Guardians of Flushing Bay host all-day waterfront event

Photo courtesy/Guardians of Flushing Bay Facebook

Photo courtesy/Guardians of Flushing Bay Facebook

The Guardians of Flushing Bay and Riverkeeper are hosting an all-day event on the Flushing Bay waterfront this weekend. Check out the description the group sent us:

Come join us as we celebrate the waterfront and say goodbye to a great summer. The day will include a shoreline clean up along the western side of the promenade. This area, from the Worlds Fair Marina Restaurant to LaGuardia Airport, does not get much attention and is strewn with litter.

After the cleanup, the group will provide lunch by the Candelas at The Worlds Fair Marina Pier.

During lunch, they will be raffling off local prizes, such as a cruise on the Skyline Process.

The event will end with a Dragon Boat 101 session and a tour along the bay.

RSVP for free here and for more information, see their Facebook event.

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Women’s rights activist Martha Baker passes away

2017-09-18 Rozic Statement on the Passing of Activist Martha BakerWomen’s rights activist Martha Baker, a Fresh Meadows native, passed away over the weekend.

Baker, a lifelong advocate for women and girls, was a leading member of the New York Paid Family Leave Coalition. She was a founding board member of Eleanor’s Legacy, an organization named after Eleanor Roosevelt that helps elect Democratic women candidates into public office.

She was also the former CEO of the Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW), where she was appointed to the city’s Department of Education Steering committee to Restructure Career Technical Education. In 2007, Baker coordinated a conference focused on integrating women into the building and construction trades.

Prior to that, Baker worked as the deputy director of operations at the New York State Workers Compensation Board and served in the David Dinkins administration as executive director of the Commission on the Status of Women. She coordinated a yearlong study on sexual harassment and wrote about preventing harassment on college campuses and in the workplace.

In 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio named Baker to the Board of Trustees of Queens Public Library.

She is a recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Leadership Award.

“I am devastated by the passing of Martha Baker, a fearless trailblazer who helped elevate women of all ages in Queens and across the state through her fierce activism and politics,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic. “I am honored to have had her as a mentor both personally and professionally, and to have witnessed all that she accomplished, from advancing paid family leave to advocating for greater inclusion of women in technical career fields.”

“My heart goes out to the Baker family during this difficult time,” she added. “May they find comfort in knowing she has created a legacy of inspiration and perseverance that has and will continue to shape so many who aspire to become leaders in their own communities.”

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Kim meets with orphaned students from South Korea

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Assemblyman Ron Kim met with a dozen orphaned middle school and high school students from South Korea in his office last week.

The students were visiting the U.S. for a Leadership Training Conference planned by Goahead Mission, a nonprofit promoting the welfare of parentless children.

The Reverend Sang-Cho Rey, president of Goahead Mission, wanted the students to meet a Korean American elected official during their trip.

“As Americans, we believe that everyone, no matter what your background is or where you came from, deserves a fair chance at success and happiness in life,” Kim said. “Almost all of the children who came to my office today grew up with parents, and yet they’ve worked their hardest to reach their full potential.”

“I am proud of them for how far they have come in life, and I know the hard work and grit they have shown will lead to even greater achievements in the years to come.”

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Flushing LIRR station’s elevators under construction

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If you notice construction and cranes near the Flushing-Main Street LIRR station, it’s because they’re building the elevators at the location.

The elevators will make the station ADA-accessible, and are part of the facility’s $24.6 million overhaul.

Last months, crews completed the steel structure that will house the westbound elevator, and this week, construction will begin on the eastbound side.

LIRR has also begun constructing the new ticket office in the station’s westbound plaza. Other upgrades include platform lighting, electrical and communications lines, new stairs and platform extensions.

“Plans to rehabilitate the Flushing-Main Street LIRR station have been in the works for many years and it’s something for which I’ve long advocated,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng.

The station overhaul is set to be completed by early 2018.

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Bayside Senior Center gets new American flag

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A new American flag was presented to the members of the Bayside Senior Center, just in time for their special 9/11 ceremony.

Councilman Barry Grodenchik and Congresswoman Grace Meng gave the facility the new flag after the old flag was stolen back in May.

Meng and Grodenchik teamed up to arrange for a new flag to be flown over the the U.S. Capitol in honor of the senior center.

“The theft of this flag was terrible and shame on the thief who stole it,” Meng said. “I’m pleased to have been able to replace it with a brand new flag so that the stars and stripes can proudly fly again over the Bayside Senior Center.”

“As we remember the fallen heroes of 9/11, Old Glory flies once again at the Bayside Senior Center, Grodenchik added.

 

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Trash problem or misleading post?

BFHA_Candidates_5Today is officially Primary Election day, so voters throughout New York City can choose their favorite candidate for Mayor, Public Advocate, Borough President and City Council in their respective parties.

Here in Flushing, an especially contentious race has been waged between incumbent Councilman Peter Koo and challenger Alison Tan, a community board member and wife of Assemblyman Ron Kim.

Criticisms, charges and accusations have been flung toward both candidates. BFHA_Candidates_7

Tan is partly running on improving quality of life in downtown Flushing, proposing increased sanitation services for Flushing’s crowded streets.

In late August, she launched a new online campaign called #WeDeserveBetter to crowdsource images and evidence of “the declining quality of life” in the area. You can find some photos on Tan’s Twitter page @Alison4NYC.

It’s an effective strategy, and if you scroll through her page, you’ll find several examples of garbage piling up on the streets.

But one of our readers curiously informed The Flushing Blog that the photo shared above actually came from another source, not downtown Flushing.

It appears the original photo was taken by Nivedita Jayaram on the streets of Mumbai, India, and was posted on Twitter months before it appeared on Tan’s page.

So what’s the deal? Is this a case of a misleading post, using a photo from the Internet to make a point? Or is there more to this story?

Either way, if you live within the 20th Council District, be sure to cast your vote today between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. If you’re a Democratic, you’ll be choosing between Koo and Tan.

To look up your polling site, see here.

 

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Organics brown bins coming to eastern Queens this fall

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The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is expanding its curbside organics collection service to include parts of Queens, Bronx and Brooklyn this fall.

This month, residents of Community Board 7 (Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Beechhurst, College Point, Flushing, Linden Hill, Malba, Queensboro Hill, Whitestone, Willets Point) and Community Board 8 (Briarwood, Flushing South, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Holliswood, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills, Kew Gardens Hills, Utopia) should expect to receive their brown bins.

DSNY will begin collecting organics once per week for CB7 on Recycling Day and twice per week for CB8 on Trash Day, starting the week of October 2.

Residents are asked to leave their food scraps and yard waste inside the brown bins for recycling. Organics also includes soiled papers like towels and napkins.

The collected material is taken to regional facilities, where it’s turned into compost. It’s then taken to greening groups, urban farmers, community gardens and street tree stewards.

To read more about the NYC Organics collection program, see here.

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