Pols throw first pitch at softball league All-Star Game

Under the hot summer sun on July 13, Assemblyman Mike Miller, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato and Queens Parks Commissioner Michael Dockett threw out the first pitch at the 8th annual American Softball League’s All-Star Game.

The game took place at Vito Locascio Field in Ozone Park.

The league teaches players who have developmental challenges how to play softball. They practice three times a week.

“American Softball League provides a fun and great learning environment for adults with disabilities to learn the game,” Miller says. “I look forward to throwing the first pitch again and seeing the continued progress the players have made.”

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Bartlett Dairy receives City Council approval

Last week, the City Council overwhelmingly approved the ULURP application for Bartlett Dairy to develop a new permanent home for milk distribution inside the JFK North Site.

Bartlett is a family-owned MWBE business that can now build a 54,000-square-foot dairy distribution center on one of the largest city-owned manufacturing properties.

The company has distributed dairy and dry goods since 1968. They employ about 500 people across three locations in Jamaica, Rochester and Newark.

Their largest contracts include the city’s Department of Education, Starbucks and the Archdiocese of New York.

The JFK North Site will now be Bartlett’s New York headquarters.

In celebrating the rezoning, Thomas Malave Jr., president of Bartlett Dairy, announced that they will also establish a scholarship fun for local graduating high school students.

Call that a win for everyone!

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Rockapulco Gold Music Festival this Saturday

The Rockapulco Gold Music Festival is taking place this Saturday in Rockaway Park.

Listen to six hours worth of great bands including Wine with Sue, Fools Night Out, 3 Sheets to the Wind, Squid and Grey Trippers. Doors open at 3 p.m. and there will also be tons of beer, DJing and dancing.

The event will be located in Rockaway Gliders Studio at 114-04 Beach Channel Drive in Rockaway Park.

Tickets for the Rockapulco Gold Music Festival are $30 and you can register here. You must be 21 and over to attend!

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Resorts World, Queens Center for Progress celebrate Pride Month

In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, which is celebrated every June, Resorts World Casino NYC and the Queens Center for Progress have unveiled a new art exhibit.

The exhibit highlights themes of importance to the LGBTQ+ community, as well as women empowerment and disability pride.

It will be on exhibit at the Red Wall Gallery until June 30.

Resorts World Casino NYC is located at 110-00 Rockaway Boulevard.

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JCAL to host Pride Month celebration

The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning is hosting a “First Friday” Pride Month celebration on June 7, starting at 7:30 p.m.

June is recognized as national LGBTQ Pride Month in honor of the Stonewall Riots in June 1969.

The performance will feature new works by multimedia performance artist and video-maker Tara Mateik, as well as choreographer and dancer Brandon Coleman.

Mateik’s new project is called “Without a Cigarette and a Blindfold.” It returns to the set of Jackie Susann’s “Valley of the Doll.”

Coleman’s new dance solo, “Smoke and Mirrors,” is based on the work of author Alan Downs. It tackles the concept of masculinity and gender expectations of men.

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Dunkin’ opening caps LIRR Jamaica underpass renovation

The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) marked the completion of the Long Island Rail Road Jamaica Underpass revitalization by welcoming a new Dunkin’ Donuts to the Shops at Station Plaza.

The Shops at Station Plaza renovation project began in 2009 to transform the street under the LIRR tracks. Prior to renovations, the space was as a dark and dreary underpass serving as storage space for the railroad.

That space has drastically changed, with new lighting and new businesses.

Last Friday, Congressman Gregory Meeks said many people thought it was impossible to revitalize the area.

“This becomes contagious,” he said. “It’s an investment in the community, and it’s a part of this whole area being developed.”

Farina Wang, who in addition to the new Dunkin’ Donuts owns two other small businesses in the area, now employs almost 50 people.

“It was a long journey with a lot of bumps,” she said.

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Sutphin Boulevard beautification project is complete

A beautification project along Sutphin Boulevard from Foch Boulevard to Brinkerhoff Avenue has been completed.

Councilwoman Adrienne Adams coordinated with the Horticultural Society of New York and the Thomas White Jr. Foundation on the project.

Workers cleaned and mulched tree pits in this weekly effort. Horticultural Society members also educated volunteers, providing them job training and work experience.

Adams says the project transforms the commercial corridor, helping local merchants generate more business and have more pride in the district.

“Clean streets and sidewalks are part of building welcoming, vibrant communities,” Adams says. “Business districts and residents deserve no less.”

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New York Fight Exchange comes to RWC

MMA is coming back to Resorts World Casino.

On Saturday, June 1, RWC NYC is hosting New York Fight Exchange 17: Kings of New York 2, beginning at 7 p.m.

The fight will be headlined by four championship belts, as well as UFC & Bellator Fighters.

Fans will receive sponsored giveaways throughout the night.

Commentary will be provided by the team from the hit podcast “Menace and the Man,” with Dennis Bermudez and Stan the Man.

Tickets for this event can be purchased online here.

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Slick Rick to join Queens Public Library panel

Legendary rapper Slick Rick will join a panel discussion on “Empowering the Formerly Incarcerated” on Thursday, May 30 at QPL’s Central Library in Jamaica.

The library’s hip-hop coordinator, Ralph “Uncle” McDaniels, will host the panel with artists, former inmates, community activists and representatives from city agencies.

They will talk about issues related to re-entry, the correctional and judicial aspects, and human rights.

Other panelists at the event will include Maxwell Melvin, prison rap band Lifers Group, State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling and advocate Lithera Forbes.

The free and open event will also feature a resource fair for city agencies to answer questions about their programs and initiatives.

The panel event begins at 6:30 p.m.

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Street named after 17-year-old scholar-athlete killed in 2017 fire

Last weekend, community members and elected officials unveiled the new street sign for Melody Anne-Simone Edwards Way.

The sign at 118th Avenue and Springfield Gardens in Cambria Heights commemorates one of the lives lost on a Sunday afternoon two years ago when a four-alarm fire took the lives of five people between the ages of 2 and 21 years old.

Among the victims was 17-year-old Melody Anne-Simone Edwards, an Arista National Honor Society member, track and volleyball star and to-be graduate at Queens High School of Teaching.

She was visiting the home of her friend, Jada Foxworth, who also died in the fire.

Melody’s family established a $1,000 scholarship in her name for graduating high school students who demonstrate a strong commitment to volunteerism.

They also plan to create a foundation called #E4M – Everything for Melody – to foster a spirit of community service.

Others who died in the tragic incident include Jada’s sister, 20-year-old Destiny Dones, and cousins Rayshawn Matthews, 10, and Chayce Lipford, 2.

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