Local war vet inducted into Veterans Hall of Fame

Sen. Avella Jason Kaatz 5-18-18

Local veteran Jason Kaatz has been inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame.

Kaatz joined the U.S. Army in 1964, serving in Vietnam from November 1964 to December 1967 in the following:

  • 161st Assault Helicopter Company
  • 52nd and 14th Combat Aviation Battalions
  • 17th Aviation Group
  • 1st Aviation Brigrade

While in Vietnam, he was also assigned to the following:

  • Republic of South Korea Tiger Division
  • South Vietnamese 22nd ARVN Division
  • 5th Special Forces
  • Special Operations Group in Bhin Dhin Province

Kaatz was honorable discharged in March 1970. He is a highly-decorated veteran, with medals including the Vietnam Service Medal with three battle stars, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 50 Devices, Aircraft Crewman Badge, Good Conduct Medal and the Meritorious Service Award.

Upon his return, Kaatz served on the national executive committee of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States, as the Queens County Commander and commander of the Bell-Oak Post 648.


Downtown Flushing office condo up for sale

Screen shot via Google Maps

Screen shot via Google Maps

A commercial condo unit at 38-25 Main Street in Downtown Flushing is asking for $6.8 million, according to real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

Unit #3G is a 6,817-square-foot space that is currently leased to a shared workspace company until 2020. It sits inside the Queens Crossing Building, which also houses tenants like Paris Baguette, New Mulan Seafood Restaurant and TD Bank.

The property is just blocks from the 7 train station, LIRR station and multiple bus lines.

“This Flushing section of Main Street is one of the highest-paying retail and office corridors in all of Queens, where retail rents routinely exceed $150 per square foot and office rates can reach $60+ per square foot,” said Thomas Donovan of Cushman & Wakefield. “This is a rare opportunity as comparable condominiums of this space are limited.”


And the winner of the Congressional art contest is…

Meng Photo (1)

St. Francis Prep senior Mofan Chen has won Congresswoman Grace Meng’s annual congressional art contest.

Chen won with his acrylic drawing entitled, “Facing the World.”

In June, his artwork, along with other winning pieces from other congressional art contests, will be displayed for one year at the Cannon Tunnel in the U.S. Capitol.

Chen will also have a free trip to Washington D.C. to join Meng for the opening ceremonies of the national art competition in June.

He will be eligible for a scholarship for the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. Chen hopes to major in art and design in college.

The second and third place winners of the competition will also have their artwork displayed, but inside Meng’s congressional offices. The winners are:

  • Second Place: April Mendiola, Newtown High School (Washington D.C. office)
  • Co-Third Place: Xin Qing Shi, Newtown High School (Flushing office)
  • Co-Third Place: Thomas Jankowski, Lowell School (Forest Hills office)

NewYork-Presbyterian now has three mobile stroke treatment units

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Thanks to a donation from the W.P. Carey Foundation, NewYork-Presbyterian now has three mobile stroke treatment units.

What are these units exactly? They’re essentially emergency vans that are equipped with the medicine and equipment needed to treat strokes on the spot.

They’ll also carry two paramedics, a computer tomography technologist and a registered nurse on the van. The unit will have the technology to video-conference in a neurologist, who can recommend and assess the situation.

Why is that important? Every second counts for someone going through a stroke. It can take a matter of minutes before the patient loses functions in parts of their body.

As we well know, it can even lead to death.

The three mobile units will be used in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, around each of NewYork-Presbyterian’s hospital sites.

Since the unit’s launch in Manhattan in 2016, doctors have already seen a 40-minute drop in treatment time.

That’s the difference between life or death for a stroke patient.


Here is who won participatory budgeting in District 19


Northeast Queens residents came out in droves to vote in participatory budgeting, a process that enables residents to come up with their own project ideas and vote to fund the most popular ones.

More than 8,000 votes were cast this year, an increase of nearly 2,000 from last year. This vote total was the highest in Queens, and second highest in the entire city.

Altogether, Councilman Paul Vallone will allocate $1.041 million in discretionary funding for capital projects in PB.

