TONIGHT: Independence Day Celebration at Fort Totten Park

Enjoy the fireworks at tonight’s Independence Day Celebration at Fort Totten Park.

From 6:30 to 9 p.m., community members will gather for a night of fun. Fireworks are set to begin at 9:15 p.m.

Parking will be available at Fort Totten, Bay Terrace shopping center and the Clearview Golf Course. Shuttle transportation will also be provided by Vallo Transportation.

For more information, visit the Facebook event page here.

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Donate blood for a pair of Mets tickets

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Mets fans, here’s your chance to give back.

The Amazins’ are hosting their summer blood drive today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Citi Field’s Foxwoods Club. Fans who donate blood will receive a voucher redeemable for two tickets to a select Mets home game in 2016.

Fans should enter at the Hodges VIP entrance and may park in Lot G off 126th Street between the Right Field Gate and Roosevelt Avenue.

If you come between noon and 1 p.m., you’ll also get a chance to interact with Mr. Met.

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Taiwan Center gets $100,000 to fix auditorium

Photo Courtesy/Office of State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky

Photo Courtesy/Office of State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky announced last week that the Taiwan Center, located at 137-44 Northern Boulevard, will receive $100,000 in capital funds to renovate its auditorium.

“So many seniors come to the Taiwan Center for a change of scenery and to interact with one another. Almost all of them spend time in auditorium each day for lunch and other daytime programs,” Stavisky said. “The renovations will not only benefit the employees here, but also every senior who comes in to enjoy lunch, play games and socialize.”

The center was founded in 1986 as the first community facility established by Taiwanese-Americans through private donations, according to its website. The building includes a 280-seat auditorium, a conference room, a library, a reading room and an office. Seniors participate in cultural and educational classes, and the space is also used by various community and ethnic organizations.

“This is one of the most utilized rooms in our center and where many of our seniors spend most of their time here,” said Linda Wang, president of the Taiwan Center. “On behalf of our staff and seniors, I would like to thank Senator Stavisky for her continued support and advocacy for the Taiwan Center.”

Vallone throws fundraising birthday bash

Photos Courtesy/Office of Councilman Paul Vallone

Photos Courtesy/Office of Councilman Paul Vallone

Turning 49 never looked so fun.

Councilman Paul Vallone celebrated his 49th birthday last week with a combo birthday party and fundraiser. Many of the big names of the Queens Democratic Party, including his father, former Council Speaker Peter Vallone, attended the shindig.

The birthday bash, hosted at Bourbon Street in Bayside, raised more than $20,000 for Vallone’s re-election. Hundreds of people, from family and friends to neighbors, contributed to the funds.

“I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who attended my birthday celebration,” Vallone said after the party. “Every single one of you has stood with me time and time again and I am humbled by your support.”

“I have fought to reconnect a district that was too long disconnected from the rest of our city,” he added, “and will continue to ensure Northeast Queens gets their fair share.”

See more photos of the birthday party below.

Left to right: Former Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Councilman Paul Vallone, Congressman Joseph Crowley

Left to right: Former Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone, Councilman Paul Vallone, Congressman Joseph Crowley

(L-R) Perry Vallone, Tena Vallone, Council Member Paul Vallone, Charlie Vallone, Peter F. Vallone, Vladamir Sardarian

(L-R) Perry Vallone, Tena Vallone, CouncilmanPaul Vallone, Charlie Vallone, Speaker Peter F. Vallone, Vladamir Sardarian

Mary Vaccaro (UFT District 26 Representative), Joe Kessler (UFT District 25 Representative), Council Member Paul Vallone

Mary Vaccaro (UFT District 26 Representative), Joe Kessler (UFT District 25 Representative), Councilman Paul Vallone

Lea Vallone, Charlie Vallone, Catena Vallone, Anna-Marie Vallone, Council Member Paul Vallone.

Lea Vallone, Charlie Vallone, Catena Vallone, Anna-Marie Vallone, CouncilmanPaul Vallone.

Sol Bar & Grill Grand Opening tonight in Bayside

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Sol Bar and the Upstairs Luna Lounge is a the newest Latin Gastropub to hit Bayside.

Sol’s Grand Opening is tonight (Friday) and Saturday night, June 24th and 25th. There will be drink and food specials as well as complimentary hors d’oeuvres for all!

With an eclectic but upbeat music scene, Latin influenced comfort foods, and two bars on two floors with urban and cosmic themes, Sol is one of the more anticipated openings in the neighborhood.

From Tortas to Tacos and Mojitos to Must Taste Wine on Tap, Sol has it all.  Enjoy the energy and the ambience of this game changer in the heart of bayside.”

Sol is located at 40-09 Bell Blvd, Bayside, New York 11361. Visit Sol’s Facebook Page for more information, or call them at (718) 225-7900.

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Northeast Queens schools win poster campaign

P.S. 4's first-place poster

P.S. 4’s first-place poster

Two schools in northeast Queens – P.S. 4 in Fresh Meadows and M.S. 158 Marie Curie in Bayside – are the winners of the Department of Transportation (DOT)’s fifth annual “We’re Walking Here” poster campaign.

The competition asked schools to develop creative public-service announcements (PSAs) that encourage safe and active lifestyle choices, such as walking. As part of the competition, students tracked the number of blocks they walked over two weeks, and then participated in classroom activities. The final project was the PSA.

 

P.S. 4 won first place in the poster category, while M.S. 158 Marie Curie secured second place. The Corona Arts and Sciences Academy also won second place, but in the video category.

“I could not be prouder of every student who put their creative minds behind the crucial message of the We’re Walking Here campaign,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “With over 100 schools participating, this year’s winners have a lot to be proud of.”

The contest began last October, as participating schools downloaded lesson plans and specific curricula developed by the DOT’s Safety Education and Outreach division. The first place winners received $1,000 grants, and second place schools got a $250 prize.

M.S. 158 Marie Curie's poster

M.S. 158 Marie Curie’s poster

Queens College to get new music program

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It’s music to our ears.

Borough President Melinda Katz announced last Thursday that Queens College is among the recipients of funding allocated to the four CUNY schools in the borough.

The $1 million investment will be used for the construction of recording studios for the new Music and Production Certificate program at the college. The new studios will provide multi-use facilities that can be used for classes, rehearsals and as a performance space.

The project will also provide the proper acoustical components, sound absorbers and diffusers, according to Katz’s office. The anticipated completion date is January 2019.

 

“As the third-largest university system in the United States, CUNY offers a high-quality and remarkably affordable and competitive higher education that enables the pursuit of the American Dream,” Katz said in a statement. “This multi-million dollar allocation of public funding is a direct investment into the public colleges of our borough so that CUNY remains able to meet the educational needs of its hard-working students.”

In total, Katz’s office allocated $3.64 million that will also go to York College in Jamaica, LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City and Queensborough Community College in Bayside.