Sign taken down at local “troublesome” club


Local elected officials are cheering after the sign outside a “troublesome” club came down in Oakland Gardens.

Lavoo, located at 224-13 Union Turnpike, has been the site of a series of issues, including drunken behavior, incidents of violence and other disruptions to quality of life, according to local pols.

Earlier this year, pre-pandemic, a brawl and gunshots broke out in front of the club.

Those incidents spurred Councilman Barry Grodenchik, State Senator John Liu, Assemblyman David Weprin and Congresswoman Grace Meng to act. They attended a series of community meetings with the community board, police precinct and residents, as well as a press conference in early March.

The club’s liquor license renewal application expired in April.

“The business was disruptive and harmful to the neighborhood and to the seniors and families who live here,” Grodenchik said. “Safety and security are always of utmost importance.”

Howie Mandel to host celebration in honor of St. Mary’s Hospital

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Actor, producer and television personality Howie Mandel is hosting “The Big Night In For St. Mary’s Kids,” a virtual celebration to honor the hospital’s 150th anniversary.

The celebration will take place on Wednesday, November 18th on Looped, a virtual venue that gives fans front row access to their favorite events.

The night will feature musical performances and speeches to help raise funds for the patients at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Earlier this month, State Senator John Liu, Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, and other local lawmakers honored St. Mary’s with a citation for its 150th anniversary.

“For New York’s most critically ill and injured children, this is truly a haven unlike any other,” said Mandel. “The ability of St. Mary’s to continue providing innovative therapies and specialized rehabilitation programs depends on support from the community, and we are grateful for everyone who is helping to fund this essential work.”

Kim visits CPC community center’s pre-k program

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Assemblyman Ron Kim and former Assemblywoman Ellen Young visited the Flushing headquarters of the Chinese-American Planning Council last week.

They met with educators and staff of the site, and stayed to observe a session with pre-k students who were practicing social distancing.

After greeting the children and teachers, Kim praised CPC for meeting the challenges of the pandemic and ensuring students continue to receive services.

“The most critical needs of our neighborhoods cannot be perpetually delayed or ignored in the hopes that everything will be back to how it was before,” he said.

“It’s time to rise to the occasion and adapt in whichever ways we must to take care of everyday New Yorkers and our most vulnerable communities.”

Fresh Meadows, Auburndale libraries reopened with limited services

Fresh Meadows Library. Screen shot via Google Maps.

Fresh Meadows Library. Screen shot via Google Maps.

Queens Public Library reopened seven additional branches across the borough on Monday. Those branches are:

  • Arverne Library
  • Auburndale Library
  • Forest Hills Library
  • Fresh Meadows Library
  • Hillcrest Library
  • Langston Hughes Library
  • Sunnyside Library

The reopened branches offer limited “to-go” service six days a week.

With the seven reopenings, QPL now has 22 locations across Queens open to the public for pickups in a designated area of each building.

The branches will also accept returns at their exterior return machines.

The hours for each reopened branch are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday (closed between 1 to 2 p.m. for cleaning); 1 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday; 12 to 7 p.m. on Thursday (closed between 3 to 4 p.m. for cleaning).

All staff and visitors are required to wear a mask and practical physical distancing. Hand sanitizer is available at all open branches.

At this time, there is no on-site public programs, browsing, meeting room availability, seating, public computers or in-person reference service.

In addition, there will be no fines or fees on any library materials checked out this year until January 4, 2021 at the earliest.

Queens College leads CUNY in MWBE vendor hiring

Surinder Virk handles procurement, property and fleet management for the college

Surinder Virk handles procurement, property and fleet management for the college

Queens College was recognized by CUNY for having the highest percentage of minority and women-owned business enterprises hired as vendors across the city university system.

Since the initiative was announced in 2019 by CUNY Chancellor Felix V. Matos Rodriguez, the former president of Queens College, the university’s engagement with MWBEs shot up to 52.7 percent, up from 35.72 in 2018.

In recognition of those efforts, Queens College was awarded the CUNY MWBE Participation Award.

“Our core mission of educating students takes place in the classroom,” said QC President Frank Wu, “and what we do as an institution as a member of the larger community also impacts our students and faculty in the example of set.”

Recent projects and services around campus that use MWBE vendors include the campus Wi-Fi network installation, maintenance of HVAC systems, office and custodial supplies, and promotional items.

Flushing’s Finest virtual guide takes to the neighborhood’s best places

Image courtesy of Queens Together

Image courtesy of Queens Together

Queens Together, a restaurant advocacy group formed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, has launched a new digital food guide along with Queens foodie and author Joe DiStefano.

Called “Flushing’s Finest,” the guide takes viewers to the 20 best attractions in downtown Flushing, from restaurants to historic institutions.

Some of the places explored are Joe’s Steam Rice Roll, Maxi’s Noodle, Tianjin Dumpling House and the Old Quaker Meeting House.

Flushing’s Finest will be available online on Friday at 10 a.m. starting at $20.

The proceeds will go toward Queens Together’s mission of supporting local restaurants and combating food insecurity.

Read more about the digital guide in this week’s Queens Examiner.

Kim begins new roles as adjunct professor at two schools

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Assemblyman Ron Kim is taking on a new role: educator.

Kim began a gig as an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School, where he will teach a seminar on FinTech with Cornell Professor Robert Hockett.

He will also be an adjunct at Riverdale Country Day School, his alma mater, where he will teach community activism to high school students.

Kim has previously lectured on new economic models at educational institutions like University of Tokyo, and as a guest lecturer at NYU, Columbia, Queens College and Boston University.