Businessman Ben Horowitz to discuss latest book at Central Library

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Queens Public Library is hosting an author talk with venture capitalist and billionaire Ben Horowitz on Thursday, February 13 at 6 p.m. at Central Library.

Horowitz will discuss his latest book, “What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture.”

A noted hip hop enthusiast, Horowitz will also discuss his fascination with hop hop with QPL’s Hip Hop Coordinator Ralph McDaniels.

According to QPL, Horowitz uses numerous hip hop references in his book while he takes readers through the process of designing a company culture and engraining it with certain values.

The billionaire businessman started his venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz with Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen in 2009.

Horowitz has also written a bestselling book called “The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers.”

After the author talk and Q&A, Horowitz will sign copies of his new book, which will be available for sale.


Give back to our veterans, homeless through Queens Week of Service

All 14 Queens community boards is joining Acting Borough President Sharon Lee in hosting a borough-wide “Queens Week of Service” from February 10 to 17.

Community boards will collect much-needed resources at each of their offices to give to institutions serving veterans and the homeless.

Specifically, donated new pairs of socks will be given to homeless neighbors in partnership with Monkworkx Corp.

Donated toothpaste, body lotion, body wash, zippered hoodies and sweatpants with drawstrings will be distributed to patients at the St. Albans VA Medical Center.

In South Ozone Park, the drop-off location is 115-01 . Lefferts Boulevard, where Community Board 10’s office is located.

Thank you to everyone who donates and participates in Queens Week of Service!


Richard David announces bid for State Assembly

Community activist Richard David has announced his candidacy for the New York State Assembly.

David will run for the vacant seat in District 31, which encompasses the southeast Queens neighborhoods around JFK Airport: Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Hammels, Richmond Hill, Rosedale, South Ozone Park, Springfield Gardens and Wakefield.

The position was vacated after former Assemblywoman Michele Titus was elected as a Queens Civil Court judge earlier this year. Titus has served in the Assembly since 2002.

Governor Cuomo is expected to declare a special election in the next few days. The regularly-scheduled primary is set for June 23rd.

David has lived in southeast Queens for 25 yeas, and is currently a district leader for Assembly District 31.

He spent 10 years working in government, and was at one point one of the youngest members of his local community board.

He co-founded a youth-led social justice organization, and led the nonprofit desk of a private government relations firms.

David is also an adjunct history professor at York College.



Gillibrand to bring airport worker to State of the Union

For tonight’s State of the Union address in Washington D.C., Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is bringing an injured airport worker as her guest.

Hacheler Cyrille, a young mother, was 17 weeks pregnant when she fell on a baggage conveyor belt while working at JFK Airport for American Airlines contractor Eulen America.

Eulen America has been accused of endangering workers’ health and safety in the past.

Cyrille said Eulen made it difficult to get her job back after the incident. The New York City Human Rights Commission is currently investigating her pregnancy discrimination complaint.

By bringing Cyrille to the State of the Union, Gillibrand will highlight the need for responsible contractors and prioritizing safety for workers.

“Women like Hacheler are essential to ensuring that workers have the right to join together and fight for the pay and protections they deserve,” Gillibrand said.


Queens bus network redesign workshop comes to Jamaica

The MTA is redesigning the entire bus network in Queens, and they want the public to chime in on the changes.

Specifically, the redesign will result in fewer turns, fewer bus miles and better, more direct connections to subways.

There will be longer distances between bus stops and straighter paths for each route.

You can see examples of the changes in the map above for southeast Queens, a transit-starved area that relies heavily on buses to get around.

The new routes will run along highly-used thoroughfares like Linden Boulevard, Jamaica Avenue, Guy R. Brewer Boulevard and Hillside Avenue.

They all converge on the Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer station, a transit hub that connects multiple train lines (E, F) and LIRR.

To get a better sense of how your current bus line will be rerouted, check out the MTA’s route profiles here.

As part of their effort to solicit feedback from the public, the MTA is hosting a series of public workshops with tabletop maps for attendees to pinpoint their routes.

On January 23, the MTA will host a workshop at the Queens Educational Opportunity Center, located at 158-29 Archer Avenue in Jamaica, from 6 to 8 p.m.

