Paul Vallone kicks off re-election


Councilman Paul Vallone kicked off his re-election campaign last week at a fundraiser in Queens.

He was joined by family and friends, elected officials in the City Council, civic and business leaders and other supporters.

Vallone, who has been in office for three years, touted that he brought $40 million in funding for northeast Queens.

“My primary focus from day one was to put northeast Queens back on the map, and I’m happy to say we’ve done that,” Vallone said. “Everyone in this room has played a part in the resurgence of northeast Queens.”

“As I begin the last year of my first term, I am reaffirming my commitment to always fight to preserve our quality of life,” he added, “while continuously supporting our schools, safety, seniors and small businesses.”

His campaign also announced that it’s already “nearly fully-funded” and has maxed out matching funds from small person donations.

Vallone’s campaign also released statements of support from different leaders in the district, including the principals of PS 169 and BELL Academy, the 111th Precinct Community Council, HANAC Angelo Petromelis Senior Center and the Douglaston Local Development Corporation.



VIDEO: Flushing woman robbed earlier this month

Authorities released footage today of a frightening robbery that occurred a few weeks ago in Flushing.

Police say that on Saturday, January 7, at approximately 10:55 p.m., two unknown suspects approached a 49-year-old woman walking home near Colden Street and Cherry Avenue.

As they approached her, one of the suspects displayed a black handgun. Then they forcibly (as you can see in the video) removed her purse, which contained an iPhone, credit cards and $800 in cash.

They fled northbound on Colden Street onto Franklin Avenue.

The woman was not physically injured from the incident.

The suspects later used her credit card at a Speedway Gas Station at 97-11 Northern Boulevard in Corona. Authorities say they used it just a few hours later, at 12:41 a.m.

Anyone with information in regards to this robbery is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Stavisky passes Lunar New Year resolution

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Just in time for the new year.

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and State Senator Daniel Squadron passed a resolution this week commemorating the start of the Lunar New Year.

The Year of the Rooster begins on January 28 this year.

The resolution was passed unanimously.

“Being born in the Year of the Rooster is a very important sign of intelligence, honesty, ambition,” Stavisky said, “and we hope that this will symbolize 2017.”

Next week, downtown Flushing will host its annual Lunar New Year parade, which organizers say will attract 10,000 attendees.


Preferred Dental Care robbed in December

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The Preferred Dental Care at 164-10 45th Avenue in Murray Hill was robbed last month.

Authorities say that a man, shown above, walked into the rear office and removed a box that contained surgical glasses. According to police, those glasses were worth approximately $1,600.

The suspect then fled in an unknown direction.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

E-Waste disposal event on Sunday

Koo E-Waste Disposal Event
Left to right: Sinyee Tan of Lower East Side Ecological Center, Councilman Peter Koo, Regina Minerva of Queens Botanical Garden

Councilman Peter Koo announced today that his office is hosting an electronic waste (E-Waste) recycling event on Sunday, January 29 at the Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing.

Community members are encouraged to bring discarded computers, monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice (the electronic kind), cables, televisions, VCRs, DVD players, phones, audio/visual equipment, cell phones and other electronic devices.

“I’m happy to announce this upcoming E-Waste event in Flushing and encourage our community to take advantage of this opportunity to dispose of their electronic waste,” Koo said. “A sustainable community takes a conscious effort from all of us.”

As of April 2015, electronic recycling is required by law. Residents can be fined $100 for placing TVs and other electronic equipment on the curbside for disposal.

The even will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, contact the Lower East Side Ecology Center at 212-477-4022.

QBG announces new Forest Explorers program

QBG Forest Explorers

Queens Botanical Garden is launching a new drop-off nature program for children ages 2 through 6. It will run from May 7 through June 23.

The program is rooted in the traditions of the Forest School model of nurturing and self-confidence. Children are outdoors and take part in play-based activities that encourage discovery and exploration.

Activities include digging for worms, splashing in puddles, gathering fresh flowers and more.

“The goal is to provide meaningful, fun, outdoor learning for children that works for everyone,” said Rebecca Wolf, QBG’s director of education. “Daily activities like thematic exploration, storytelling, snack making and hut building really open up children’s imagination. They leave with with a long-lasting appreciation for nature and self-awareness.”

Forest Explorers will run Tuesdays through Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Garden.

