PS 188 student wins Earth Day poster contest


Fourth-grade student Elisia Zeng from PS 188 in Oakland Gardens won the annual Earth Day poster contest.

State Senator Tony Avella, who administers the local competition, visited the school last week to give her an award for her redesign.

“Every student who entered this contest did a great job communicating their concern for our environment through their creativity,” Avella said. “As a member of the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee, I am proud to see young people across my district take a serious interest in the future of our planet.”

Roughly 110 students across 16 schools participated in the contest. All of the entries can be viewed here.

“I hope that Elisia and other students her age continue to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining our environment for generations to come,” Avella said.

Latimer House Museum wins Queens SOUP

Photo courtesy/Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce

Photo courtesy/Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce

The Lewis H. Latimer House Museum has won $1,000 as the winner of the 2017 Queens SOUP.

The funding will enhance the museum’s Tinker lab, which provides a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education program for local kids. The program will expand access for low-income families.

According to the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce executive director John Choe, Queens SOUP is a potluck dinner and funding model that provides seed money and promotional opportunities to help local projects.

The Latimer House Museum won with votes from local residents who participated in a crowd-funding micro-grant community dinner in March. For $5, attendees ate, learned about local projects and cast their ballots for their favorite project.

The Latimer House Museum is a city landmark that was home to Lewis H. Latimer, an African American inventor, self-taught Renaissance man and son of fugitive slaves. It calls attention to the contributions of African Americans to science, tech, arts, poetry and broader American life.

Paul Vallone picks up county support


Councilman Paul Vallone announced that he’s been endorsed by the Queens County Democratic Party for his re-election bid.

Vallone stood by Congressman Joseph Crowley, who leads the Queens Democratic Party, in what he called one of the proudest moments for him and his family.

“Representing my district has been the best four years of my life,” Vallone said. “We have put Northeast Queens not only back on the map, but on top of it.”

Vallone is the son of former Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone and brother of former Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. Vallone chairs the Council’s Subcommittee on Senior Centers.

According to the New York City Campaign Finance Board listings, Paul Graziano is the only challenger Vallone faces right now.

“I am once again reaffirming my commitment to preserve our quality of life here in our community and continuously support our schools, public safety, veterans and seniors,” he added. “Let’s finish the work we have started together.”

Meng introduces bill to put EPA in charge of airline noise


Congresswoman Grace Meng reintroduced legislation this week that would take the job of combating aircraft noise away from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and put the responsibility instead on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Quiet Communities Act of 2017 would reopen EPA’s Office of Noise Abatement and Control, which was defunded by the Ronald Reagan administration in 1981.

The bill would require the EPA Administrator to conduct a study of airport noise and examine FAA’s selection of noise measurement methodologies, health impacts, and abatement program effectiveness.

“Queens and many other parts of the country continue to suffer from the effects of excessive airplane noise and the negative impact it has on people’s quality of life,” Meng said. “Shifting the job of noise mitigation from the FAA to the EPA would help us better address the problem, and the idea makes perfect sense.”

“Aircraft noise is an environmental issue that can impact the health of Americans, and the EPA has overseen these types of noise issues in the past,” she added. “The FAA’s lack of success in combating airplane noise illustrates the need for a different solution. I say we give the job back to the EPA.”

Meng first introduced the bill in 2015, garnering 25 co-sponsors.

Rozic to host annual AAPI Heritage Month celebration

2017 AAPI Heritage Month Flyer -- English

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic is hosting her fifth annual Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month celebration on Friday, May 26 at 5 p.m.

The event will be at Selfhelp Community Services’s K7 Building Community Room, located at 137-39 45th Avenue.

The following AAPI leaders will be honored:

  • Syed A. Bukhari, executive board member, Muslim Center of New York
  • Katy Chiang, president, Kissena Democratic Club
  • Judith J. Chin, Board of Regents, New York Supreme Court 11th Judicial District
  • Yolanda Dela Cruz Gallagher, board member, Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association
  • Bomsinae Kim, executive director, Korean American Family Service Center
  • Dr. Devbala Ramanathan, president, Dropadi Jigyasu Ashram

The celebration includes cultural performances and an award ceremony for the community leaders.

To RSVP, contact Marilla Li at


UNESCO recognizes Flushing Chamber’s rock opera presentation


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce last week for their cross-cultural presentation of Porphyra’s rock opera “Anna and Vladimir, the Love that Rocked the World.”

The award was given at the announcement of Porphyra’s Queens debut performance on Friday, June 2nd at 7 p.m. and Saturday, June 3rd at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. The performance will be at Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard.

The performance is based on the real life romance between 10th century Byzantine princess Anna Porphyrogenita and Grand Price Vladimir of Kiev. It features Green folk music, belly dancing and theater performances.

“The Chamber is pleased to present this wonderful cross-cultural performance of Anna & Vladimir,” said Taehoon Kim, president of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. “We hope this collaboration with Porphyra will strengthen our relationship between the Greek community and the many New Yorkers from around the world who now live and work in Flushing.”

Tickets are available online at

Porphyra is also currently accepting amateur musicians from the community interested in performing. For more information, contact Mike Savvas at

Meng speaks at Jefferson Democratic Club

May 2017

Congresswoman Meng, center, with State Committeman Matthew Silverstein, District Leader Carol Gresser, Assemblyman Edward Braunstein and Jefferson Democratic Club President David Fischer.

Congresswoman Grace Meng spoke to the Jefferson Democratic Club last week at the Clearview Park Golf Course Clubhouse in Bayside.

Meng spoke about her new role as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and the efforts they’re taking to win back seats for Congress.

She also discussed President Trump’s attempts to “hinder an independent investigation” of his campaign’s ties to Russia.

Finally, she gave more details about her legislation regarding menstrual equity.

Traffic changes made at PS 184


After years of requests for traffic changes by PS 184 in Whitestone, the school community finally got what it needed.

Councilman Paul Vallone announced this week that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has converted 21st Road to a westbound one-way street and 21st Avenue to an eastbound one-way street.

Villain said the changes will improve pedestrian safety and reduce traffic congestion during dismissals.

The conversions have already been implemented. The new one-way streets come with new signage to inform drivers of the changes.

“These improvements will go a long way towards increasing the safety for all  the students, parents and teachers of PS 184,” Vallone said. “The safety of our kids always comes first.”

Anna Dimilta, principal of PS 184, said the conversions were long-awaited.

“We have already begun to see the improved traffic conditions at entry and dismissal,” she said. “This change ensures a safer traffic pattern around the school.”

Fran Drescher honored at Queens College gala


Queens College honored one of its most famous alumni last week at its annual gala.

Fran Drescher, an Emmy-nominated actress, author and cancer-awareness advocate, was recognized with the college’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Begun in 1990 to honor alumni whose professional success and dedication to philanthropy and public service embody the college’s motto – discuss ut serviamus, or we learn so that we may serve – the gala also serves as the college’s main fundraising event.

The gala also honored philanthropist Muriel Sapir Greenblatt andactivist Evelyn M. Starch. Alumna Juliet Papa, a radio reporter with 1010 WINS, emceed the event.