If you’re a regular bus rider and your commute will be changed by the redesign, be sure to attend the workshop to give your feedback on the proposed routes.


New affordable industrial center opens in Ozone Park

A new affordable industrial center has opened in Ozone Park, thanks to funding and support from state agencies.

Last week, the nonprofit industrial developer Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) marked the site’s opening along with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and a slew of government officials.

The 85,000-square-foot facility will provide affordable space to more than two dozen local small and mid-sized manufacturing businesses.

The 113-year-old factory site was renovated with $11 million in investments from the state.

The industrial center is spread over three buildings and spans an entire city block. It will be leased to woodworkers, artisans, custom fabricators and other entrepreneurs.

Officials estimate it will provide about 80 jobs at the facility.

Read more about the industrial center in this week’s Leader-Observer.


Young constituents donate hair to Butterflies by Blaq

On Tuesday, Councilman Adrienne Adams hosted a hair donation event where young people donated their locks to a local nonprofit.

Thanks to free haircuts and styling from Aracelis Unisex hair salon, every young person was able to donate hair to Butterflies by Blaq, which provides high-quality wigs to children with medical conditions.

The group was formed in 2012 by Erna Blackman, a former volunteer at American Cancer Society, to assist children coping with hair loss.

At the event, Saaya Kanhoye, 14, donated 14 inches of her hair. Her 9-year-old sister, Shaila, donated 35 inches of hair.

“Hair donors like Shaila and Saaya are important to us because longer hair donations are the building blocks of wig creation,” Blackman said. “Most of the girls that request our services now want longer hair. Although we accept and are grateful for 10 inches, the desired lengths are 12 inches or more.

“We love it when we meet young people who feel the need to give back,” she added. “People helping people makes the world a better place.”


“Punjab Way” and “Gurdwara Street” coming to Richmond Hill

Two thoroughfares in Richmond Hill are being co-named next year to pay homage to the neighborhood’s growing Sikh and Punjabi communities.

Councilwoman Adrienne Adams announced last week that 101st Avenue between 111th Street and 123rd Street will be renamed “Punjab Way.” Punjab is the region in India where Sikhism originated.

In addition, the two-block stretch on 97th Avenue from Lefferts Boulevard to 117th Street will also be known as “Gurdwara Street.” A gurdwara is a Sikh place of worship.

We have a beautiful multicultural mosaic not only in my district but the city as a whole and believe that it should be celebrated,” Adams said. “It is important that diverse communities see themselves and their varying cultures represented in the landscape.”

According to Annetta Seecharran, executive director of Chhaya CDC, Punjabi and Sikh communities have been part of Richmond Hill for over half a century.

“From construction sites and yellow cabs, to hospitals and our government, Punjabis and Sikhs help run this city, and are part of its fabric,” she said. “We are excited to see that our community is finally being represented for its contributions.”


6th annual Southeast Queens Winterfest and Toy Giveaway

Last week at Roy Wilkins Park Recreation Center, Councilman I. Daneek Miller and local elected officials hosted the 6th annual Southeast Queens Winterfest and Toy Giveaway.

The celebration features a slew of free activities for local children, including bouncy houses, face painting, arts and crafts and more.

Ballroom Basix, a group funded by Miller, performerd with students in the program from PS 147 and PS/IS 268.

Following the event, organizers distributed hundreds of toys to local children.

“The holidays are about giving back, and it gives us no greater pleasure than to see the smiles on the faces of little ones each year,” Miller said.


Weprin hosts holiday toy drive in his district

This morning, Assemblyman David Weprin joined the MS 172 school community in Glen Oaks to donate toys during his annual toy drive.

The collection was in honor of Jason Mark Weinstein, the son of Queens Supreme Court Administrative Judge Jeremy Weinstein. It’s the fifth year Weprin is teaming up for MS 172 for the event.

The toys will benefit the children of Heartshare Human Services of New York, as well as other children’s programs in Richmond Hill.

All donations must be received by December 20. They can be dropped off at Weprin’s district offices in Fresh Meadows (185-06 Union Turnpike) or Richmond Hill (111-12 Atlantic Avenue).

The toy drive is accepting new or gently-used unwrapped toys, books or games suitable for kids under 12 years old.