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Queens Library 'Scandal' - Where was the Beef?

Galante Seeks to Clear his Name as well as the Reputations of the Queens Library & Former Sacked Trustees

How Did Katz's, Stringer's & NY Daily News' Full Year of Accusations & Innuendo Fall So Far Short in Court?

thomas galante wins corruption case queens library scandal thomas galanteSeptember 6, 2016 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Politics & Media / News Analysis & Opinion / Queens Buzz.

 

Throughout 2014, we witnessed Billionaire Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz publicly attack President Thomas Galante and the Board of Trustees of the Queens Library. They appeared to individually and collectively insinuate that there was unforgivable malfeasance going on at the Queens Library.

 

In late January of 2014, only a day after Juan Gonzales published an EXCLUSIVE muckraking story about the Queens Library President's renovations to his office, in Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer announced an audit of the Queens Library.

Juan Gonzales included in the story what I believe was leaked CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION of the Queens Library, such as the Queens Library President's salary and other confidential employment agreements. Former trustee(s) told me they believed that this information was leaked by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz's ex-Officio Board of Trustees representative on the board, in violation of their fiduciary obligation to the Queens Library [to date this is an unproven allegation].

 

Katz, Stringer & Zuckerman's NY Daily News Accusations - Appear to Damage Queens Library Reputation - with a Year Long Barrage of, as yet Unproven, Allegations

 

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News then regaled us for the rest of the year [2014] with all kinds of incredible detail about alleged wrongdoing at nyc comptroller scott stringer scandals corruption nycthe Queens Library. Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News published several editorials during the course of the year rousing Queens residents into a frenzy against Galante and the Queens Library trustees, while encouraging these two politicians / government officials to unleash their fury against the Queens Library President and Board of Trustees.

 

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz obliged by initiating legislation to change a state covenant with the library drafted by Andrew Carnegie over a century ago. Andrew Carnegie founded the library as part of his great philanthropic works. And NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer filed a lawsuit seeking complete access to the records of the private non-profit segment of the library, because he must not have found what he was looking for in the public portion representing 85% of the organizational budget. They appear to have done such a good job of damaging the reputation of the Queens Library, that in the following year [2015/ 2016] donations to the non-profit library fell by almost 40% or nearly $2 million.

 

Did NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer Break the Law & Slander Thomas Galante & the Former Queens Library Trustees?

 

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer made a number of harsh statements during the course of the audit of the Queens Library alleging lies and theft. In a May 22, 2014 story published by the Queens Tribune, Stringer said,

queens library corruption scandal queens library"For them [Queens Library Board of Trustees] to mislead the public and tell the public that they are, in fact, cooperating, is nothing more than a bold-faced lie.”

In a July 8, 2015 story published in Newsday, Stringer charged Queens Library executives with using public funds as their

"personal piggy bank" ...

And later in the same story NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer says,

"As they were scaling back access to books, the Internet and vital programs and services, they were lining their own pockets."

These statements, if untrue, might constitute slander, particularly given the fact that many of the people NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer attacked are private citizens - not public officials like himself.

The title of his final audit report seems to negate his previously made assertions, as the title of the final NYC Comptroller's report is,

"REPORT OF THE COMPTROLLER’S INVESTIGATION INTO POSSIBLE MISCONDUCT REVEALED BY THE AUDIT OF THE QUEENS BOROUGH PUBLIC LIBRARY"

The operative word is possible and this is after likely one of the most intense, year and a half long audits, of any library in the city, ever.

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer referred his findings to the IRS and other legal entities for follow up. This is following an investigation by the FBI, the NYC Department of Investigations, Scott Stringer's own office of the NYC Comptroller, and following the initiation of legislation by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz to change a 118 year old covenant between the Queens Library and the State of New York.

Lots of Smoke, but Still No Fire

As of this writing, nearly three years later, the allegations of wrongdoing by Thomas Galante have been all smoke and no fire.

So far, we've still heard nothing more than allegations and innuendo and possibly libelous and slanderous accusations by public officials and a billionaire NYC real estate developer's paper.

 

thomas galante queens library corruption scandalUnder Galante the Queens Library was a Top Rated Library in the Nation with an Unblemished Financial Record

 

Each of the accusers rarely, if ever, mentioned that the Queens Library was considered by its peers to be one of the finest libraries in the nation. That the Queens Library had won national awards which confirmed the library's national standing. And the accusers never mentioned that in all the years that Thomas Galante had been President of the jeweled Queens Library, that it had been run fiscally responsibly with a balanced budget and never a hint of scandal ... until they came along, in their newly elected positions, ALLEGING one.

 

The accusers accounts did not jibe with what I personally knew about the Queens Library, so I set about drafting an alternative narrative to what appeared to be biased accounts provided by Juan Gonzales and other writers of Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News.

 

Court Rules Against Accusers Katz & Stringer - but You'd Never Know it by Reading Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News

 

On August 31, 2016, in the ruling of United States District Judge Allyne R. Ross, Thomas Galante got a first taste of what seemed to be a fair hearing. Judge Ross' ruling requires the Queens Library to pay Thomas juan gonzales ny daily news journalistGalante's legal fees to defend himself against accusations by the Queens Library regarding his stewardship of the non-profit.

The newly reconstituted Queens Library Board of Trustees had filed a suit against Galante after he had filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the library. One might interpret this as an intimidation tactic by the newly reconstituted Queens Library, as legal fees are very expensive and it will cost Galante hundreds of thousands (if not more) to enforce his rights. Galante will have to reimburse the Queens Library if the Queens Library's assertions against him hold up in court.

I wonder if the current members of the Queens Library Board of Trustees have to meet the same standard, in order to have the library pay for their legal fees.

It's worth mentioning that Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News took the lead in most or all of the stories to date about the Queens Library - crafting the storyline narrative about Queens Library 'corruption'. And yet, when I did a search for award-winning journalist Juan Gonzales' & Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News follow on story announcing Thomas Galante's recent court victory against Katz's & Stringer's Queens Library - there was none to be found. This sort of information omission / biased reporting by one of NYC's three daily newspapers is more akin to self-serving propaganda than American journalism.

 

If Galante Succeeds He Will Clear Not Only His Own Name, but also the Queens Library's & its Former Trustees'

 

melinda katz queens library reform billIf Galante succeeds in clearing his own name, he will also succeed in restoring the stellar reputation of the Queens Library and the reputations of the former trustees sacked by current Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

 

Did the Queens Library Reform Act Enable Pols to Morph the Queens Library into a Political Patronage Parking Lot?

 

It's also worth mentioning that a couple of years ago interested observers expressed concern that the Queens Library would be morphed into a Political Patronage Parking Palace for under-employed or unemployed party apparatchiks. It's been just over two years since Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Katz-inspired legislation, entitled the Queens Library Reform Act, and it appears that this may already be happening.

Earlier this year, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz's newly reconstituted Board of Trustees appointed former NYC Schools Chancellor, Dennis Walcott, as the Queens Library President. Based on my research into Dennis Walcott's background, it appears that he has no formal higher education in library science, nor does he have any professional experience in it.

Quelle suprise.

Click here to view our complete coverage of the Queens Library 'corruption & scandals' accusing Thomas Galante of wrongdoing.


Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show

jamaica fashion shows queens nycJune 28, 2016 / Jamaica Neighborhood / Queens Fashion / Queens Buzz.

The following was a video shot at the Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show on June 18th.

We had to pull the video because of copyright issues related to recording the music used in the show.

