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Friday, June 22, 2018


Mayor announces new marijuana enforcement policy will begin in September

Starting in September, the majority of New Yorkers caught smoking marijuana in public will be issued criminal summonses instead of being arrested, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced Tuesday. According to NYPD projections, the new policy will likely reduce overall marijuana arrests in New York City by nearly 10,000 per year based on 2017 arrest records and patterns. Comments (1)

Maloney faces congressional primary challenge

Suraj Patel, an attorney and professor, is challenging 25-year incumbent U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) in Tuesday’s Democratic primary and hopes to protect immigrants from the policies of the Trump administration and uplift the science community to take on climate change. Comments (1)

Vallone secures $20 million budget for District 19

The Bayside councilman has delivered what he calls a record-breaking budget once again. Comments (1)
Long Island City

New York Public Lawyers for Interest to provide free legal services to immigrants in Queens

The New York Lawyers for the Public Interest in partnership with Catholic Migration Services reopened their immigration hotline this month to help eligible immigrants receive assistance with their naturalization applications, said Annamaria Santamaria, program associate of Pro Bono Programs at NYLPI. Comments (1)

Astoria man sentenced in fatal park shooting

An Astoria man has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Monday for the murder of his friend, who moved from Italy to Astoria only to be conned by the defendant and then shot and killed in Astoria Park in January 2015, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Comments (1)
A Bronx resident who pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and other charges for drag racing on the Nassau Expressway in Queens will go to jail for six months, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Comments (1)

Photos: Jiu-Jitsu fever at York College

At York College, the KASAI’s “The Elite Grappling Championships,” a day-long series of amateur jiu-jitsu matches, showed off the world’s oldest form of hand-to-hand combat. In case you missed it, here’s a look at the scene. Comments (1)
The Play’s the Thing

Hip to Hip Theatre Company brings Shakespeare to Queens

William Shakespeare died some 400 years ago, but his plays are more popular than ever – he’s the most produced playwright in America, by far. And unlike all contemporary works, no royalties are due and no permission is required to make any changes in the texts. Comments (1)

Queens will support its immigrants

President Trump’s immigration policy is dehumanizing individuals, ripping children from the arms of their parents and tearing families apart. Comments (1)
High Heat

Mets should extend deGrom, not trade him

If you’re a Mets fan, you’ve surely heard the rumors that the team may listen to trade offers for starting pitcher Jacob deGrom. Rather than look to trade him, the Mets should look to extend their ace and make him the face of the franchise for years to come. Comment

Thursday, June 21, 2018


Federal judge orders immediate release of Flushing man seized for deportation during green card interview

A federal judge ordered the immediate release Wednesday night of the Flushing man separated from his family and detained during a green card interview. Comments (9)
Long Island City

Federal judge upholds $6.75 million in damages awarded to 5Pointz artists

When a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled in favor of the 5Pointz artists in their landmark lawsuit against developer Jerry Wolkoff in February and ordered him to pay $6.7 million in compensation for ordering the whitewashing of the world famous Long Island City graffiti mecca in November 2013, Judge Frederick Block blamed Wolkoff’s “insolence” for the damages being so costly. Comments (1)

Douglaston residents protest for a safer Northern Boulevard bike lane

Nearly 100 members of the Douglaston Civic Association marched along the protected bike lane on Northern Boulevard Saturday demanding that the city make what they see as common-sense changes. Comments (2)

Crowley faces off against Ocasio-Cortez in his first primary challenge in 14 years

When U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) faces challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Tuesday’s congressional primary, it will be a match of old school vs. new school. Crowley, 56, represents New York’s 14th Congressional District and holds the fourth-highest ranking position in the House Democratic leadership. Ocasio-Cortez is an insurgent progressive from the Bronx, a 28-year-old who organized for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (Ind.-Vt.) during his failed bid for the presidency in 2016. Comments (3)

