Queens Chamber’s Real Estate Committee to host networking event

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The Queens Chamber of Commerce’s Real Estate Committee is kicking off 2020 with its first networking event of the season.

The event will take place on Thursday, February 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. at The One Boutique Moon Bar, located at 137-72 Northern Boulevard.

The committee will be discussing upcoming real estate events for the year, and will take feedback on any topics that should be discussed further.

It’s also an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues in the industry.

For more information on the event, see here.

Queens Botanical Garden welcomes new Board of Trustees members

Left to right: Susan Lacerte, Edward M. Ip, Ari I. Jonisch, MD, Li Li, Raymond D. Jasen, Neil Fleischman

The Queens Botanical Garden’s Board of Trustees has welcomed four new members.

Edward M. Ip is the founder and chief executive officer of POS.com, a financial technology startup that presents solutions for retail, health care and hospitality industries.

Ip, who live in Long Island City, is also active in Mensa, the Entrepreneur Organization of NY, American Cancer Society, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York Lions Club and Taste of Tribeca.

Raymond D. Jasen is a partner-in-charge of tax at KPMG’s New York Financial Services business unit, covering multiple offices and nearly 500 tax professionals.

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Jasen is also a board member of Flushing Town Hall. He lives in Great Neck, and goes to the garden almost every Sunday to read and relax on the bench he adopted in honor of his grandparents.

Dr. Ari I. Jonisch is president of Main Street Radiology and the CEO of Radiology Associates of Main Street. He also serves as chairman of the Department of Radiology at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, as well as clinical assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.

After receiving his BS in biology at Binghamton University and his medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University, Dr. Jonisch completed his residency at Yale New Haven Hospital Radiology. He has four children and lives in Harrison, New York.

Li Li is the branch manager of Dime Community Bank on Main Street in Flushing. She has over 19 years of experience in retail and commercial banking, having worked previously at HSBC, Sovereign Bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank and others.

Li graduated from Binghamton University with a BS in management, and is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, Fujianese and English. She lives in College Point and has two children.

The QBG board also announced the following new officer roles:

  • Neil Flesichman, regional director of Tricore, will serve as QBG Board Chair
  • Michelle Stoddart, director of PR and community development at Resorts World Casino NYC, will be QBG Vice Chair
  • Edward Potter, senior property manager at Stillman Management, will be the new QBG Treasurer
  • Ming-der Chang, administrative director at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, will be QBG Secretary.

The Queens Botanical Garden has a board of 15 members.

State Senator Liu hosts Earth Day Poster Celebration

2020 Earth Day Poster - John Liu

State Senator John Liu is calling for local students to submit entries for the New York State Senate Earth Day Poster Celebration.

The contest is a statewide event encouraging awareness of environmental issues in recognition and honor of Earth Day.

The poster celebration is for students in grades K-6. This year’s theme is: Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle.

The posters will be displayed online, and participants will receive a certificate.

Schools wishing to participate in the event must submit their entry by April 20, 2020 via the senator’s website here.

Students are encouraged not only to be creative in this project, but also to convey a “deep commitment” to making the environment a better place.

Record donations for Valentines for Vets gift drive

Val for Vets 2020 - St. Albans VA

In the 24th annual Valentines for Vets gift drive in northeast Queens, residents donated a record number of items for hospitalized veterans.

Co-sponsored by Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, the Law Offices of Ann-Margaret Carrozza and Community Board 11, the drive netted thousands of handwritten cards, candy, new clothing items, playing cards, puzzles and toiletries.

Donations were made by 30 schools across the district, as well as civic organizations, libraries, Girl Scout troops and local residents.

“These donations, which were the most received in the 24-year history of our community’s Valentines for Vets program, helped to brighten the day of hundreds of veterans by showing that we care about them and appreciate their sacrifices,” Braunstein said.

