December, 2012


All Taxis of Tomorrow must serve disabled: Liu

Two Queens city councilmen from opposite sides of the political spectrum have thrown their support behind city Comptroller John Liu’s rejection of the proposed new yellow cabs for not being handicapped accessible. Comments (2)

November, 2012


Gay lawmakers hail national LGBT victories

Queens’ two openly gay city councilmen said they were buoyed by the general election last week when three states voted in favor of same-sex marriage and many LGBT politicians won higher office across the country. Comments (1)

October, 2012


Flushing groups open doors for interfaith walk

Eager to understand their neighbors, about 100 Flushing citizens participated in a tour of some of the neighborhood’s houses of worship Sunday, speaking to leaders and learning about their fellow residents’ religious traditions. Comment

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Officials want neo-Nazi set out of Astoria

City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio denounced the Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party native to Greece, for its plans to move into New York and distributing hate literature in Astoria. Comments (16)

Boro Sikhs, pols petition NYPD to end ban on turbans, beards

Several Sikhs and elected officials in Queens are throwing their support behind a petition urging the NYPD to reform its dress code to allow Sikh employees to wear turbans and beards in accordance with their religious faith. Comments (1)

Italian pride on display at Columbus Day Parade in Whitestone

Proud Italian-Americans joined residents of all nationalities to celebrate and march in the Columbus Day Parade in Whitestone Saturday morning. Comment

September, 2012

Jackson Heights

Dromm and merchants honor 9/11 victims in Jackson Heights

City Councilman Daniel Dromm, the Muslim merchants of the 37th Road Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights and Social Uplift Knowledge and Hope Initiatives NY held a candlelight vigil for those killed on 9/11. In a show of solidarity, businesses owners dimmed their lights and placed flowers along the plaza. Comment

BOE needs to provide ballots in Bengali

I am writing to express my concern that the Board of Elections will not have Bengali-language ballots available for the general election Nov 6. Comment

Council urges South Asians to action at Town Hall

The South Asian Queens community, especially Sikhs, have been targeted because of prejudice and struggle to find a political voice. Comment

Queens residents respect diversity

On Aug. 10, I was proud to be an eastern Queens resident when I participated in a candlelight vigil, organized by local civic leaders, to honor the memory of the victims of the shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin earlier this month. Comment

August, 2012


Sharing the Sikh Pain

Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to Queens last week to reassure the Sikh community that the city was ramping up security to safeguard their members. Comment

NYU should sever ties with Chick-fil-A

NYU’s decision to continue to allow Chick-fil-A to operate on campus is troubling. Chick-fil-A has made opposition to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights an integral part of its business. Comments (5)
Richmond Hill

Weprin defends religious attire for Sikh workers

On the steps of the Sikh Cultural Society in Richmond Hill and surrounded by dozens of community Sikhs, state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) joined with northeast Queens lawmakers Sunday to call on tougher measures against discrimination in the workplace. Comment
Richmond Hill

Queens Sikhs stunned by Wisconsin rampage

Mayor Michael Bloomberg assured the Sikh community in Queens Monday that the city would protect them after a deadly shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., killed six worshipers. Comment
Long Island City

Van Bramer weds partner after 13 years

He waited until he could be married in Queens. Comments (1)

July, 2012

Jackson Heights

S. Asian workers underpaid: Study

After more than a year of work, the Jackson Heights-based immigrant advocacy group Desis Rising Up and Moving released a report of South Asian low-wage workers in Queens last week that revealed a large majority of them are paid below minimum wage and get little to no benefits. Comment

U.S., Asian chains must coexist

With the way supermarkets are closing in this part of Queens, you wonder where we are going to shop in the future. Comment

June, 2012


Don’t belittle Asian achievements

While I find it unsettling that TimesLedger Newspapers columnist Bob Friedrich seems to have so many issues with my event in honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage month (“On Point: Politics not working right? Columnist knows five reasons why,” June 7-13), but going as far as referring to it as a “cheap political stunt” disrespects and undermines the history of contributions and achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in our society. Comments (3)
Jackson Heights

Jax Hts film explores crime that led to Queens Pride

Jackson Heights native Richard Shpuntoff said while his evolving documentary is named after murder victim Julio Rivera, the film is not so much about the crime as the change it inspired in Jackson Heights. Comment
Jackson Heights

