Pols host Black History Month events


February is Black History Month, and elected officials from southeast Queens are celebrating with an array of events.

Today, State Senator Leroy Comrie, Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman, Assemblyman Clyde Vanel and Councilman I. Daneek Miller are hosting a screening of Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s PBS documentary “Black American Since MLK: And Still I Rise” at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL).

The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the following civil rights intellectuals:

  • Dr. George White, CUNY York College
  • Natasha Merle, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Ronald Day, David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy
  • Wilbert Kirby, Congress of Racial Equality
  • Dante Barry, Million Hoodies Movement
  • Norman Siegel, civil rights attorney

The documentary will begin at 6:45 p.m., and the panel discussion will begin at 7:15 p.m.


The film screening will be followed by a military Black History Month celebration on Thursday.

State Senator Comrie’s Veterans Advisory Committee, in collaboration with Assemblywoman Hyndman, Assemblyman Vanel, Councilman Miller and Councilman Donovan Richards, VFW Post 1896 and American Legion Post 438, are hosting a presentation on the contributions of African Americans and Caribbean Americans to the United States Armed Forces.

The event will take place at American Legion Post 438 at 240-08 135th Avenue in Rosedale from 6 to 9 p.m.

Food and light refreshments will be available.


Police classify October incident as homicide

RMA # 2969-16 103 SQD ASSAULT 10-15-16 PICDo you remember this case?

Back in October, 29-year-old Richard “Kwasi” Springer from South Jamaica was caught on video punching a 69-year-old woman walking out of a store at 107-60 Sutphin Boulevard.

He punched her in the head with a closed fist, causing her to fall to the ground.

She sustained a serious injury to her head, was taken to Jamaica Hospital and was listed in stable condition.

Springer was charged with 1st degree robbery and 2nd degree assault.

Today, after an examination by the Medical Examiner’s Office, the incident has been reclassified as a a homicide, police said.



Officer shoots at individuals playing with fake guns

The two imitation firearms police recovered at the scene.

A police officer fired a single round at a group of men holding fake guns on a stairwell inside the South Jamaica Houses on February 15.

According to police, they received a call at around 7:43 p.m., regarding individuals fighting and using narcotics inside 106-35 159th Street. When they arrived at the scene,  they encountered three males. Two of them were holding what appeared to be firearms.

The officers drew their firearms and ordered the individuals not to move, according to police. One of the individuals is accused of turning towards the officers with the firearm, which prompted one officer to fire a single round, which didn’t strike anyone.

One of the individuals was taken into custody at the scene and two remain at large. Police recovered two imitation firearms at the scene.

In 2014, 28-year-old Akai Gurley was killed in a stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project when Officer Peter Liang discharged his weapon. Liang was convicted of manslaughter but served only house arrest and community service after his conviction was downgraded to criminally negligent homicide. Liang was fired from the NYPD.


Pols applaud bill stopping plastic bag fee

Photo courtesy Flickr/eflon

Photo courtesy Flickr/eflon

Elected officials who oppose the City Council-backed plastic bag fee celebrated a victory this week.

Last May, the Council passed legislation that would put a 5-cent fee on carryout plastic bags. Though many legislators voted for it because of its positive environmental impact, others decried it as a way to “nickel and dime” low-income and senior residents.

Opposition to the bill went all the way to Albany, where Brooklyn State Senator Simcha Felder led a push to block the bill from being implemented. The effort worked, as both chambers in the State Legislature passed a one-year moratorium on the fee, which was supposed to take effect today.

On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the moratorium, barring similar legislation until January 2018. Instead, he called for a task force to create a statewide plan to address the environmental impact of plastic bags.

Elected officials against the fee cheered on the governor’s decision.

“I am so pleased to see that Governor Cuomo agrees with many of my constituents, who believe that there are far better ways to address the plastic bag issue than charging customers five cents to the benefit of the grocery stores,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who was vocal about his opposition. “I look forward to working with the Governor’s newly created task force to credibly eliminate plastic bags from our environment.”

“The people have spoken out in opposition to the plastic bag fee,” he added, “and their state government heard them loud and clear.”

Queens Councilman Barry Grodenchik, who voted against the measure in the City Council, also thanked Governor Cuomo for signing the delay. He called it a “regressive tax” that would “unfairly fall on the shoulders of working families and seniors.”

“The five cents collected per bag would not benefit the city or the environment, but instead go directly int0 merchants’ pockets,” Grodenchik said. “It is unfortunate that the State government had to get involved, but it was necessary.”

“I will continue to fight to permanently block this tax,” he added. ‘”Surely there are better ways of achieving our shared goal of responsible environmental stewardship.”

The New York League of Conservation Voters, an environmental advocacy group, issued a statement against the Governor’s moratorium.

“We are deeply saddened that Governor Cuomo has signed the bill to nullify New York City’s fee on carryout bags,” said Marcia Bystryn, NYLCV’s president. “Though we appreciate his obvious concern for the issue, there is now a law on the books that overturns the principle of home rule and leaves us with no near-term solution to the very real problem of plastic bag waste.”

“Let us be clear: a task force that does not lead to a robust statewide law is not an acceptable consolation prize,” she added. “We take Governor Cuomo at his word that he will work with the Senate and Assembly and act expeditiously.”


Customs seizes cocaine inside footwear



An arriving passenger at John F. Kennedy International Airport was caught with cocaine inside four pairs of sneakers in his luggage.