Here are the schools and community groups that contributed to this drive:

  • Bayside High School Key Club
  • Bayside Historical Society
  • Bayside Public Library
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo High School
  • Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy
  • Fresh Meadows Public Library
  • Girl Scout Troop 4587
  • Grace Episcopal Conron Girl Scout Troop
  • Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Civic Association
  • Holy Trinity Catholic Academy
  • IS 25
  • Jefferson Democratic Club
  • MS 158
  • Miracle Ear
  • MS 294 – Bell Academy
  • New York-Presbyterian Queens/Cancer Services Program
  • Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy
  • Park Shore Country Day Camp/Preschool
  • PS 32
  • PS 41
  • PS 79
  • PS 94,
  • PS 107
  • PS 130
  • PS 159
  • PS 169
  • PS 174
  • PS 184
  • PS 193
  • PS 209
  • PS 811
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Academy
  • School District 25 Pre-K Center of College Point
  • School District 25 Pre-K Center of Whitestone
  • School District 30 Pre-K Center
  • Shaub
  • Ahmuty
  • Citrin, & Spratt, PPL
  • St. Luke School
  • St. Mel’s Catholic Academy
  • St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Seniors
  • St. Robert Bellarmine Girl Scout Troop 4279
  • Townsend Harris High School
  • William Spyropoulos Greek-American Day School

Douglaston Library to be closed from February 22 to March 16

The Douglaston/Little Neck branch of the Queens Public Library will temporarily close on Saturday, February 22 for an interior maintenance project, library officials said.

It’s expected to reopen on Monday, March 16. The library is located at 149-01 Northern Boulevard.

Mobile library service will be provided on Thursdays, beginning on February 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Full library service is available at nearby locations in Bayside (214-20 Northern Boulevard) North Hills (57-04 Marathon Parkway), and Glen Oaks (256-04 Union Turnpike).

Assembly candidate donates masks to senior center


Over the weekend, Assembly candidate Steve Lee and his campaign team donated boxes of masks to the seniors at the Selfhelp Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center.

According to the campaign, seniors were already lined up around the auditorium, awaiting distribution, when Lee walked in.

The former police officer then performed a demonstration to teach seniors how to properly wear the n95 masks.

Afterward, Lee spoke to some of the members, as well as the staff.

The campaign said it will return the following week to distribute more masks.

LaGuardia Airport security officer to be Meng’s SOTU guest

32BJ at a rally in 2014. File photo.
32BJ at a rally in 2014. File photo.

Every year, members of Congress can bring a guest to the State of the Union address in Washington D.C. Often, who they choose is reflective of the elected official’s values.

For tonight’s address, Congresswoman Grace Meng has chosen to bring Abdul Quddus Chaudhry of Flushing, a security officer at LaGuardia Airport and a member of the 32BJ SEIU.

Chaudhry, 65, has worked as a private contractor for LGA for 10 years. He’s originally from Lahore, Pakistan, and came to the United States in 2010. He became an American citizen in 2014.

In Pakistan, Chaudhry earned a master’s degree in political science, a law degree and ran his own law practice.

Chaudhry was part of 32BJ’s successful effort to win an increased minimum wage of $19 for airport workers by 2023. He’s also a member of the Airport Workers Bargaining Committee.

“Bringing Abdul as my guest shines a light on the important role that our labor force plays in communities throughout Queens and across the nation,” Meng said, “and it brings attention to their fight for improving workers’ rights, including affordable health benefits and safe working conditions.”

Congressman Adriano Espaillat to speak at Queens College commencement

My Approved Portraits

Congressman Adriano Espaillat has been named the 2020 commencement speaker for Queens College’s 96th commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 28 at 9 a.m.

A Queens College alumnus, Espaillat, who grew up in Manhattan, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1979.

In 2016, Espaillat became the first Dominican-American and formerly undocumented immigrant to be elected to Congress.

At the commencement ceremony, he will be presented with the President’s Medal, the college’s highest administrative award.

Queens College’s political science department previously honored Espaillat in 2017 with their Distinguished Alumnus Award.

After graduating from QC, Espaillat worked at nonprofit organizations that provided legal services to indigents, counseled families of crime victims and fought substance abuse.

He served as a member of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate before being elected to Congress.