Here are the winners from this year’s cycle:

  • NYPD security cameras, $141,000 (2,086 votes): This project will fund and install four NYPD security cameras in District 19 to enhance crime prevention.
  • Bayside High School music rehearsal and equipment storage, $600,000 (1,954 votes): This project will convert building storage areas into sound-proof performance rooms and storage for instruments.
  • JHS 194 gymnasium renovation, $300,000 (1,906 votes): This project will renovate the gym, repair walls, replace basketball goops and finish the floor and add safety padding.

“These results once again clearly show that our district has overwhelmingly embraced the success of the participatory budgeting process,” Vallone said. “At a time when voter turnout is at a record low, we have created a way to engage our youth and youngest voters as to the power and importance of voting.”


Open House at the Flushing Quaker Meeting House

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Screen shot via Google Maps

The Flushing Quaker Meeting House on Northern Boulevard will be bustling with activity this weekend.

On May 5 and 6, the meeting house will host a Sacred Sites Open House, an initiative launched by New York Landmarks Conservancy for residents to experience the art and history of the city’s sacred sites.

The open house will feature a “Flushing Day” book talk, concert, and walking tour of the community. All of the events are free and open to the public, and are part of the “Flushing Fantastic” marketing campaign.

Here’s the breakdown of events you don’t want to miss:

  • Saturday, May 5, 1-4pm: Author Joe DiStefano will talk about his new guidebook “111 Places in Queens That You Must Not Miss.” He’ll be joined by photographer Clay Williams and editor Karen Seiger for a discussion on what makes Flushing unique.
  • Sunday, May 6, 1-4pm: Musical performance of spiritual songs by local musicians for the 2018 theme “Sacred Sounds and Settings,” featuring Farah Chandu and the Willow Interfaith Women’s Choir.
  • Sunday, May 6, 3-5pm: John Choe, executive director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, will give a walking tour of downtown Flushing called “Flushing Fantastic: Past, Present and Future.” The tour will begin at the meetinghouse and end at Dumpling Galaxy.
  • Guided tours of the Quaker Meeting House will be available throughout the weekend.

Happy Holi! The Spring Festival of Colors

Come and attend a Holi celebration at the Queens Museum, at the New York City Building on April 28th from 2pm-4pm. This colorful event is presented by the Hindu Temple Society of North AmericaHoli marks the onset of Spring when the regeneration of Mother Earth also takes place. As the Earth fills the atmosphere with the vibrant colors of the flowers and greenery, so does Holi. Therefore, it is only apt that Earth Day be celebrated along with Holi celebrations.

May the joyous spirit of the Festival of Colors pervade our hearts and homes. Come and enjoy Colorful Multi-Cultural Dances and Music. Performers from different nationalities and cultures will come together to express their joy of the changing season and their gratitude to Mother Earth for Her bounty. This colorful event, which will be a feast for the eyes, ears, and mind, is sure to put everyone in the spirit of spring and friendship.

Free and Open to all!

What is Holi?

  • Holi is one of the popular festivals of Northern India
  • It is celebrated on the full moon day in March-April, signaling the end of winter and the onset of spring.
  • This ancient festival, as with most others, marks the triumph of good over evil.
  • Holi is the beginning of a new year for some, and a harvest festival for others.

How is Holi celebrated?

  • Houses are cleaned as in spring cleaning. Spring cleaning clears our physical environment as well as our mind.
  • Bonfires are lit on many street corners on the eve of Holi, where some dance to the rhythm of dhol (drums), while singing devotional and folk songs. After an inactive winter, these activities wake up the body, mind, and spirit.
  • Color is sprinkled on others as an act of friendship. The colors were originally plant-derived and had ãyurvedic benefits.

A sprinkling of Color:

On the next day comes the tradition of applying vibrant color to participants faces and bodies of the festival as an expression of love and affection. This is by far, the most joyful and fun part, making Holi the most colorful festival of India.

This ancient tradition is said to have been initiated by Lord KrishnaRadha and other cowherds who smeared color powder on each other as a symbol of their divine love and affection for each other.

Today, eager participants vie with one another to be the first to apply color (powder and/or liquid) on others until they are fully covered, drenched and become unrecognizable. Out of respect, youngsters color only the feet of elders. Fun filled pranks will be played on each other throughout the festival!