News

Lt Gov Announces Upcoming Upgrades to Downtown Jamaica

Lt Gov Announces Upcoming Upgrades to Downtown Jamaica

Business/Entrepreneurship, Neighborhoods, News, Southeast Queens Neighborhoods, Topic
On a beautiful, hot and sunny day in front of the historic façade of the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul announced the winning projects selected for the Jamaica Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).  In August 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Downtown Jamaica was the winner of the $10 million DRI, a plan that looks to transform local neighborhoods into the next generation of communities.   The winner was selected as part of a competitive process by the state’s Economic Development Council.  The projects that will be funded under the grant include a space for businesses, pedestrian plazas, infrastructure upgrades, support for dining options, increased broadband width and employment supports.  Greater Jamaic

‘Central Park Five’ documentary screens to community youths

Community Events, Neighborhoods, News, Police/Community, Southeast Queens Neighborhoods, Topic
[This article was originally published in 2013.  As renewed interest in the 'Central Park Five' story emerges, this article is being reposted.] It is one movie that you are happy to know the outcome. ‘The Central Park Five’, is a documentary that examines the 1989 case of five Black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a White woman in Central Park.  The movie is currently being screened throughout Southeast Queens to audiences, both young and old.  Recently, the documentary was screened at the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center and the Jamaica Performing Arts Center. At the Ross Center, seventh and eight grade students from the nearby Eagle Academy comprised a large portion of the guests who had come out.  While the case of the Central Park Jo

Community Fights Against Alcohol at Parks Events

Community Events, Economic Development, Neighborhoods, News, Southeast Queens Neighborhoods, Topic
Days prior to the R&B concert event ‘Groovin’ in the Park’, civic leaders, residents, elected official representatives and Southern Queens Parks Association (SQPA) board members met with representatives from the Parks Department to discuss authorizing alcohol as part of the event. The community’s position was clear.  No alcohol.  Although NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver’s presence was requested, Queens Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski was the designated representing official.  She was apologetic about another appointment she had that would mean leaving the meeting early.  The issue at hand was whether the promoter would be able to add alcohol to the event slated to take place in three days.  Alcohol would be in the form of four two ounce

Hip Hop Pioneers at St. Albans Library

Community Events, Neighborhoods, News, Southeast Queens Neighborhoods, Topic
MC Davy Jay, DJ Divine, DJ Casino, Livio G… These names may not be household names, but they represents artists one who paved the way for the likes of Jay Z, Kayne West and Kendrick Lamar.  They are just a few of the Queens Hip Hop Pioneers featured in a photo exhibit curated by Queens Library’s Hip Hop Coordinator, VJ Ralph McDaniels.  On Thursday, June 15 the St. Albans branch of the Queens Library hosted an opening day reception to welcome the exhibit to its new temporary home.  McDaniels, Video Music Box’s VJ is a legend in his own right and was inducted into the Smithsonian African American Museum of History and Culture for his work.  McDaniels’ has been documenting the story of Queens Hip Hop for the Library.  That has included past conversations wi
First Lady McCray Hosts Conversation on Mental Illness

First Lady McCray Hosts Conversation on Mental Illness

Central Brooklyn, Far Rockaway, Neighborhoods, News, Southeast Queens Neighborhoods, Topic
How are you feeling?  Are you or a loved one depressed or anxious?  Would you know what to do or where to go for help? First Lady Chirlane McCray hosted a community conversation on the subject of mental illness and the Thrive NYC program.  The goal was to connect individuals, and their loved ones, to services which help those affected by the disease.  Thrive NYC is a collection of programs which offer help and support.  One phone call to 888-NYC-WELL can start the process.  Assistance is not just a phone call away, but many of the Thrive NYC programs are proactive and reach out to connect with those who might be most in need.  The ‘Respect for All’ program which extends care to students and their families is currently located in over 130 schools

Candidate Anthony Rivers “Southeast Queens Has Been Overlooked”

Neighborhoods, News, Politics/Elections, Southeast Queens Neighborhoods, Topic
Election season has officially begun when individuals find themselves bombarded by folks outside of supermarkets, events and stores asking for signatures as residents go about their errands.  Petitioning for the right to be on the ballot is what these important annoyances are about.  It is an important first steps for candidates to get themselves on the ballot for the upcoming Primary and subsequent election. Residents were introduced to candidate Anthony Rivers at the civic meeting a week before petitioning began.  Rivers is running for City Council District 27 which covers the areas of Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, Queens Village, St. Albans and Springfield Gardens.  “What happened in Harlem is about to land on us,” he said to shouts of agreement from reside
Delta Ladies Support Gun Violence Awareness

Delta Ladies Support Gun Violence Awareness

Neighborhoods, News, Southeast Queens Neighborhoods
by Roslin Spigner   Members of the Queens Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., canvassed the streets of Queens distributing flyers in orange tees on National Gun Violence Day June 2, 2017.  Wearing the color orange in June is more than just a bold fashion statement.   This vibrant color that demands to be seen is the color used to represent National Gun Violence Awareness Month. There are millions of Americans who want to end gun violence in America. As a tribute to those who lost their lives or were victims of senseless gun violence, the color orange is worn to demand being seen and heard.    The ladies delivered a powerful message to the community: Please help us to keep our communities safe. Please help us to keep our nation safe. Get in...

Laurelton Memorial Day Parade 2017

Community Events, Neighborhoods, News, Southeast Queens Neighborhoods, Topic
It was a dreary day with periods of rain.  The streets were empty and along Merrick Blvd there seemed to not be a car in sight.  Then in the distance, the beating of the drums sounded that familiar parade beat.  Then the marchers came, smiling and happy, umbrellas in hand.  Nothing was going to stop the community from thanking their veterans!  A little rain is nothing in comparison to the sacrifice veterans made to protect our freedoms.  The spirit of the parade was so upbeat and filled with gratitude it seemed like the sunniest day in May.  Along 225th Street, the annual tradition of neighbors cheering on the parade as they passed by was unabated.  The parade ended at the Veterans triangle at 225th and the Conduit for a heartfelt memorial service wh...

What to do if confronted by a ICE officer (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

Central Brooklyn, Far Rockaway, Neighborhoods, News, Southeast Queens Neighborhoods
  With tensions and concerns high in immigrant communities, Long Island Wins has created three know-your-rights videos.  Long Island Wins is an advocacy and educational group which fosters community partnership with existing and new Americans.   Every day a new story seems to surface about an immigration raid, an airport detainment and, most shockingly, an immigrant agent showing up at at Queens elementary school looking for a fourth grader.   This type of nervous climate lends itself to scammers who take advantage of individuals who feel they are in a vulnerable place.  Knowing your rights is a good place to start.  Long Island Wins clearly communicates that these video are for informational purposes only and not legal advice.  They advise ...
What Free Tuition Really Means

What Free Tuition Really Means

Central Brooklyn, Far Rockaway, In Depth Reporting, News, Southeast Queens Neighborhoods
by KAREN CLEMENTS editor@thecommunitiesofcolor.com New York State has introduced the Excelsior Scholarship, a Tuition Free Degree Program. The program promises New York residents with family household gross incomes (as filed on your 2015 federal tax returns) of under $100K free tuition at a SUNY (State University of New York) or CUNY (City University of New York) institutions. The program is slated to begin in the 2017-18 academic year. Recipients can receive up to $5,500 toward their tuition costs which does not include grants from TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) Pell (a US government subsidy) or other scholarships. Eligible students must be enrolled in 30 credits over the course of the academic year which equates to enrolling in at least 12 credits per term or four classes (class...