The show included a number of attractive models - of both genders who sported the clothing sold by Jamaica Avenue retailers, as well as designed by some of Queens own fashion designers.

Although Queens is not yet known as a fashion capital, it is the home to a number of up-and-coming fashion designers and models. Cazal eyewear is just one example of a raised in Queens fashion brand.

We'll have the full story later this summer.


Jamaica Fashion Shows Queens - Jamaica Just My Style | jamaica just my style fashion show queens fashion shows jamaica
Jamaica Fashion Shows Queens - Jamaica Just My Style

5th Annual Queens Fashion Show

Jamaica Just My Style Hits the Runway Saturday 6/18

June 13, 2016 / Jamaica Neighborhood / Queens Fashion & Style / Queens Buzz.

The 5th Annual Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show arrives Saturday at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center. Mrs. Queens, Nadine Grisby, will be headlining the event, which showcases local Jamaica and Queens designers, models and retailers.

I had an opportunity to get a small preview of some of the glitz and glamour in early May when the Jamaica Center BID [Business Improvement District] held a photo shoot at Pretty Women and Hotpoint Fashions, two leading women’s clothing stores located along Jamaica Avenue near 165th Street.

It was a cool Spring day as I made my way to the photo shoot. The first photos were to be taken in the upstairs of Pretty Women, which is located in a large, spacious early 20th century store located along Jamaica Avenue just west of 165th Street.

 

Fashion Photo Shoot on the Ave - Mrs. Queens at Pretty Women

mrs queens nadine grisby jamaica queensI walked up the steel framed staircase, appreciating the vintage beauty of the old department store. As I walked out onto the second story floor, the nearly century old wooden floorboards announced my presence. The flooboards provided an ever-so-soft reassuring cushion, like an old fashioned gymnasium allowing me to glide along toward the center of the store where Mrs. Queens, Nadine Grisby, was being photographed by Teddy Wilson. Jamaica Center Director of Business Services and Operations, Valerie Stevens, was also there facilitating the entire photographic event.

I joined in the festivities, photographing Nadine, as she danced and showered us with her theatrical persona. Pretty Women had arranged to have a few formals photographed for the shoot. In between the posing, while Mrs. Queens was changing outfits, I took a few photos of the store, which I’ve included in the video below.

Before departing I was introduced to Bert Salih, who has been operating the Pretty Women clothing store for 22 years on Jamaica Avenue. Pretty Women moved into this building only two years ago and has filled it with women’s formals and evening wear for weddings, formals, proms and Quinsera, in sizes ranging from 2 to 24 and in names brands including Jovani, Colours, Serendipity and Mary’s Bridal of Texas. He went on to tell me that this was the first time he had decided to participate in the Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show, but that he was very excited to do so.

Click here to read the rest of the story about the Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show in Queens, including links to prior years coverage, a video of some of the photo shoot, an interesting tale about Mrs. Queens and a link to free tickets to the show on Saturday.



jamaica events calendar jamaica ny

Click the drop down menu to submit events [ID required] into the Member Calendar. Free for arts groups / non-profits and community orgs, except fundraising events.

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Member Calendar
Mon Dec 05(No Events Scheduled)
Tue Dec 06Modern Dance at Green Space
Wed Dec 07(No Events Scheduled)
Thu Dec 08(No Events Scheduled)
Fri Dec 09The History of Salsa
Sat Dec 10Garden School Open House
The Secret Theatre's Academy of Dramatic Arts: Semester Starts September 10th
Holidays on the Avenue
The History of Salsa
Sun Dec 11The History of Salsa
Mon Dec 12(No Events Scheduled)
Tue Dec 13School Assembly- December - We The People
Modern Dance at Green Space
Wed Dec 14(No Events Scheduled)
Thu Dec 15(No Events Scheduled)
Fri Dec 16(No Events Scheduled)
Sat Dec 17The Secret Theatre's Academy of Dramatic Arts: Semester Starts September 10th
Boro-Linc: Community Screenings
EtM Choreographer + Composer Public Program: Ursula Eagly + Cenk Ergün
Yuletide Concert
Music for Yuletide
Sun Dec 18Music For An Old English Christmas
Mon Dec 19(No Events Scheduled)
Tue Dec 20Modern Dance at Green Space
Wed Dec 21(No Events Scheduled)
Thu Dec 22(No Events Scheduled)
Fri Dec 23(No Events Scheduled)
Sat Dec 24(No Events Scheduled)
Sun Dec 25(No Events Scheduled)
Mon Dec 26(No Events Scheduled)
Tue Dec 27(No Events Scheduled)
Wed Dec 28(No Events Scheduled)
Thu Dec 29(No Events Scheduled)
Fri Dec 30(No Events Scheduled)
Sat Dec 31(No Events Scheduled)
Sun Jan 01New Year Day
Mon Jan 02(No Events Scheduled)
Tue Jan 03(No Events Scheduled)


Clinton Defeats Sanders, Trump Defeats Rivals

Clinton 58% vs Sanders 42%; Trump 60% vs Kasich 24% & Cruz 15%

April 20, 2016 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Elections / Queens Buzz.

Bernie Sanders has been campaigning in New York the past week, drawing large crowds ranging from thousands to tens of thousands, as if he were a rock star. But on Tuesday, the voters weighed in and handed Hillary Clinton a convincing victory, helping her widen her delegate lead, and likely put her on the path to the Democratic Party nomination.

Democratic Delegate Count

queens election returns 2016To win the Democratic Party nomination, a candidate needs 2383 delegates of 4763 total. Within that total there are 712 super delegates, who can align themselves / vote for whomever they want but there's pressure to vote in favor of the direction that the state voted. The remaining 4051 delegates are won via the voting process and are called pledged delegates.

According to the Associated Press estimate, following the NY State win Hillary Clinton now has 1428 pledged delegates and 469 super delegates, while Bernie Sanders has 1151 pledged delegates and 31 super delegates. There are 1472 pledged delegates remaining, so to win a majority of pledged delegates, Hillary has to win 598 or 41% of the remaining pledged delegates, while Bernie has to win 874 or 59% of them. Clinton has already received commitments from more than half of the 'super delegates'.

Given Sanders is generally still behind in the polls in some of the larger remaining states [behind 16% in Pennsylvania and behind 8% in California], that seems a tall order. While the polls were dead wrong in Michigan, they were spot on in New York. The Sanders campaign told a news outlet Tuesday evening that they will see how they do in the contests this coming week and then evaluate their chances going forward. The Democratic Convention has been scheduled from July 25 - 28, 2016 in Philadelphia.

Republican Delegate Count

Meanwhile on the Republican side there wasn't much news. Trump won handily defeating Kasich and Cruz. The Republicans have 2473 total delegates and 1237 are needed to win. According to the Associated Press estimate, following the NY State win, Trump has 845 delegates, while Cruz has 559 and Kasich has 147.

Trump needs 392 more delegates [about 40%] to go uncontested to the Republican Convention. There are 992 delegates remaining, but according to CBS only 674 delegates are available in the remaining voting contests prior to the Convention. So Trump may have to win 60% of the remaining unpledged delegates to go to the Convention uncontested. The Republican Convention is scheduled for July 18 - 21, 2016 in Cleveland.

The voting contests next week include Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware.

The fat lady hasn't yet sung, but it is beginning to look like a Clinton / Trump race to the White House.


