As N and Q trains rattle up and down 31st Street, the clanging and banging sounds that reverberate from the steel elevated line have become a nuisance to the teachers, students and parents of PS 85.
There have been rallies and petitions and now, local lawmakers are stepping in to say “enough is enough.”
In the final days before Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious — and perhaps signature — first term policy initiative rolls out, the finishing touches were being put on classrooms across the city, and City Hall was dealing with the bumps in the road.
More than 50,000 students, the first class in the mayor’s universal prekindergarten program, were slated to meet their teachers for the first time on Thursday.
It has been a long road in the fight for the residents of my district against the city and the nonprofit Samaritan Village’s proposal to convert the abandoned factory on Cooper Avenue into a homeless shelter for 125 families.
Despite clear opposition from the community, the city has moved forward with its plans and the proposed 5-year, $27 million contract with the Department of Homeless Services. Summer is over and plans are moving forward, but this is also the time civic associations and community boards reconvene, giving us an opportunity to band together even more so.
With the primary goal of making graduates workplace ready, Business Technology Early College High School, or BTECH, will open its doors to its first students on Sept. 4 in Martin Van Buren High School’s building in Queens Village.
To help the new pupils get their feet wet, orientations were held on Aug. 26 and 27, during which the incoming freshmen had the opportunity to tour their future home and become acquainted with some of their soon-to-be teachers.
Seeking to achieve in court what it could not get in arbitration, the United Federation of Teachers last week filed a lawsuit asking a judge to rule that teachers do not have to show their lesson plans to school administrators.
The suit, filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, grows out of an arbitrator’s ruling in May that while all teachers must create lesson plans, what they contain will be left up to them, according to multiple published reports. The arbitrator refused a union bid to also rule that principals and other supervisors would not even get to review the plans, prompting the suit.
Mayor de Blasio came to Queens on Monday, and his first stop was to the newly renovated Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens to promote one of his young administration’s latest education policies.
And it wasn’t universal prekindergarten
If it goes off without a hitch, it may be the shining moment of Mayor de Blasio’s term in office so far. If it doesn’t, it could be a black eye to any chances of a second.
As summer winds down, a new school year prepares to start up, and with it, 50,000 new prekindergarten students, the first class of the city’s universal pre-K program who will be entering the classroom for the first time on Sept. 8.
The new Queens Library board took further shape Tuesday, as Borough President Melinda Katz made her first appointment to the 19-seat body since she and Mayor de Blasio together purged eight members on July 23 in response to the controversy surrounding the institution.
The new member is Robert Santos of Sunnyside Gardens, who Katz said in a prepared statement “has had a long, wide-ranging career in higher education, cultural institutions, municipal government and construction.”
Wayfinding: 100 NYC Public Sculptures by Bundith Phunsombatlert, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, located on the lawn between the Unisphere and the Queens Museum, on view thru November.
A new healthcare clinic in Western Queens and a 3-D manufacturing center are in the offing as part of a $11.5 million grant to Queensborough Community College in Bayside.
Of the total, $10 million has been awarded to establish a clinic and training center. Locations being looked at include Jackson Heights, Corona, East Elmhurst and Elmhurst.
“Otogizoshi-Bokusai,” by Shoko Kazama. Ink on paper calligraphy, telling stories of 13th-century Japan that have been passed down verbally among children. Showing thru Thurs., Aug. 7. Mon-Fri., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., 12-5 p.m. Resobox Gallery, 41-26 27 St., Long Island City.
Following through on a campaign pledge to ease the bureaucratic challenges faced by small businesses, Mayor de Blasio last Friday announced the creation of a task force designed to reduce their regulatory burden.
Called “Small Business First,” the initiative’s goals are to simplify regulations, help business owners complyt with them to reduce violations, focus enforcement more on education and flexibility and provide merchants with the resources they need to succeed, de Blasio said in announcing it.
As if Queens residents don’t have enough to worry about with those pesky mosquitoes who carry West Nile virus, now there’s another virus also spread by the insects that’s heading our way and there’s no cure.
But not to fear. The chikungunya virus is not deadly, although it can be very painful, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Amid frequent outbursts that resulted in at least one attendee being escorted out by police, a crowd of about 300 area residents packed the auditorium at the Museum of the Moving Image on July 23, concerned about the recent conversion of the Westway Motor Inn in East Elmhurst into a potentially permanent shelter for homeless families. In the end many of their questions were left unanswered.
The elected officials on the panel, Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria), all of whom have expressed concern over the suitability of the inn as a shelter, were joined by representatives of the Department of Homeless Services, social services provider Women In Need, Community Board 1 and the 114th Precinct.
A bill that could reduce the number of young students from running out of school buildings unattended was approved by the City Council on Thursday without a single voice of descent.
Last summer, Belinda Barnett-Andrea began noticing a problem with her son Frankie when he came home on a school bus from his District 75 program at a school in Bayside.
“He comes home ill,” she said. “He comes home late sometimes, flushed, turning all kinds of colors.”
Normally, anger at Community Board 5 meetings comes from residents who attend.
This month, it’s the board itself that is letting its emotions flow, both verbally and on paper.
The city Department of Education announced last month that it was making changes to its Blue Book — the annual document that outlines school organization and utilization — based on suggestions from a panel created earlier this year by Schools Chancellor Carmen Fari–a.
The Blue Book has been the focus of several education-related debates in the city in recent years, from trailers in schoolyards to co-locations. Critics allege the Bloomberg administration’s Blue Books underestimated how much space schools need and overestimated how much space was available to make co-locations politically palpable.
As Vision Zero meetings pick up speed around the city, residents of Maspeth gathered Monday evening in IS 73 to voice their traffic safety concerns.
Discussions of Vision Zero — Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious initiative that strives to eliminate all traffic-related deaths by 2024 — had particular meaning in Maspeth, where just weeks ago a city Sanitation worker was crushed and killed by a street sweeper.
Supporters of the police tactic stop, question and frisk are getting ready to say “I told you so,” now that new statistics show a spike in shooting incidents.
According to the NYPD, shootings jumped 11 percent compared to the same time last year and this past weekend, there were 21 shootings alone, causing some to second-guess Mayor de Blasio’s decision to drop the city’s appeal against amendments added to stop and frisk.
Not long after this year’s graduating seniors were admitted, the city Department of Education moved for a second time to close Jamaica High School and, after four years of slowly being phased out, the school graduated its final 24 students on Thursday, June 26, 2014.
“You are the 175th graduating class,” Principal Erich Kendall told the graduates, “and there will not be a 176th.”