Tip of the week

Jackson Heights

Student’s design earns top prize at School for the Deaf

A student from Jackson Heights’ Lexington School for the Deaf got to place calls to Borough President Helen Marshall and deaf actor Russell Harvard last week as a reward for designing the institution’s new videophone booth. Comment

MTA badges no longer required on Sikh turbans

After years of lawsuits, an agreement has been reached providing that Sikh and Muslim transit workers will not have to wear MTA badges on their headgear. Comment
Jackson Heights

Queens pride celebrates 20 years

The sidewalks along 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights were jammed with a crowd of more than 40,000 spectators Sunday as a colorful, booming celebration of gay pride emanated from the parade floats passing by. Comment
Long Island City

Van Bramer gives honors to LIC Asians

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) presented proclamations to four dedicated residents of Long Island City and Astoria last week in recognition of Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Comment

May, 2012


Koslowitz taps Koo as ‘Person of Year’

In a night to honor Asian-American and Pacific Islander community members and culture, City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) named Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) Person of the Year at the Bethzatha Church of God in Elmhurst. Comment
Jackson Heights

Queens’ gay community salutes Obama

The western Queens LGBT community and their allies sent a giant postcard to the White House last Thursday, thanking President Barack Obama for coming out in support of same-sex marriage. Comment
Jackson Heights

Rivera family, senior center to lead Pride Parade

City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), who announced the marshals of the 2012 Queens Pride Parade Monday, looked back on how far the parade and the state had come since its inception 20 years ago. Comments (1)
Jackson Heights

Qns doesn’t queue for prophet b-day petition

A Jackson Heights imam has been continuing his quest to make the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday a national holiday, although a drive for petitions has so far only attracted five names. Comments (1)

April, 2012


New guidebook helps boro Koreans find help

Korean-speaking immigrants will have an easier time understanding what services they are entitled to after a new guide was jointly released by the city and a nonprofit group. Comment

Women reps seek equality

State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) and U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) honored three women Friday for Women’s History Month and talked about what needs to be done for women to achieve true equality with men. Comment

March, 2012

No Holds Barred

Liu’s support from Asians is the American Way

This is my second blog about John C. Liu and again I shall try to stay away from fund-raising investigations. That’s not easy to do. We seem to be reminded about such things on a regular basis. More to come, I am sure. Comment

11 Unsung Heroines honored in SE Queens

In recognition of Women’s History Month, City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) honored 11 women as Unsung Heroines last weekend at York College. Comment

City ordered to pay out $128M in minority suit vs. Fire Dept.

Four federal court appointees have until April 12 to make their recommendations to a Brooklyn judge as to how to mete out approximately $128 million the city was ordered to pay to a pool of more than 2,000 minority candidates who were discriminated against by the FDNY. Comment
St. Albans

Smith recognizes March as Women’s History Month

In recognition of Women’s History month, Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) noted the contributions New York women have mad throughout history and identified organizations that can help women succeed today. Comment
Richmond Hill

Richmond Hill doused with color during this year’s Holi celebration

Thousands celebrated the Hindu holiday of Phagwah, which marks the start of spring. Comment
Richmond Hill

Holi inspires Rich Hill with flying colors

Spring — and dyed power — was in the air in Richmond Hill Sunday as thousands of South Asians and others came to celebrate the 24th annual Phagwah Parade. Comments (2)
Rockaway Beach

Rockaway celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a parade

Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Rockaway was awash with green and gold for the 37th-annual Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Comment

Israel-Palestine transit project promises hope

Can Israeli and Palestinian states truly exist side-by-side in relative peace and prosperity? Comments (4)

Irish gov’t attends Queens parade

The LGBT marchers at Sunnyside’s St. Pat’s for All Parade are still not welcome at other celebrations around the city, but they were recognized by a government official from the Emerald Isle who joined prominent city officials and marched with the diverse crowd. Comment
St. Albans

Dancers and song part of Black History Celebration

Councilman Leroy Comrie held a Black History Celebration at Black Spectrum Theatre last Saturday. Comment
Jackson Heights

Mohammad’s birthday should be holiday: Imam

A Jackson Heights imam has started a campaign to make April 26, the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad, a national holiday. Comments (147)
Jamaica Hills

Queens Hospital Center gives Marshall Black History award

The Joint Labor-Management Committee of Queens Hospital Center honored Borough President Helen Marshall and Yolanda Smith at its Black History Month celebration. Comments (1)

