State Senator Liu hosts Earth Day Poster Celebration

2020 Earth Day Poster - John Liu

State Senator John Liu is calling for local students to submit entries for the New York State Senate Earth Day Poster Celebration.

The contest is a statewide event encouraging awareness of environmental issues in recognition and honor of Earth Day.

The poster celebration is for students in grades K-6. This year’s theme is: Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle.

The posters will be displayed online, and participants will receive a certificate.

Schools wishing to participate in the event must submit their entry by April 20, 2020 via the senator’s website here.

Students are encouraged not only to be creative in this project, but also to convey a “deep commitment” to making the environment a better place.


Record donations for Valentines for Vets gift drive

Val for Vets 2020 - St. Albans VA

In the 24th annual Valentines for Vets gift drive in northeast Queens, residents donated a record number of items for hospitalized veterans.

Co-sponsored by Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, the Law Offices of Ann-Margaret Carrozza and Community Board 11, the drive netted thousands of handwritten cards, candy, new clothing items, playing cards, puzzles and toiletries.

Donations were made by 30 schools across the district, as well as civic organizations, libraries, Girl Scout troops and local residents.

“These donations, which were the most received in the 24-year history of our community’s Valentines for Vets program, helped to brighten the day of hundreds of veterans by showing that we care about them and appreciate their sacrifices,” Braunstein said.

Here are the schools and community groups that contributed to this drive:

  • Bayside High School Key Club
  • Bayside Historical Society
  • Bayside Public Library
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo High School
  • Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy
  • Fresh Meadows Public Library
  • Girl Scout Troop 4587
  • Grace Episcopal Conron Girl Scout Troop
  • Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Civic Association
  • Holy Trinity Catholic Academy
  • IS 25
  • Jefferson Democratic Club
  • MS 158
  • Miracle Ear
  • MS 294 – Bell Academy
  • New York-Presbyterian Queens/Cancer Services Program
  • Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy
  • Park Shore Country Day Camp/Preschool
  • PS 32
  • PS 41
  • PS 79
  • PS 94,
  • PS 107
  • PS 130
  • PS 159
  • PS 169
  • PS 174
  • PS 184
  • PS 193
  • PS 209
  • PS 811
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Academy
  • School District 25 Pre-K Center of College Point
  • School District 25 Pre-K Center of Whitestone
  • School District 30 Pre-K Center
  • Shaub
  • Ahmuty
  • Citrin, & Spratt, PPL
  • St. Luke School
  • St. Mel’s Catholic Academy
  • St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Seniors
  • St. Robert Bellarmine Girl Scout Troop 4279
  • Townsend Harris High School
  • William Spyropoulos Greek-American Day School

Douglaston Library to be closed from February 22 to March 16

The Douglaston/Little Neck branch of the Queens Public Library will temporarily close on Saturday, February 22 for an interior maintenance project, library officials said.

It’s expected to reopen on Monday, March 16. The library is located at 149-01 Northern Boulevard.

Mobile library service will be provided on Thursdays, beginning on February 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Full library service is available at nearby locations in Bayside (214-20 Northern Boulevard) North Hills (57-04 Marathon Parkway), and Glen Oaks (256-04 Union Turnpike).


Assembly candidate donates masks to senior center


Over the weekend, Assembly candidate Steve Lee and his campaign team donated boxes of masks to the seniors at the Selfhelp Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center.

According to the campaign, seniors were already lined up around the auditorium, awaiting distribution, when Lee walked in.

The former police officer then performed a demonstration to teach seniors how to properly wear the n95 masks.

Afterward, Lee spoke to some of the members, as well as the staff.

The campaign said it will return the following week to distribute more masks.


LaGuardia Airport security officer to be Meng’s SOTU guest

32BJ at a rally in 2014. File photo.

32BJ at a rally in 2014. File photo.

Every year, members of Congress can bring a guest to the State of the Union address in Washington D.C. Often, who they choose is reflective of the elected official’s values.

For tonight’s address, Congresswoman Grace Meng has chosen to bring Abdul Quddus Chaudhry of Flushing, a security officer at LaGuardia Airport and a member of the 32BJ SEIU.

Chaudhry, 65, has worked as a private contractor for LGA for 10 years. He’s originally from Lahore, Pakistan, and came to the United States in 2010. He became an American citizen in 2014.

In Pakistan, Chaudhry earned a master’s degree in political science, a law degree and ran his own law practice.

Chaudhry was part of 32BJ’s successful effort to win an increased minimum wage of $19 for airport workers by 2023. He’s also a member of the Airport Workers Bargaining Committee.

“Bringing Abdul as my guest shines a light on the important role that our labor force plays in communities throughout Queens and across the nation,” Meng said, “and it brings attention to their fight for improving workers’ rights, including affordable health benefits and safe working conditions.”


Congressman Adriano Espaillat to speak at Queens College commencement

My Approved Portraits

Congressman Adriano Espaillat has been named the 2020 commencement speaker for Queens College’s 96th commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 28 at 9 a.m.

A Queens College alumnus, Espaillat, who grew up in Manhattan, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1979.

In 2016, Espaillat became the first Dominican-American and formerly undocumented immigrant to be elected to Congress.

At the commencement ceremony, he will be presented with the President’s Medal, the college’s highest administrative award.

Queens College’s political science department previously honored Espaillat in 2017 with their Distinguished Alumnus Award.

After graduating from QC, Espaillat worked at nonprofit organizations that provided legal services to indigents, counseled families of crime victims and fought substance abuse.

He served as a member of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate before being elected to Congress.


Meng introduces resolution for Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year was observed across the city on Saturday, but Flushing Congresswoman Grace Meng wants the House of Representatives to recognize the cultural and historical significance of the holiday.

Earlier this week, she introduced a House resolution, which now has 68 original co-sponsors.

“Lunar New Year is the most significant time of the year for the Asian American community,” she said. “Given its enormous increase in popularity, and the fact that Asian Americans are the fastest growing population in the United States, I believe it is time for the House to formally appreciate this annual observance.”

The resolution not only recognizes the holiday, but also details the history and customs of Lunar New Year.

Meng shared a video of some of her own “Queens traditions” on Twitter.