Saving Jamaica Bay Documentary Film - Queens World Film Festival | queens films documentaries saving jamaica bay dan Hendrick katha cato don Sigal director susan sarandon saving jamaica bay documentary film queens astoria museum of moving image
Saving Jamaica Bay Documentary Film - Queens World Film Festival

Saving Jamaica Bay

Local Documentary Film At The Queens World Film Festival

March 21, 2016 / Astoria Neighborhood / Jamaica Neighborhood / Queens in Film / Queens Buzz.

I attended the 6th annual Queens World Film Festival on Thursday where I had an opportunity to view a film that's been years in the making by a local filmmaker, Dan Hendrick. The film is entitled Saving Jamaica Bay and it's an hour and 16 minute documentary about the ecosystem of New York City's Jamaica Bay.

The film storyline and cinematography capture the juxtaposition and the intensifying struggle, between man and nature. The beauty of the bay is captured on film, showing us that the fair maiden is in distress. But she's being rescued, or at least fought for, by a naturalist and former manager of the National Park Service Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in tandem with a retired fireman and his son, who've taken upon themselves the mission of protecting what was shown to us to be an area of great urban abuse and refuse, but even greater beauty.

Click here to see more still photos and a review of the film entitled Saving Jamaica Bay at the Queens World Film Festival in March. The film is scheduled to be shown at other film festivals throughout the year, a few of which will be listed at the end of this report.



Mayor de Blasio's State of the City Address 2016 NYC | mayor bill de blasio's state of the city address 2016 state of nyc speech 2016 de blasio
Mayor de Blasio's State of the City Address 2016 NYC

De Blasio's State of the City Address 2016

Moving NYC from 'Tale of Two Cities' to 'One New York'?

February 6, 2016 / Kingsbridge Heights Neighborhood Bronx / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / Queens Buzz.

I attended Mayor de Blasio’s second State of the City Address delivered at the Performing Arts Center at Lehman College in the Kingsbridge Heights neighborhood of the Bronx. In spite of its northern, non-central location, the speech was well attended. About three dozen protesters also made their way north of Manhattan into the Central west Bronx, wielding placards asking the Mayor to stop gentrification and something about fair labor practices.

I took my place among the press corps where we were seated right in the middle of the auditorium. After settling in, I started photographing the slides whizzing by on the main stage, showing the accomplishments of the de Blasio Administation during its first two years. I have included a slide show a bit later in this report, which contains some of the slides that I photographed.

Unlike last year, when the Mayor and the Police Commissioner were having difficulties adjusting to each other, this year the mood seemed buoyant. In front of me was a group of students from the Laboratory School of Finance & Technology - MS 223 - at 360 East 145th Street in the Mott Haven neighborhood in the Bronx. The school is connected with Bronx Prep and hence handles grades 6 through 12.

Click here to read our report of Mayor de Blasio's State of the City Address 2016. The report includes video excerpts of the Mayor's speech, as well as two other short video pieces including the harmony singing of the National Anthem by a talented Bronx choral group, and the teachers and students of MS 223.



QBP Katz State of the Borough Address

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz Gives Queens Address

January 21, 2016 / Jamaica Neighborhood / Flushing Neighborhood / Queens Government & Politics / Queens Buzz.

queens state of the borough address melinda katzI attended Queens Borough President Melinda Katz’s second State of the Borough Address. It was held at the Colden Performing Arts Center at Queens College in Flushing on Thursday morning January 21st beginning at 10 am.

The event began with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a dance routine taken from Chorus Line performed by the Edge School of Arts. We were then shown a video segment about Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in a documentary produced by Queens Public Access TV, followed by the Queens Borough President’s speech.

The speech spanned about an hour. QBP Katz first talked about Queens as a tourist destination, and then looked back at the year of 2015, while touching upon some of the ongoing issues facing the borough like lack of affordable housing, aging transportation infrastructure including Queens airports, and overcrowded schools. She included mentioning some of the government efforts to address these issues, and concluded by talking about the Mets making it into the Playoffs. The address ended with the Mets mascots and management coming on stage.

The address was well attended, including a sizeable union presence, made noticeable by applauses when union efforts were highlighted. A reception was held after the address.


The Dutch Origins of Santa Claus in Queens NYC | dutch origins of santa claus queens nyc st nicholas day celebrations manhattan queens nyc king manor museum programs jamaica ny nyc
The Dutch Origins of Santa Claus in Queens NYC

The Dutch American Influences In The Origins Of Santa Claus

Food Historian Peter G. Rose at the King Manor Museum

December 13, 2015 / Jamaica Neighborhood / Food in Queens / Queens Buzz.

I had the opportunity to attend a lecture at the King Manor Museum in Jamaica by Food Historian Peter G. Rose. The topic she had chosen to discuss, the origins of Santa Claus, was well timed between the St. Nicholas Name Day on December 6th and the Christmas Holiday on December 25th.

What I learned in the lecture was of the Dutch and American influences on the origins of Santa Claus. In spite of knowing Santa all of my life, I found Peter G. Rose’s lecture to shed new light on an old subject. But that said, I reckon to anyone who knows Santa Claus, ought to know that that jolly old man is full of surprises.

It was a near balmy Sunday afternoon as I stepped off Jamaica Avenue and walked up the grand roadway that leads to the front door of Rufus King Manor. The museum was open, but I had to knock on the big wide wooden door to be let in. Just inside and off to the left there was a small roomful of people who had signed up for the lecture as well as a table filled with books, wooden cookie boards and some cookie samples.

Click here to read the rest of our report on the Dutch origins of Santa Claus in New York presented by Food Historian Peter G. Rose at the King Manor Museum in Jamaica NY.





Grodenchik Wins District 23 Primary

Defeats Friedrich, Lynch, Parhar, Najmi & Dosamantes in Democratic Primary

nyc city council primary elections queens nycSeptember 10, 2015 / Queens Politics / Queens Neigbhorhoods / News & Analysis. Queens Buzz. The special election for the Queens District 23 City Council seat was won by the Democratic party backed candidate, Barry Grodenchik.

Grodenchik (26%) edged out Bob Friedrich in a crowded field, with less than 30% of the vote. Friedrich was a close second (22%), followed by Lynch (20%), Parhar (17%), Najmi (10%) and Dosamantes (4%).

South Asians Not Participating In The Voting Process At Competitive Levels & That's Why Their Candidates Lost

The ethnic vote - represented by the tallies of the last three candidates - represented over 30% of the vote. This shows that Asian Americans are not participating in the voting process at a level commensurate with their share of the population, as according to an Asian American Federation report, they represent about 40% of the District 23 population. So they are not voting because they are uninformed, unmotivated and / or not registered. If Candidate Najmi had gotten just 80% of his Facebook Likes to turn out to vote, he would have won. Of course this assumes that those 80% of his Facebook Likes are all registered voters in NYC City Council District 23.

Caucasian Votes Split Among Three Candidates Too, But Their Voter Participation Rate Was Far Higher

If the ethnic vote had been unified, an ethnic candidate would have been able to win the primary. That said, the non-ethnic vote as represented by the tallies of the first three candidates, was also split among three candidates, and represents two thirds of those who showed up to cast votes. In this case, the Caucasian demographic is participating in the democratic process at levels significantly above their representation in the population, as according to a report found in The Indian Panorama, Caucasians represent 30% of the District 23 population. About 6,300 votes were cast in total. This report is based on the vote tallies reported by the Queens Tribune and the New York Observer.

