Kim, Meng win primary contests against challengers

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After a combative primary race got personal, including charges of cyberbullying, an avalanche of insults and burner accounts on Twitter, Assemblyman Ron Kim cruised to victory against challenger Steven Lee.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Kim received 2,112 votes, representing nearly 70 percent of the vote. Lee, an NYPD sergeant running to the right of Kim, only got 923 votes, or 30 percent.

Though tens of thousands of absentee ballots still have to be counted before the results are official, Kim has a commanding lead, and is likely to emerge victorious in the race.

Another Flushing incumbent, Congresswoman Grace Meng, also won her primary contest against two challengers.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Meng received 15,181 votes, good for 61 percent.

Challenger Melquiades Gagarin, a progressive activist, won 5,261 votes, or 21 percent. Sandra Choi, another first-time candidate, received 4,318 votes, or 17 percent.

Though the district leans heavily Democratic, Meng will still face Republican nominee Thomas Zmich in the general election in November.

In the race for Queens borough president, Councilman Donovan Richards is leading all candidates with 41,915 votes, or 37.2 percent, with 96 percent of precincts reporting.

Trailing Donovan is former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who has 31,781 votes, or 28 percent.

Councilman Costa Constantinides is coming in third, with 17,164 votes, or 15 percent. Closely behind him is Anthony Miranda, with 14.7 percent, and Dao Yin, with 4.5 percent.

Though Richards is ahead by a decent margin, this is a race that will be decided after absentee ballots are counted.

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Major curb restorations coming to Bayside Hills

Assemblywoman Rozic speaks at a press conference in Bayside Hills in 2014.

Assemblywoman Rozic speaks at a press conference in Bayside Hills in 2014.

Major improvements to the curbs of Bayside Hills.

Last week, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic announced that the city has begun curb restoration and construction work.

The northeast Queens assemblywoman allocated $500,000 in state funding to the Department of Transportation for the project, which will bring the streets to a state of good repair.

“Our streets in Bayside Hills have gone far too long without infrastructure upgrades,” Rozic says. “With the announcement, our families in Bayside Hills will finally receive the street infrastructure that will raise home values, improve neighborhood safety and beautify its blocks.”

The curbs will be rebuilt along with new sidewalks. The renovation is expected to be completed soon.

Construction is taking place along:

  • 208th Street between 53rd Avenue and 56th Avenue
  • 210th Street between 50th Avenue and 53rd Avenue
  • 213th Street between 56th Avenue and Horace Harding Expressway

“Our neighborhood has been in critical need of these curb restorations,” said Michael Feiner, president of the Bayside Hills Civic Association, “and I look forward to the DDC’s completion.”

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COVID-19 testing site launched at Windsor Park Library

Screen shot via Google Maps

Screen shot via Google Maps

Earlier this week, the de Blasio administration announced the launch of new testing sites across the five boroughs.

The city is planning to expand its mobile testing apparatus to reach 10 trucks by July, bringing the total number of testing sites to over 200.

In Queens, the NYC Health + Hospitals testing site is at the Windsor Park Library, located at 79-50 Bell Boulevard.

Testing is available free of charge. Visit nyc.gov/covidtest to find the site closest to you.

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Whitestone two-way streets to be converted to one-way next week

The Department of Transportation will implement one-way conversions at 17th Avenue, 17th Road, and 157th Street in Whitestone next week.

The impacted streets surround JHS 194 and Saint Luke’s School, where traffic flow and safety has been a cause of concern for the surrounding community. Here is the schedule and locations:

• 17th Avenue between 150th Street and Francis Lewis Boulevard will be converted from two-way to one-way eastbound on June 23.

• 157th Street between 16th and 17th roads will be converted from two-way to one-way southbound on June 23.

• 17th Road between 150th and 157th streets will be converted from two-way to one-way westbound on June 24.

Councilman Paul Vallone heard from community members who expressed traffic and safety concerns at the locations. He subsequently asked for a traffic study from the DOT, which then approved one-way conversions at the site to enhance safety and mobility. Community Board 7 also supported and approved the new street configurations.

“The safety of our children always comes first, and these traffic flow changes will serve to improve pick-up and drop-off conditions for our students, parents, and teachers,” said Vallone. “These traffic changes are a win for the Whitestone community members who have long requested improved street safety at this location.”

Parking will be preserved on both sides of the impacted streets. Community members parked in the area will be asked to turn their vehicles to face the new direction of traffic. For questions, residents may contact the Queens Borough Commissioner’s Office at (212) 839-2510.

“The safety of our students is our highest priority, so this street conversion to a one way is welcome news for our school community who has advocated for this change since 2016,” said Jennifer Miller, principal of JHS 194.

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New coronavirus testing site operational in Flushing

For the last week, Flushing residents have had another COVID-19 testing site close to home.

On June 6th, New York City opened a coronavirus testing site at Leavitt Field. The site is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The testing is set up under a tent in the field’s parking lot.

 

“I am pleased that more constituents will have access to coronavirus tests as more testing sites become available in my congressional district,” said Congresswoman Meng.

“Queens has been the epicenter of this pandemic, and as I’ve been saying, more testing is vital to combatting the outbreak. I thank the City for launching this new testing location, and I will continue fighting for needed COVID-19 resources for our communities.”

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Queens College valedictorian wins doctoral scholarship

2020 Valedictorian

Queens College’s valedictorian for the class of 2020 has earned a doctoral scholarship to the University of Virginia.

Vallaire Wallace, a resident of Oakland Gardens, will pursue a doctorate in English at UVA on a full scholarship.

Wallace majored in English and minored in Drama and Theatre at Queens College. She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts.

As valedictorian, she would have addressed this year’s graduates and their families at the May commencement. However, the ceremony did not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wallace focused her undergraduate studies on 20th century African-American literature and the Harlem Renaissance. She plans to pursue the topic in her doctoral studies.

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Support Catholic Charities’ community programs

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Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens is asking the Flushing community to support their programs that assist neighbors in need.

Since 1899, CCBQ has helped build communities and serve neighbors in need with mercy and compassion. The organization sponsors more than 160 programs and services for children, youth, adults and seniors.

Their programs have helped those who are mentally ill, isolated or have developmental disabilities. CCBQ is also one of the largest faith-based providers of affordable housing in the country.

CCBQ is affiliated with organizations such as Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, Catholic Migration Services and Saints Joachim & Anne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, all of which provide a range of services to the most vulnerable in our communities.

The impact of CCBQ’s programs can be felt across the boroughs, from behavioral health center clinics to immigration integration programs and senior housing.

Lately, some of the most important work has been providing food assistance through food pantries at parishes, home-delivered meals and even pop-up events. From Corona and Elmhurst to Bensonhurst, CCBQ has provided thousands of meals to people suffering at home from the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

Now, CCBQ is asking the Flushing community to support the work they do through donations. Thanks to the donation of a benefactor, Catholic Charities is matching gifts up to $400,000.

Donations of $50 will become $100, and $100 donations will become $200, and so on.

According to CCBQ, 91 cents of every dollar will go straight into programs that “reduce poverty, bring food and comfort to those less fortunate, uplift our youth and assist our elderly neighbors.”

To donate to CCBQ, visit their donation page here: www.ccbq.org/give-donate/.

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