the borough and especially its LGBT community.