Grodenchik will go on to face Republican Joe Concannon on November 3rd in what many pundits believe is only a formality, given that the Queens Democratic electorate in the last Mayoral election [2013] represented nearly 90% of the Queens vote in the primary, and about 70% of the Queens vote in the general election.

Naturally political affiliation can vary by district, and there are a few pockets of Queens held by Republicans, but based on the general voting history of Queens District 23, it does not appear to be one of them. Click here to read an earlier report on the Queens District 23 NYC City Council candidates which includes a video of one of the forums.


Queens City Council Primary Thursday

Queens District 23

September 10, 2015 / Queens Politics / Queens Neigbhorhoods / Queens Buzz.

The special election primary is Thursday, September 10, for the seat vacated by Mark Weprin. Queens City Council District 23 includes all or parts of the following neighborhoods: Bayside, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Little Neck, Oakland Gardens and Queens Village. And apparently a small part of New Hyde Park, most of which is located in Nassau County of Long Island, is also a part of the 23rd District and of Queens.

Click here to find a Queens polling place near you. Polls open at 6 am and close promptly at 9 pm. Click here to read a story and watch the Queens District 23 NYC City Council candidates ask each other questions and make their closing statements.


Queens Politics & The Democratic Party Machine

A Closer Look At The NYC City Council Race In Queens District 23

nyc city council primary elections queens nycAugust 30, 2015 / District 23 Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Queens Buzz.

On Thursday, August 27, 2015 I headed down to listen to the candidates vying for the 23rd District election seat recently vacated by Mark Weprin. There are six candidates in the Democratic primary vying for NYC City Council District 23, a seat that has been held by the Weprin family for 14 years. David Weprin first won the office in 2001. He was followed by his brother Mark who won the office in 2009, who recently left the position for a job working for Andrew Cuomo as Deputy Secretary for Legislative Affairs.

NYC Council Race Venues: District 23 Queens

The candidate forum was held at Hillside Banquet at 206-12 Hillside Avenue [at 206th Street]. The event was organized by 12 non-profit / community organizations that serve various ethnic populations in the NYC City Council 23rd District – many of which are South Asian. Winning a majority of the constituents of these organizations could result in a win for the ethnic population, and a possible upset for the Queens Democratic Party Machine, which has held this seat for four decades and likely longer.

Neighborhood Composition: NYC City Council Queens District 23

district 23 city council election candidates positionsNYC City Council District 23 is comprised of all or parts of the following neighborhoods: Bayside, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Little Neck, Oakland Gardens and Queens Village. Contrary to at least one candidate's assertion, New Hyde Park in Nassau County on Long Island, is not a part of the 23rd District nor even a part of Queens.

Sponsors Of NYC Council Candidates Forum

The sponsoring organizations include: Chhaya CDC, Asian Pacific Association Voice, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Citizens Union, Indo-Caribbean Alliance, Korean American League for Civic Action, Minkwon Center for Community Action, New York Immigration Coalition and the South Asian Council for Social Services.

New York City Council Candidates In Queens District 23

The candidates included: Celia Dosamantes, Bob Friedrich, Barry Grodenchik, Rebecca Lynch and Ali Najmi. One of the Democratic candidates, Satnam Parhar, was not present nor was the Republican candidate Joe Concannon.

Queens District 23 City Council Issues & Answers

nyc primary elections queens ny city councilThe following is a summary of the questions posed and the answers given by the candidates. The moderators of the forum were Richard S. David, Co-Founder of the Caribbean Alliance and Linda Lee, Executive Director of Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York.

1. Do the candidates approve of a Creedmor Church development [not sure I have this right]? All candidates answered yes.

2. Are the candidates for participatory budgeting? All candidates answered yes, except Friedrich who said it’s a gimmick.

3. Are the candidates for establishing uniform standards for Community Boards? All answered yes, if they could agree on what those standards would be [they allowed themselves plenty of wiggle room here].

4. Are the candidates for the ranking by voters of candidates on the ballot to avoid costly runoff elections? All answered yes, except Dosamantes who answered no.

5. Are they for giving non-citizen residents an opportunity to vote on local issues / local candidates only? I think Dosamantes, Friedrich and Grodenchik said no, while Lynch and Najmi said yes.

Click here to learn more about the Queens Democratic Party Machine and the NYC City Council race in District 23 in Queens.




Jamaica JAMS Music Festival - Cultural Collaborative | jamaica jams festival cultural collaborative jamaica queens music scene
Jamaica JAMS Music Festival - Cultural Collaborative

Jamaica JAMS Festival

Queens, The Home Of Jazz, Hits Another High Note

August 16, 2015 / Jamaica Neighborhood / Music Scene in Queens / Queens Buzz.

Two weekends ago I headed down to Jamaica town, to partake in the Jamaica JAMS festival of music, which begins the eve before the big festival day. It was a near perfect summer evening as I ascended from the underground tunnels of the MTA's E train, and up onto the bustling streets of Jamaica, Queens.

I headed west along Jamaica Avenue before turning north at 153rd Street which runs along the eastern side of Rufus King Park. There were plenty of people out and about. I saw parents watching their kids at the playground as they all enjoyed the lazy midsummer evening, there were energetic teenage boys playing spirited half-court games of basketball, and an entire field filled with soccer moms, dads and kids passing, rollling and kicking the ball around. But in the northwest corner of the park, something else was a happenin'.

I crossed the field and came up behind the Jamaica JAMS [Jamaica Arts & Music Summer] audience that had gathered on the lawn and on the chairs facing the JAMS festival stage. Emcee and saxophonist Craig Crawford was conversing with the winner of a dance contest that had just ended [see photo above].

Click here to read more about the Jamaica JAMS musical festival in Rufus King Park, including a short, less-than-two-minute music video with saxaphonist Craig Crawford, followed by vocalist Toni-Ann-Semple.



New York City Makes 'Budget Handshake'

queens politicsJune 23, 2015 / Queens Neigbhorhoods / Queens Politics / Queens Buzz.

We received this missive from New York City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal of the Upper West Side. We've made few edits, but the text is essentially a reprint of her email.

Over 100 hours of budget hearings revealed much information that helped to shape the final agreement. [Helen Rosenthal said that] As a member of the City Council's Finance Committee and the Budget Negotiating Team, I can honestly say that all 51 members of the Council had input to ensure that New Yorkers in every borough will get the services they need. In addition to major investments in neighborhood police, there is additional funding for mental health services, veterans, and Vision Zero education.

Photo Credit: William Alatriste for the New York City Council

Education and Youth

• There will be an increase of 80 school crossing guards citywide, and the Upper West Side will gain more crossing guards. Renewed focus on recruitment and retention will happen in discussions over the summer.
• There are unprecedented amounts of funding for our young adults from summer jobs and year-round jobs to support for City University of New York (CUNY) students to keep them in college and help them graduate. 
• The additional $39 million for libraries will yield 6-7 day a week service in every borough. 
• The free lunch program in middle schools will continue, and there will be an expansion of the "breakfast after the bell" program, so that all elementary schools will offer it by 2018.
• Teachers will receive up to $125 in reimbursement for school supplies that they bring into the classroom. While this is an improvement, it is not enough. We must give teachers all the tools they need to teach well, and I will continue to work to improve this system in the next fiscal year.

Tenant Protections

• Over $35 million for lawyers, clinics, and advocacy to support tenants who experience harassment by landlords - the largest the City has ever dedicated to this issue.
• Dedicated legal advice for public housing (NYCHA) residents in housing court at 250 Broadway.
• Dedicated team of inspectors to investigate particularly egregious landlords.