African American Heritage celebration held in Jamaica

African American Heritage Month Planning Committee Co-Chair Andrew Jackson and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall were on hand to present scholarships to students during the AAHM’s annual reception at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center last Thursday. Six community leaders were also given achievement awards during the event. Comment

February, 2012


St. Patrick’s parade hails green in boro

Activist Brendan Fay said Sunnyside and Woodside’s 13th St. Pat’s for All Parade will be bigger, better and greener than ever — in more ways than one. Comment

Year of the Dragon celebrated in Elmhurst

Councilman Daniel Dromm and the Asian Community United Society marked the second-annual Elmhurst Community Lunar New Year celebration to welcome the Year of the Dragon. Comment

Satchmo, Latimer left large legacy in Queens

Central to the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s mission is preservation, revitalization and reuse of the city’s numerous architecturally significant buildings. In recognition of Black History Month, the conservancy is urging New Yorkers to visit sites or places that are crucial to understanding the role of African Americans in the city’s history. Comment

Former Mayor Dinkins honored at Black History event

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) honored former Mayor David Dinkins with a Lifetime Achievement Award at his second Black History Month celebration. Comment

Meng urges tolerance of customers’ racial backgrounds

State Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) wrote a letter to the city Commission on Human Rights last month, urging it to adopt guidelines for customer service after a spate of racially insensitive incidents involving Asian Americans in restaurants around the country and an incident involving Meng herself in a Queens restaurant. Comment

Queens remembers Holocaust victims

Queens College commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day Sunday a little bit differently than everyone else. Comments (3)

Borough drag queen debuts on national television

Drag queens from all around the country strive to win on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” but it is only in Season 4 that fans have gotten to watch a queen from Queens. Comment

Everyday errand leads to meeting with music great

It was a windy, cold January afternoon, and after battling Steinway Street traffic I finally found a parking spot. I had to remind myself that this challenge is always worth the effort when I am visiting my friend Zafar from Humza Studio to have my old 8 mm tapes transferred over to DVDs. Comment

No Need for Kelly to Resign

It is a sad reality that more than 10 years after Sept. 11, the NYPD still finds it necessary to conduct undercover surveillance in city mosques. It is understandable that this infuriates city Islamic leaders. Comments (1)

Love in a melting pot

The diverse communities of Queens have myriad ways of celebrating, and in some cases ignoring, Valentine’s Day. Whether buying up stuffed bears or staying in for the night, the plethora of ethnic communities in the borough each respond to the holiday in their own unique way. Comment

Flushing Lunar parade draws huge crowd

The ghosts of ancient Chinese history marched arm-in-arm with Mr. Met during Saturday’s massive Lunar New Year Parade in downtown Flushing, exemplifying a neighborhood that keeps a tight hold on tradition while welcoming the rest of the borough with open arms. Comment

Black History Month kickoff

In celebration of Black History Month, Queens College in Flushing will be hosting a series of free cultural events commemorating African-American movers and shakers past and present in February. Comment

January, 2012

South Ozone Park

Lunar New Year celebrated at racino in Aqueduct

Resorts World Casino New York City in South Ozone Park kicked off its 15-day Lunar New Year celebration last Monday. Comment

Lucky Year of the Dragon brings Chinese baby boom

Everybody wants to have a baby during the Year of the Dragon beginning Monday, according to leaders in Flushing’s Chinese community. Comment
Queens Village

United Negro College Fund holds event to honor MLK

The Greater New York Inter-Alumni Council of the United Negro College Fund presented its 22nd-annual MLK Jr. Awards Breakfast at Antun’s. Comment

MLK’s legacy honored at event sponsored by Comrie

Councilman Leroy Comrie sponsored an event entitled “A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center Monday afternoon. Comment
On Point

Cultural differences should not trump residents’ concerns

A few weeks ago, I attended an event at the Gurdwara Sant Sagar, a Sikh house of worship in Bellerose. The event was organized by the Creedmoor Civic Association for community residents to learn more about the gurdwara and the Sikh community. Comments (2)

Boro Muslims boycott Bloomberg’s annual breakfast

Several Queens Muslim leaders and their allies from other faiths added their names to a letter calling for a boycott of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s annual interfaith breakfast, which was held Friday. Comment
CNG: Community Newspaper Group