PS 79 celebrates Flag Day with patriotic performance

In a longstanding tradition for over 100 years at PS 79 Francis Lewis in Whitestone, students dressed in red, white and blue observed “Flag Day” June 14 with a patriotic performance followed by a flag planting in the yard. Comments (2)
Hosting topical symposia puts the vital relationship between the Queens Museum and the local Haitian community on display. Comments (1)

Actor Robert Davi has stayed true to his Queens roots

Born on June 26, 1951 and raised in Astoria, Robert Davi is an actor, singer, writer and director perhaps best known for his vivid portrayal of a colorful assortment of Hollywood villains, thugs and tough guys. In a film and television career spanning over 40 years, Davi has appeared in TV series from “Charlie’s Angels” and “St. Elsewhere” to “Criminal Minds,” among the 130 films on the silver Comments (1)

Miller: Ozone Park homeless shelters aren’t the answer

An open letter to Mayor de Blasio, Comments (3)
Although the middle school athletes from George J. Ryan MS 216 in Fresh Meadows fell short of their goal to capture the citywide middle school basketball championship trophy, the smiles that broke out on their faces as they received their runner-up medals and trophy revealed that they are CHAMPS. Comments (1)
The East Elmhurst Library, which is undergoing an expansion, closed its doors Saturday for the second phase of construction of the $8.9 million project, which is expected to be completed this fall, according to a library spokeswoman. Comments (1)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

When Gelasio Reyes was struck and killed by a drunk driver at the intersection of 43rd Avenue and 39th Street in Sunnyside in April 2017, it set off a chain of events rarely seen in the tight-knit neighborhood. Twelve days later, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) spoke at a rally for the 32-year-old father of three and a second cyclist who was critically injured at the same intersection just days later. Comments (12)
Losing a child is a parent’s worst nightmare. A local mom who lost her baby to a prenatal condition yearned to help other grieving parents dealing with a newborn’s passing. Comment

With time running out in Albany, Peralta urges passage of school zone speed camera program

With the legislative session in Albany scheduled to end June 20, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) rallied with colleagues and Safe Streets advocates urging passage of his bill that would expand and extend the New York City school zone speed camera program. The proposal would add 150 monitoring devices to the current 140 speed safety cameras operating under a pilot program approved in 2013. Comment
Forest Hills

Gingerbread Players to bring second edition of ‘Shakespeare-aoke’ to Forest Hills

The Queens theatre company Gingerbread Players is preparing for its second edition of “Shakespeare-aoke! The Ultimate Shakespearience,” at St. Luke’s Church in Forest Hills on June 30 at 7:30 p.m. Comment
Political Action

The 2016 election shows how future presidential campaigns will be run

Most of our presidents in recent times came from state governorships or the U.S. Senate. Comment

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Mayor includes half-priced MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers in upcoming city budget

Mayor Bill de Blasio pleased transit advocates Monday by including Fair Fares, a half-priced MetroCard for low-income New Yorkers, in the upcoming city budget. Comments (6)
The Lefferts Boulevard Bridge Study Bill introduced in March by state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) and Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal (D-Flushing) passed in the state Legislature last week. Comments (1)

From prisoner to CEO: Queens native heads nonprofit organization

John Valverde, of Woodside, was incarcerated at the age of 20 for manslaughter after killing a man who had allegedly raped his girlfriend. Valverde spent 16 years in prison. Now, he is the CEO of YouthBuild USA, a nonprofit organization, and has been awarded the Brian S. Fischer Achievement Award from Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison. Comments (1)
Howard Beach

State Senate approves bill to create grant program for municipalities to hire veterans

Legislation that would create a grant program for municipalities that hire veterans has been approved by the state Senate. Comments (1)
This year, the Shubert Foundation has awarded a record total of $30 million to 533 nonprofit performing arts organizations across the United States, including two from Queens. Comments (1)


Do you know an immigrant in Queens who has made an impact on the community? Nominate a person who has made a difference for the 2018 Queens Ambassador Awards.

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