Seniors and Safety Net

• Elimination of the wait list for seniors needing home care services.
• Commitment to build 5,000 new units of senior affordable housing over the next five years with dedicated on-site social services.
• Additional funding for the emergency food program and local food banks.
• The largest investment in addressing elder abuse through outreach and social services.

Small Business Support

• Dedicated funds to local Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and civic associations. Council members will be able to designate money to support small business in their area.
• Double the investments in worker cooperative support yielding an additional 30-40 new worker-owned businesses throughout the City.

Contract Services 

• Community-based organizations providing EarlyLearn NYC services will receive wage parity with DOE employees providing that service.
• Increase of the minimum wage of "Human Service" contract workers to $11.50/hour with targeted career ladder support.
• Funding to continue providing local services from small, community non-profits that lost contracts through the citywide process. 

The City Council will formally "adopt" the City's budget at a Stated meeting later this week. At that time, we will have additional information about my dedicated funding for the Upper West Side. 

Again, this a reprint of an email from New York City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal of the Upper West Side.


The Jamaica Collections

Showcase the Fashion & Style of Downtown Jamaica

jamaica collectionsJune 8, 2015 / Jamaica NY / Queens Fashion & Style / Queens Buzz. I headed to central Queens last weekend to attend the fourth annual Jamaica Collections fashion show. It was a near perfect evening, as the day had been sunny and warm with little humidity. As I arrived I saw people conversing on the steps and lawn of the Jamaica Performing Art Center, all dressed rather fashionably. As I stepped inside the foyer there was a comfortable crowd mingling, enjoying the wine and food being served by SWB Catering, and Lotta Empanadas.

Jamaica Center, the Business Improvement District [BID] organization, is the founding organizer of the Jamaica Collections Fashion Show. They have used the event to showcase local and area fashion designers and food venues, with an eye to promoting the Jamaica downtown, located in the heart of Queens, as an emerging fashion district. Not long after I had sampled the food and hors d'oevres and mingling a bit, the show began.

The Jamaica Performing Arts Center has been home to the Jamaica Collections Fashion Show since its inception. Each time the show is configured a bit differently, which not only showcases the fashions adorning the models, but the venue space as well. Tonight the models would come out onto the stage and make their way down through the spaciously configured aisles on the main floor before disappearing behind the curtain.

Hip-hop, Queens-born, entertainer Ed Lover was the host of the show this evening.


Nobel Prize Winner Visits Queens - Nobel Laureate Speaks At York College | nobel prize winner visits queens liberian president nobel laureate visits york college jamaica queens
Nobel Prize Winner Visits Queens - Nobel Laureate Speaks At York College

Liberian President Visits York College

Women's Month: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Is First Female President Of African Nation & 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

March 16, 2015 / Jamaica NY / Ethnic Culture / Queens Buzz. I had an opportunity to attend a public interview of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female president of an African nation. President Johnson Sirleaf won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize with two other African women for their non-violent work to provide safety to women on the African continent, and for their efforts to include women as full participants in the peace building process.

Author. President Johnson Sirleaf recently published a book entitled, This Child Will Be Great, which carries the message that you can grow up to be whatever you want to be, if you're willing to work at it. And I suppose Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's life serves as a case in point.

Parentage & Education. President Sirleaf grew up the daughter of mixed race, as her father was from a Pakistani / Indian tribe that settled in western Africa, and her mother was a mix of German and African blood. She was born in 1938 in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, and married at the age of 17 in 1956. She attended college and in 1961, several years after her marriage, she moved to the U.S. with her husband where she attended the Madison Business College in Madison, Wisconsin. She also studied economics in Boulder, Colorado and earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the JFK School of Government at Harvard in 1971.

Click here to read the rest of our story about a Nobel Prize Winner's visit to Queens.



Galante Dismissed by Queens Library Board

Statement Says Dismissal is "for Cause" - but no Specifics Given

Updated December 19 / December 17, 2014 / Queens Library / Queens Buzz / By Michael Wood. We received this statement from the Queens Library regarding the sacking of the now former CEO of the Queens Library.

No Specific Cause Cited By Government Officials

"This evening, the Board of Trustees heard a report by counsel. Based on that and a prior report by counsel, a decision was made to terminate immediately Mr. Galante's employment. As the Library moves forward, the Board of Trustees will continue working to ensure greater transparency and the proper administration of the Library and its funds in furtherance of its mission. Queens Library will continue to provide outstanding value to the people of Queens."

Queens Borough President Katz issued a press release that essentially provided the same information.

A subsequent statement issued by the Queens Library said that the Board of Trustees vote was unanimous and that Galante was dismissed "for cause". When we inquired what the cause for dismissal was, they declined to comment further. The question now becomes whether former Queens Library CEO Galante will contest the judgment, because a $2 million severance package is at stake.

Daily News Alleges That Galante Terminated For "Wild Spending"

According to a December 18, 2014 Daily News headline:

"Queens Library Director Thomas Galante fired for his wild spending habits".

Government & Library Officials Will Not Confirm Daily News Statement

We asked both the Queens Library spokesperson and the Queens Borough President's Office to confirm the Daily News statement and neither would. Both the Queens Library and the Queens Borough President stuck to the printed statements as shown above.

We made an effort to contact his lawyer for comment and this was their reply.

"Tom Galante devoted 27 years of his professional career to the Queens Library, the past eleven 11 as its President and Chief Executive Officer. So, of course, Tom is disappointed by the action taken by the newly reconstituted Board of Trustees. He is extremely proud of his service to the Library and his accomplishments for the people of Queens. As Gabriel Taussig, Esq., the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Jacqueline E. Arrington, then Chair of the Administrative Committee, stated back in February, “The Queen’s Library’s record of accomplishment and its tremendous success as a leader in the field and as a critical resource for the people of Queens is largely attributable to Mr. Galante’s leadership.” Indeed, under Tom’s tenure, contributions to the Library increased by millions of dollars, and the Library has been recognized nationally as a role model and innovator, receiving the 2009 Library Journal’s “Library of the Year” Award and the 2014 ALA/Information Today “Library of the Future” Award, to name just two significant achievements under Tom’s leadership. For the past year Tom has been under constant attack in press accounts that have been based on inappropriate comments about and leaks of Library information. Because of his integrity and respect for the Library as an institution, Tom has chosen not to respond in the press. When he does speak publicly, it will be in a forum that values the truth and not the half-truths and distortions that so far have monopolized the press accounts."

Click here to view our reporting on the Queens Library crisis this year.



Jamaica Collection Silences Critics

Event Showcases Top Fashion Designers & Models

jamaica collection fashion show 2014June 7, 2014 / Jamaica NY / Fashion In Queens / Queens Buzz. Queens is a paradise of cultural surprises. And the neighborhood of Jamaica Queens is no exception.

Hundreds of years ago Jamaica was one of the transportation hubs for receiving agrarian products from Long Island in exchange for other goods from around the nation and around the world. While Jamaica continues to be transportation hub, with connections to Penn Station, JFK and an entire web of NYC Metro buses and subways, it is also emerging as one of the great cultural hubs of Queens.

So on Saturday night, I made my way down to Jamaica town. And what I found, looking around, was a paradise of beautiful women, rugged and handsome men, with evocative knits and sculpted shapes reflecting a diversity of style spanning the modern metro universe - from the hip hop of the street to the garb of the classical women and men of Manhattan's Midtown. Step aside Fashion Week, there's a new show in town.