Registration is now open, and QBG is currently promoting a 5% off discount for those who sign up by February 10 with the code “EarlyBird.”

The Garden is also hosting a free, drop-in open house for the program on Thursday, February 2 from 10 to 11 a.m.

“Through open play, children learn about the natural world around them,” said Kelly McLane, QBG Forest Explorers instructor. “Over the course of each day, children begin to understand and appreciate their own boundaries and expand their imaginations.

For more information about the program, visit here.

Congresswoman Meng won’t attend Trump’s inauguration


One Queens elected official is snubbing another Queens native on his all-important day.

Congresswoman Grace Meng announced earlier this week that she will not attend the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, who was born in Jamaica Estates.

Meng joins a growing list of lawmakers nationwide, including a strong contingent from the New York delegation, to skip out on the traditionally joyous occasion.

“With just days before his inauguration, I had hoped President-elect Trump would put an end to his inflammatory rhetoric. But obviously that pivot has not occurred,” Meng said. “I have heard from many constituents and I thought long and hard about this decision. I respect the office of the President and our nation’s peaceful transfer of power.”

“But the President-elect must get the message that his antagonistic and divisive comments are unacceptable,” she added. “We cannot tolerate attacks on women, minorities or a civil rights icon.”

The icon she was referring to was Georgia Congressman John Lewis, who marched and organized in the Civil Rights Movement with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lewis said he was boycotting the inauguration because he didn’t believe Trump was elected legitimately, pointing to Russian meddling. Trump then posted tweets denouncing Lewis as “all talk” and “no action.”

“We need a leader who will bring our country together, and live up to the dignity and honor of the Oval Office,” Meng said.

This weekend, nearly one million people are expected to flood to Washington D.C. for a march organized by women of all races. Meng said she looks forward to welcoming constituents for “this weekend’s festivities.”

“I will work with Mr. Trump whenever possible, but this weekend I march.”

Nily Rozic sworn in for third Assembly term

2017-01-17 Rozic Sworn-In for Third Assembly Term at East-West School in Flushing
Rozic takes the oath of office with East-West School Student Body President Corey Cheung.

After winning her re-election bid, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic took here ceremonial oath of office Tuesday morning at East-West School of International Studies in Flushing.

Rozic, who is now in her third term in the Assembly, defeated Republican challenger Usman Chohan with 76 percent of the vote.

The celebratory event kicked off the morning’s student assembly at the Flushing school. Faculty, administrators and members of the School Leadership Team also attended the swearing-in ceremony.


Ron Kim renews free tax prep program

Assemblyman Ron Kim
Assemblyman Ron Kim

Assemblyman Ron Kim is bringing a vital service back to his district office.

Kim announced today that, in collaboration with Urban Upbound, his office will be providing free tax services for eligible New Yorkers.

This is the fifth straight year he’s hosting the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

“By serving as a VITA site, our office is able to provide a crucial and much-needed annual service for free to individuals and working families,” Kim said. “The fact that we quickly reach capacity almost every year we have done this is a testament to the program’s popularity.”

Kim said his office is already starting t0 get phone calls for appointments.

According to Kim’s office, the program has helped Flushing residents file more than 1,300 tax returns with almost $1.2 million in total tax refund claims.

The program has helped families collectively get $450,000 back, thanks to the Earned Income Tax Credit.

“Thousands of dollars are being returned to New Yorkers through EITC,” said Bishop Mitchell Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Urban Upbound. “This money can make a real difference for folks that are struggling to put food on the table, and help low-income New Yorkers access the benefits they are entitled to.

The program will begin on January 24 and end on April 13. The tax season officially ends on April 15.

Appointments can be made Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They must be made in advance.

To schedule an appointment, contact Assemblyman Kim’s office at 718-939-0195 or

Flushing man fatally struck while crossing Main Street


A 65-year-old pedestrian was fatally struck while crossing Main Street near 58th Avenue on Wednesday night.

Authorities say that at about 11:35 p.m., police officers found the man lying on the roadway with head trauma. EMS arrived and took him to New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

After a preliminary investigation by the NYPD’s Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad, authorities determined that the man was trying to across Main Street and stopped 0on the double yellow line.

He then stepped backwards into the southbound lane, and was struck by a 2002 Dodge Caravan.

The operator of the Dodge car was a 57-year-old man, who remained at the scene.

There are no arrests, authorities said. The investigation is ongoing.