Grace Meng re-elected DNC Vice Chair

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Meng, third from the right, stands next to new DNC Chair Tom Perez.

Congresswoman Grace Meng was re-elected as one of five Vice Chairs of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) over the weekend in Atlanta.

Currently in her third term in Congress, Meng is the first Asian American member of Congress from New York, and the only Asian representative in the northeast.

She was first elected to the DNC Vice Chair role in July. She joins Bronx Assemblyman Michael Blake as vice chairs from New York.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to have once again been selected as Vice Chair and I thank DNC members for their support,” Meng said. “As we all know, these are challenging times for our part. There is much work that needs to be done. But I am ready to help lead Democrats forward, and put our party on the path to victory.”

Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez was elected as the new DNC Chair, while Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, who lost the race for DNC Chair by a small margin, was selected to be Deputy Chair.

“We must reach out to emerging and immigrant communities, millennials, the grassroots and help build-up our state and local parties,” Meng added. “I am excited to get down to work.”

 

Avella to extend office hours for immigration help

Tony Avella

State Senator Tony Avella is extending his office hours today to offer immigration assistance to anyone in the area who needs it.

Avella is partnering with an immigration attorney from CUNY Law School to provide information to the community. His Bayside office will be open from 5 to 7 p.m.

This week’s attorney is bilingual is English and Korean. Anyone interested in meeting with the attorney is asked to call Avella’s office at 718-357-3094 to reserve a spot.

“This country was built on the backs of immigrants who came here looking for a better life for their families, many of them fleeing persecution,” he said. “To deny them entry or support is to deny our American values etched in stone on the Statue of Liberty.”

The effort is part of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC)’s Immigrant Defense Coalition. The IDC has also established an emergency hotline: 1-800-213-6385.

The IDC will also prioritize funding for immigration groups that provide services for New Yorkers in this year’s budget.

“The IDC and I will continue to fight to fund programs that aid immigrants and ensure that any person who needs help or resources knows that my office door is open to assist them,” Avella said. “To the immigrants of Queens, and all of America, know that my office will always advocate on your behalf.”

Sean Astin to appear at BoroughCon May 26-29 at St. John’s University

Award-winning actor Sean Astin will be appearing at BoroughCon May 26-29 at St. John’s University!

16804365_1642205609418379_2570288911075168941_oSince appearing in The Goonies in 1985, Astin has been no stranger to geek culture, going on to gain fame as the lovable Sam Gamgee in the record-setting The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, a role that won him MTV and SAG awards for ensemble works as well as a Saturn Award for his portrayal of Frodo Baggins’s (Elijah Wood’s) trusted friend and aide.

More recently he played a man conflicted between his best intentions and his greatest weaknesses on Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain and has just joined the cast of Netflix’s instant hit Stranger Things.

Astin’s credits go beyond live-action; his voice is currently heard on Justice League Action (Billy Batson/Shazam) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Rafael). And stretching from these sorts of roles, he is also known to Notre Dame football fans as the title character of Rudy, the last Fighting Irish player to be carried off the field on his teammates’ shoulders.

But don’t worry, LotR fans. BoroughCon is a place where Astin is going that you can surely follow!

Especially if you live near the F train or the Q46 bus line. BoroughCon is New York’s newest multi-fandom pop-culture expo and its inaugural event will be held May 26-29 at St. John’s campus in Jamaica, Queens.

500 new seats for Francis Lewis HS

Screen shot via Google Maps

Screen shot via Google Maps

The overcrowding at Francis Lewis High School will soon have some much-needed relief.

The School Construction Authority announced on Tuesday that it had begun planning a new annex with over 500 seats at the Fresh Meadows high school.

The new, state-of-the-art, fully accessible, air-conditioned building will include at least 18 new instructional spaces, according to the SCA. It will also have a culinary arts room, a science lab, a greenhouse, locker rooms and a multi-purpose room.

According to enrollment statistics, Francis Lewis HS is operating at 199 percent capacity, making it one of the most overcrowded schools in New York City.

“When you have strong partnerships you find that creative solutions to tackling long standing challenges are easier to come by and this project is a testament to that,” said Lorraine Grillo, president and CEO of the SCA. “This new annex will provide much needed relief for the students and staff at Francis Lewis High School and while our search for new capacity to relieve overcrowding in Queens high schools continues, we are taking a significant step.”

Councilman Peter Koo said the new seats will replace the aging trailers and provide a new space for extracurricular activities, which will “go a long way to helping the students and staff succeed.”

“Francis Lewis High School has always maintained a high-level of academic excellence despite the overcrowding conditions,” said principal David Marmor. “This new annex will allow our school to have more programming flexibility along with providing our students with a 21st century learning environment.”

Townsend Harris students to host rally at City Hall

Student Union President Alex Chen will lead the rally.

Student Union President Alex Chen will lead the rally.

Students at Townsend Harris High School are bringing the pressure to remove Interim Acting Principal Rosemarie Jahoda right to the mayor’s doorsteps.

After months of efforts, including a rally in front of the school and multiple PTA and SLT meetings, seniors from the prestigious high school are rallying at City Hall to ask Mayor de Blasio to remove Jahoda from her position.

The DOE is currently undergoing a C-30 selection process to pick a permanent principal for the school. Jahoda is believed to be one of the candidates in consideration.

The rally will take place on Friday, February 24th at 11 a.m. Chen reminded us that he and his cohorts will be eligible to vote in the mayoral election this coming November.

“The rest of the student body will join us to show that they also stand united with us in the same cause,” Chen said in the media advisory. “I have also invited faculty members, parents and alumni.”

So far, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic is set to attend the rally.

Chen invited his fellow classmates to join him in this letter to the student body published by the high school paper, The Classic. In the letter, he says:

“Freshmen, make your first year at THHS memorable. Sophomores, mark THHS history. Juniors, inspire the underclassmen. Seniors, all of whom can now vote this November, make your voices heard as Bill de Blasio prepares to run for re-election. As Mayor of NYC, he has authority over the Department of Education, which has not been hearing our voices even though they keep saying they are. Let’s go straight to the Mayor.”

Police investigate death of College Point toddler

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Cops are investigating the death of a young boy in College Point over the weekend.

Authorities say that on Saturday, February 18, police found a 7-month-old boy unconscious and unresponsive inside 18-01 College Point Boulevard.

He was later identified as Simon Naula-Cabrera. He had no visible signs of trauma, authorities say.

The toddler was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

An investigation is now ongoing. The Medical Examiner’s Office will determine his cause of death.

Terrace on the Park makes list of top wedding venues in Queens

Earlier this week, the Queens Ledger & Queens Examiner Newspapers released their list of top wedding venues in Queens.

Terrace on the Park is that “T” shaped building found in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and it happens to be one of the most sought after wedding venues in the city!

It offers stunning views, and your wedding celebration will feel like you’re partying in the sky! Immediately surrounded by trees, your guests will be also be able to spot famous Queens attractions like the Unisphere, the Queens Museum and Citi Field.  Essentially, the venue works best for couples who are proud to be living in Queens.  In warmer months, couples could even have their ceremony on the rooftop.

Terrace on the Park is located at 52-11 111th Street, in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Corona.  Call 718-592-5000 to make your reservations today!

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