We'll post more later today or this week including photo slide show. The photo above was taken at the Jamaica Collection Fashion Show on June 7th 2014.


Jamaica Real Estate In Queens NYC | jamaica real estate nyc realtors condos apartments in jamaica queens nyc real estate commercial retail restaurant space in jamaica ny
Jamaica Real Estate In Queens NYC

Jamaica Real Estate - The Art Of Selling

Jamaica Center BID & The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation Talk About The Re-Emergence Of A Vibrant Commercial Center

Updated May 3, 2014 / December 3, 2013 / Jamaica NY Real Estate / Jamaica NY / Queens Buzz. Earlier this month I attended an event hosted by the Jamaica Center BID to talk about real estate and commercial opportunities in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens.

Jamaica is one of the largest and most vibrant commercial areas in Queens, and the event was designed to talk about Jamaica in that light.

I arrived a bit early and met with Felicia Tunnah, the new Executive Director of the Jamaica Center BID [Business Improvement District]. It seems the weather, traffic congestion and the subways had conspired to delay speakers, attendees and possibly the event, but it wasn't too long of a wait before the meeting began.

The delay gave all of us a bit of time to enjoy the food and beverages being served by local restaurants and a caterer. City Ribs, a small chain started by a locally raised entrepreneur served ... well ... ribs. Sangria Catering served a fresh salad and chicken dish and Applebee's served dessert.

Click here to read more about real estate in Jamaica NY and click here to read the rest of our report including photo slide show of the meeting about real estate in Jamaica Queens NYC.



Independent Film In Queens - Freedom Summer | independent film in queens freedom summer indie films in queens
Independent Film In Queens - Freedom Summer

African American History Revisited

African American Film Makers Explore Their Predecessors' Experience With Fresh Lens

Film Event In Sunnyside

February 17, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Film in Queens / Queens Buzz. On Saturday evening, February 22nd, the East Coast premiere of Freedom Summer is being hosted at the Sunnyside Reformed Church. Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Stanley Nelson, will be on hand to discuss the making of the new film which premiered at the Sundance 2014 Film Festival in January.

I spoke with Stanley via telephone about the documentary, which covers the summer of 1964 when Mississippi was burning. White Mississipians expected African Americans to bow their heads in deference and to step aside on sidewalks as white folks passed. Mississippi had a whole host of laws and customs set in place which denied African Americans their full rights as American citizens, and as fellow human beings. And anyone - white or black - who tried to question the norms; felt the wrath of the white supremisists who embraced the culture.

About seven hundred students from around the nation [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] went down to Mississippi to help African Americans exercise their rights. Three of them - Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Early Chaney - went missing. After intense media / television coverage and national outrage, the FBI began a manhunt. The victims' bodies turned up 44 days later. All three had been shot at close range. The photo above is a still from the film Freedom Summer.

The documentary incorporates historical photos and media coverage and a little heard recorded telephone conversation between LBJ and J. Edgar Hoover. This report also includes background on film maker Stanley Nelson who runs a film making company / incubator in Harlem as he will be present to discuss film making at the event. Click here to read the rest of our report about Freedom Summer - premiere of an independent film in Queens or click here to rsvp a ticket to the free East Coast film premiere in Queens.





Leroy Comrie Named QBP Deputy

Katz Names Comrie Deputy Queens Borough President

leroy comrie deputy queens borough presidentDecember 3, 2013 / Jamaica Neighborhood / Queens Politics / Queens Buzz. We attended a business meeting in Jamaica on Tuesday afternoon where we learned that Leroy Comrie had just been selected to be the Deputy Queens Borough President. Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President-elect made the announcement earlier in the day.

We've covered a number of events sponsored by or in which Leroy Comrie participated and found him to be well versed in borough issues, hard working and a soft spoken government official who works behind-the-scenes. City Councilman Comrie served two terms in the NYC Council serving the Jamaica and surrounding neighborhoods of St Albans, Rosedale, Cambria Heights and Hollis. During his tenure in office Comrie served as the Democratic Majority Whip, and for a period was head of the Queens delegation.

Shortly after Comrie took office in 2002 [succeeding former City Councilman Archie Spigner] the JFK Airtrain began operations between JFK Airport and the Jamaica railroad and subway station [December 2003]. Comrie was also City Councilmember during the transformation / renovation of the First Dutch Reformed Church into Jamaica Performing Arts Center - which was completed in 2009. During Comrie's tenure as City Councilmember, the Jamaica area was re-zoned [along with the rest of Queens] to accommodate building and growth.

We'll post more about these evolving events at a later date.


The Jamaica Collection - Jamaica Performing Arts Center | Jamaica Collection Jamaica Performing Arts Center fashion culture in jamaica ny queens fashion in queens ny
The Jamaica Collection - Jamaica Performing Arts Center

Jamaica: Queens Emerging Fashion District

Jamaica Collection Showcases Fashion & Culture in Queens

June 1, 2013 / Jamaica NY Neighborhood / Fashion in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended the Jamaica Collection Fashion Show Saturday evening at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens. It was a beautiful summer evening as I approached the center, and people were standing outside, enjoying the calm cooling end of daylight.

This is the second year that the Jamaica Center BID organized this event - designed to highlight the bustling business district of downtown Jamaica - the backbone of which runs from east to west along Jamaica Avenue.

Jamaica is one of the more fascinating neighborhoods of Queens, rich in history as an agricultural and trading center dating back to colonial times; and rich in the modern multi-culturalism of 21st century Queens as well as being a significant metropolitan transportation hub. The Jamaica Center BID seems intent on nurturing the embedded community assets by showcasing them; and while they did a very nice job of it last year, this year they kicked things up another notch.

Click here to read the rest of our report on the Jamaica Collection Fashion Show in Queens.




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Jamaica News - Brief Reports About Jamaica NY | jamaica ny news news about jamaica queens news briefs about jamaica queens ny
Jamaica News - Brief Reports About Jamaica NY

King Manor Makes Merry

January 2013 / Jamaica News / Queens Buzz. King Manor Museum hosted some old fashioned holiday festivities just before the Christmas holiday. They set up a workshop in the back room where families and kids could come to create tree decorations out of the materials used back in the days of Rufus King.

We participated in the workshop, making stringers out of popcorn, cranberries and the like.

And click here to read more Jamaica News briefs.





jamaica events jamaica ny events


Jamaica Performing Arts Center | shades of truth theatre in harlem black wall street black wall st play performed in queens nyc harlem greenwood oklahoma 1921 riots scott ellsworth book death in the land of paradise
Jamaica Performing Arts Center

Jamaica & The Performing Arts

Dance Out Loud Receives Thunderous Applause

March 16, 2013 / Jamaica NY / Dance in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended the Dance Out Loud benefit for the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning. It was held at the renovated First Dutch Reformed Church, which is now the 400 seat Jamaica Performing Arts Center. The First Dutch Reformed Church was built in 1858, and made a landmark in the mid 1970’s after a community effort saved it from being demolished in 1975. After twenty years of limbo and renovations, the building was reopened as the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in 2009. But I digress.

Tonight we would watch some of the best dance companies in the NYC metro area perform a variety of original works, a pleasure that is difficult to find anywhere – even in Manhattan.

Click here to read the rest of our report on the Dance Out Loud benefit dance performances at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, including a photo slide show of the performances.



Black Wall Street at York College Performing Arts Center | shades of truth theatre in harlem black wall street black wall st play performed in queens nyc harlem greenwood oklahoma 1921 riots scott ellsworth book death in the land of paradise
Black Wall Street at York College Performing Arts Center

Black Wall Street At York College PAC

Coming To Grips With The Whole Of Our Nation's Past

January 7, 2013 / Jamaica NY Neighborhood / Performing Arts in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended the theatrical production of Black Wall Street at the York College Performing Arts Center on Saturday. The play is about the prosperous, African American Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921; and based on a historical book entitled Death in the Land of Promise.

The play centers around an incident in an office building elevator which lead to a white attack on the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, leaving somewhere between 30 and 300 dead [some of whom were shot in the back] and most homes in the neighborhood were burnt to the ground. After two days of house burning, gunfire and looting, the Governor of Oklahoma stepped in and declared martial law. But it was too late. The damage had already been done.

The play is a production of Shades of Truth Theatre Company, which produces and performs original works that tell largely untold tales of the African American experience. Click here for our report and slide show of Black Wall Street.



Rent - York College Performing Arts Center | York College Performing Arts Center dance & theater in jamaica ny queens rent the play in queens ny
Rent - York College Performing Arts Center

Rent At York College Performing Arts Center

May 4, 2012 / Jamaica NY / Dance & Theater in Queens / Queens Buzz. The York College Performing Arts Center is hosting performances of the musical, Rent, through May 13th. I had the opportunity to attend a performance of it last weekend, which includes an all-star cast of eighteen actors and actresses, most of whom have affiliations with York College.

The play is scripted along the same lines as the century old Italian opera, La Boheme. La Boheme is based upon a French novel entitled Scenes of the Bohemian Life, which was about the life of ‘starving artists’ living on the left bank of Paris during the tuberculosis epidemic of the late 1800’s. Rent is an updated version of that storyline - about starving artists living in the east village of New York City during the AIDS epidemic of the 1990’s.

Click to the Queens Events calendar and then click the theater link to obtain performance times and ticket information. And click here to view our review and photo slide show of Rent at the York College Performing Arts Center.






things to do in jamaica ny


King Manor | king manor jamaica ny queens king manor museum rufus king
King Manor

King Manor Brings Dead Back To Life

Spirits Of Dutch & Colonial Queens Reawakened

October / Jamaica Neighborhood / Queens History / Queens Buzz.  It’s easy to forget Queens colonial past some 200 - 400 years ago, as so much has happened since then.  But October is the time to reawaken long lost spirits and I’m happy to report I witnessed just such a reawakening at King Manor in King Park in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens this past weekend.

New York Open House and the Historic House Trust got together this year and held their annual weekend extravaganza this past weekend, with food as the historic theme.  So King Manor put together a program celebrating Dutch cuisine and its influence on American fare, and in the process gave us a tour and an education about one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution and a strong, outspoken advocate against slavery.

Click here to read our report about King Manor and Rufus King in Jamaica Queens.



York College | york college jamaica queens cuny york college queens jamaica ny
York College

York College - Jamaica Queens

Emerging Powerhouse In Central Queens

March / Jamaica Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. I had occasion to visit York College to learn more about one of the four CUNY [City University Of New York] colleges in Queens.

The four CUNY colleges in Queens are geographically dispersed throughout the borough, including locations in Long Island City [LaGuardia Community College], Flushing [Queens College], Jamaica [York College] and Bayside [Queens Borough Community College].

York College and Queens College are four year Baccalaureate degree awarding colleges, which also offer several Masters degrees; while LaGuardia and Queens Borough Community Colleges are two year Associates degree awarding colleges. CUNY also has a Law School which will be re-located from Flushing to Long Island City [LIC] in the fall of 2011.

Click here to read our full report, including numerous photos, about York College and the York Performing Arts Center.





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Jamaica Shops Restaurants Attractions - Things To Do Jamaica NY | A map of cultural and entertainment organizations and attractions in Jamaica Queens NY, including Kings Manor and the Jamaica Cultural Performing Arts Center
Jamaica Shops Restaurants Attractions - Things To Do Jamaica NY

Jamaica Maps - Overview

Click to view two maps of Jamaica: 1) map of shops and restaurants with links to shop home pages or stories on this site, and 2) map of cultural attractions in Jamaica most for which there are reports or individual maps on this site.

Click here to view Jamaica Maps - Shops, Restaurants and Cultural Attractions in Jamaica Queens.  It's also a map of things to do in Jamaica Queens.






jamaica restaurants restaurants in jamaica ny

Dutch Cuisine & Recipes | dutch cuisine and cooking dutch recipes jamaica ny queens
Dutch Cuisine & Recipes

Dutch Cuisine Past & Present

King Manor Presents Delicious Dutch Foods & Recipes

October / Jamaica Neighborhood / Food & Wine / Queens Buzz. In tandem with the NY Open House and the Historic House Festival weekend, King Manor selected an historic food theme that would have pleased New Amsterdam Mayor Peter Stuyvesant.

There were two sections to this historic presentation. The first was a reenactment of colonial Dutch cooking by Diane G. Fish, who is a living historian with a specialty in Civil War reenactments. To the delight of all there, including myself, she’s also an avid foodie who’s well acquainted with Dutch cuisine. And the second section was a lecture and presentation by a renowned historian and food writer, Peter G. Rose. Peter took us back to the Dutch kitchens in the Netherlands of the 1700’s and traced the migration of Dutch foods into the colonial world.

Many of the things she would discuss, we had the opportunity to sample prior to the lecture … click here to read the rest of our report on Dutch cuisine & recipes in Queens New York.



Jamaica Jerk Festival Photos - Caribbean Cuisine in Queens | jamaica jerk festival 2012 photos jamaican jerk festival caribbean cuisine in jamaica queens caribbean restaurants in queens
Jamaica Jerk Festival Photos - Caribbean Cuisine in Queens

Jamaican Jerk Festival

Afro Caribbean Cultural Event In Queens

July / Jamaica Neighborhood / Ethnic Food in Queens / Queens Buzz. It was a warm, dry, sunny Sunday, as I made my way into Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica. Today was the 2nd annual Jamaican Jerk Festival, that I’d been waiting in anticipation for over the past few weeks. The Jamaican Jerk Festival is a combination reggae concert and food festival.

I entered through the gates of Roy Wilkins Park in the southern Jamaica neightborhood of Queens, as a slight breeze willowed its way through the trees and crowd. There were retail vendor tents to my left, with displays of vibrantly colored clothing and fashion jewelry Afro Caribbean style. Caps, hats, dresses, shirts and scarves hung loosely in little white tents, as shoppers and merchants mingled and did business.

Click here to read our report and view photos of the Jamaican Jerk Festival.






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Come To Fashion Show - Fashion In Jamaica Queens | fashions in queens fashionable clothing in queens fashion center of queens
Come To Fashion Show - Fashion In Jamaica Queens

Fashionable Clothing in Queens

Come To Fashion Show Features Local Designers & Models

April 30, 2012 / Jamaica NY / Fashion in Jamaica Queens / Queens Buzz. On April 21st the first annual Come To Fashion show stepped out into the fashion world in the Jamaica section of Queens. The fashion show featured local fashion designers, models and retailers doing business in Jamaica Queens.

When I arrived at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, I was pleasantly surprised by unique set design for the show. Jamaica Center, the Jamaica BID, had hired a designer to create an original venue through which to present the models and the designers' clothing.

Click here to view photos and read our report about the Come To Fashion show - fashionable clothing & fashions in Jamaica Queens.



Jamaica JAMS Festival | jamaica jams street festival music festival queens jamaica ny
Jamaica JAMS Festival

Jamaica JAMS

Good Music, Food, Variety & A Good Time

August 6, 2011 / Jamaica Neighborhood / Live Music / Queens Buzz. The folks in Jamaica sure know how to throw a party. I enjoyed Jamaica JAMS this year far more than last year, because the weather was much more comfortable and the streets weren’t quite so crowded. This year I went in the late afternoon of the second day of the two-day event.

Jamaica JAMS is a big Street Musical Festival and Shopping Fair. There were somewhere between a half dozen and dozen musical acts performing Saturday afternoon / evening and hundreds of vendors.

Click here to view a slide show and read more about the Jamaica JAMS Street Music Festival in Jamaica.



Jamaica Shopping Center & Map | shops shopping jamaica queens ny
Jamaica Shopping Center & Map

Jamaica Shopping Center & Map

Shops & Shopping In Jamaica NY

Jamaica NY / Queens Buzz.  This page contains home page links, contact info, maps for stores and shops located in Jamaica, Queens.

This page contains information about shops in and around Jamaica Queens.

 



 




jamaica real estate jamaica ny real estate


Jamaica Real Estate In Queens NYC | jamaica real estate nyc realtors condos apartments in jamaica queens nyc real estate commercial retail restaurant space in jamaica ny
Jamaica Real Estate In Queens NYC

Jamaica Real Estate - The Art Of Selling

Jamaica Center BID & The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation Talk About The Re-Emergence Of A Vibrant Commercial Center

Updated May 3, 2014 / December 3, 2013 / Jamaica NY Real Estate / Jamaica NY / Queens Buzz. Earlier this month I attended an event hosted by the Jamaica Center BID to talk about real estate and commercial opportunities in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens.

Jamaica is one of the largest and most vibrant commercial areas in Queens, and the event was designed to talk about Jamaica in that light.

I arrived a bit early and met with Felicia Tunnah, the new Executive Director of the Jamaica Center BID [Business Improvement District]. It seems the weather, traffic congestion and the subways had conspired to delay speakers, attendees and possibly the event, but it wasn't too long of a wait before the meeting began.

The delay gave all of us a bit of time to enjoy the food and beverages being served by local restaurants and a caterer. City Ribs, a small chain started by a locally raised entrepreneur served ... well ... ribs. Sangria Catering served a fresh salad and chicken dish and Applebee's served dessert.

Click here to read more about real estate in Jamaica NY and click here to read the rest of our report including photo slide show of the meeting about real estate in Jamaica Queens NYC.



 
Jamaica NY Real Estate & Business | jamaica ny real estate realtors condos apartments in jamaica queens real estate realtors condos apartments
Jamaica NY Real Estate & Business

Jamaica NY Real Estate & Business

Real Estate, Realtors, Condos, Apartments, Prices & Market

Jamaica NY Real Estate / Queens Real Estate / Queens Buzz. This is the Jamaica Real Estate section of the site.

Click here to view reports about real estate in Jamaica Queens.



 

Public Transit To & From JFK Airport & NYC Manhattan Queens | The Jamaica Train station is the LIRR hub and the busiest transportation complex in Queens.  The Jamaica Train station serves as the nexus for LIRR trains heading to / from New York City, to / from JFK airport via the new air train, and to / from all destinations on Long Island, save the Port Washington line.  This brief provides some info, photos and a map showing the location of the complex.
Public Transit To & From JFK Airport & NYC Manhattan Queens

Public Transit To & From JFK Airport To NYC

Queens Air Train & Buses Connect JFK Airport To NYC Subways

Jamaica Neighborhood / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Shopping / Queens Restaurants / Queens Buzz. The Jamaica Train station is the LIRR hub and the busiest transportation complex in Queens.

The Jamaica Train station serves as the nexus for LIRR trains heading to / from New York City, to / from JFK airport via the new air train, and to / from all destinations on Long Island, save the Port Washington line.

Click here to read more about public transit to & from JFK Airport & NYC. Manhattan & Queens.  This brief provides some info, photos and a map showing the location of the complex.




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Member Opinions:
By: Saneeswara on 5/4/14
Sri Saneeswara Temple in NEW YORK

The first Navagraha Temple is dedicated to Lord Saneeswara, which has been consecrated in the City of New York. This is the ‘first’ Saneeswara Temple in the world outside INDIA. This is a ‘dream come true’ of a true devotee Rubalya Devi Sridhar (Roopa Sridhar). Lord Saneeswara appears in her dream and asks her to take care of him by building temple for him and his co-planetary gods.

Who are we?
The Shri Navagraha Devasthanam of North America has been formed with a vision to create Temples fostering the Vedic Culture and Heritage of Spiritual Philosophy in North America, The Project will have 9 branch Temples that will be established in Major cities of United States of America. The Temple will have their roots that emerge from the power of the teachings of Hinduism, the most ancient way of life. This project seeks to create a Temple, a unique community space that can house, inspire, disseminate, and support the spiritual scene and elevate the understanding of spirituality.

About NAVAGRAHA:
Navagrahas refer to the nine celestial bodies in Cosmos that are said influence the life of people on earth. They are respectively Ravi (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Angharakha (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Guru (Jupiter), Sukra (Venus), Sani (Saturn), Rahu and Ketu, which are respectively the invisible North and South Nodes of the moon. Some interpret these bodies as Neptune and Pluto. The Science of Astrology predicts the life progress of individuals on earth, depending on the position of the celestial bodies in the Cosmos at the time of birth of the individual. These celestial bodies, particularly the Sun and Moon, have profound influence on the climate of different geographical regions of the world. It is for these reasons they are worshiped by Hindus during various religious rituals. In Hindu religion and mythology, the nine planets occupy an important role. The planet deities are referred to as the NAVAGRAHA and are suppose to have a significant impact on the lives of individual. A Hindu adorns these planets as deities so they may bring peace and harmony into life and to avert any mishap. NAVA means nine. GRAHA means planet.

About SATURN (SHANEEWARA)
Of the planets in our solar system visible to the naked eye, Saturn is arguably the most spectacular. Its very visible rings distinguish it from the other inner planets and give it a unique beauty. So why is this magnificent planet considered to be the supreme terrifier and feared by those who see him coming their way? In reality Saturn, like all the planets, has a function and a purpose. Here we will Knowing that you aren’t yet convinced, let us examine him more closely and see what we find.
Over the centuries Indian astrologers have found that the greatest, the most powerful, and the most dangerous of all the (inner) planets is Saturn. They have also invested a great deal of time and effort in trying to find ways to keep Saturn’s influence under control. It is said that all beings fear Saturn. To eastern and western astrologers alike, Saturn is considered the greater malefic in the astrology chart. He is the grim reaper, ruler of Unpleasantness. In the book The Greatness of Saturn, Dr. Robert Svoboda says, “If pleased he will give you a kingdom, but if irate he will snatch everything away from you in a moment. His grace makes you happy, while his wrath ruins you that your name is completely forgotten.” Keep HIM happy and do your good deeds.

Temple Location: Shri Navagraha Devasthanam of North America, Inc.
Shri Saneeswara Devasthana in New York
95-30 225th Street Bellerose Terrace NY 11429
Temple.Navagraha@gmail.com www.navagrahaUSA.com
Ph: 718 740 9400 / fax: 718 740 7200


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