On Thursday, February 9, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials stopped Amaziah Hohenkirk, from Guyana, who was arriving on a flight from Georgetown, Guyana through Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

During a routine inspection, officers found the four pairs of sneakers, along with two pairs of shoes, in his luggage. They contained a white powder that later tested positive for cocaine.

Hohenkirk was arrested for importing a controlled substance and was turned over to the Department of Homeland Security.

The cocaine he carried in his luggage totaled 4 pounds and was valued at approximately $67,000.

He now faces federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District.

“This latest seizure demonstrates the vigilance of our CBP officers, and their excellence in detecting those who would try to smuggle these illegal substances,” said Robert E. Perez, director of field operations.


Pop Sensation SAFIR Gives Free Concert and Meet & Greet.

Picture 2Puerto Rican Pop Sensation Give Free Concert and Meet & Greet at Resorts World Casino!

World renowned popstar Safire will perform at Resorts World Casino New York City’s (RWCNYC) Bar 360 on Friday, February 10 at 11:30 p.m. Specializing in freestyle pop, Safire is considered to be one of the most prominent representatives of the pop genre. There is no charge for admission. After Safire performs at Bar 360, she will speak with audience members for a free meet-and-greet!

Safire, born Wilma Cosmé, is from East Harlem but was born in the bustling city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. She began her career as a session vocalist, but was soon discovered by Cutting Records. Shortly after, she released her debut single “Don’t Break My Heart,” which remains well regarded by freestyle and dance music critics.  She then went on to record some of her biggest hits “Thinking of You,” “Boy, I’ve Been Told,” and “Let Me Be The One,” which landed her multiple spots on the Billboard Hot 100.

Recently, Safire, along with some other well-known freestyle artists, made history with the first ever freestyle concert at the world famous Radio City Music Hall in NYC. Ticket sales proved to be so popular that a second night was added soon after the first date was announced.

Resorts World Casino is located at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd in Jamaica.  http://rwnewyork.com





Prominent Salsa Artist Victor Manuelle Performs at Resorts World Casino New York City

Picture 2

Get ready to dance!

On Friday, February 10 at 9 p.m., Victor Manuelle, best known by his fans as “El Sonero de la Juventud,” will perform at Resorts World Casino New York City’s (RWCNYC) Central Park Event Space. Known for his distinctive style and interpretation of salsa music, Manuelle has become a household name through his long and successful career as a musician.

Manuelle was born in the Bronx, but grew up in Isabela, Puerto Rico. He gained major success with the release of his first album Justo a Tiempo in 1993 and has gained a reputation as a prolific and talented musician through his many albums and distinctive take on tropical music. He has received countless awards and recognitions, including four RIAA-certified multi-platinum albums, six platinum, and six gold. He has received a combined 16 Latin Grammy and Grammy Award nominations throughout his lengthy career.

Manuelle’s most recent album is Que Suenen los Tambores and the title track landed him his 24th trip to the top spot on the Tropical Songs Airway chart. Critics have called it “one of the sharpest and most focused records of his career.”

Resorts World Casino New York City (RWCNYC) is the only casino in New York City, offering over 10 million guests annually an unparalleled gaming and entertainment experience while generating over $1.7 billion for the State’s education system since opening in 2011.  RWNYC is operated by the Genting Group, a global company founded in 1965, operating destination resorts in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, the Bahamas, the United States and all four oceans through its Star Cruises and Crystal Cruises brands. Genting has more than 50 years of experience in the travel and leisure industry and collectively employs approximately 60,000 people while offering an unparalleled resort experience to over 50 million visitors a year worldwide.

Resorts World Casino is located at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd  in Jamaica.




“Saving Jamaica Bay” will air on PBS


Saving Jamaica Bay,” an award-winning documentary about the battle to save the national park, will make its television debut later this month on PBS.

Narrated by actress and activist Susan Sarandon, the film focuses on the Queens community’s decades-long fight to clean up the environmental dumping ground.

The documentary was written and produced by Daniel Hendricks, husband of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. It’s directed by David Sigal.

“Saving Jamaica Bay” was shot across five years, beginning in 2011. It starts off with Jamaica Bay’s decline, its rebirth and the long rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.

Since its premiere on March 2016, the documentary has screened at 22 festivals across the country and abroad. It received numerous Audience awards and Best Documentary awards.

It will air on Saturday, February 18 at 1 p.m. on THIRTEEN (WNET 13) and on Sunday, February 26 at 9 p.m. on WLIW21.


Cops investigating school shooting prank post

building picA PS 146 student allegedly stated he was going to shoot up the school in a Snapchat post he’s now calling a joke, according to the NYPD 106th Precinct Community Council and State Senator Joseph Addabbo.

The school is not currently on lockdown and the student has been suspended.

The NYPD School Safety Division is investigating the threat.

Addabbo said the situation at the school is under control in a Facebook post.

“The NYPD is investigating the matter and I understand the student has been suspended from school,” he said. “It has been determined that the threat was a hoax and the student stated it was a prank.”

“The students at PS 146 were never under any danger,” he added. “Pranks and threats to the safety of school students must be taken seriously. I intend to follow up with the NYPD regarding this matter.”

He urged anyone looking for more information to contact his office at 718-738-1111.



Melba Moore Performs @ Resorts World Casino this Friday!

MelbaSing and Dance the Night Away with R&B Star Melba Moore at Resorts World Casino

On Friday, February 3 at 11:30 p.m., R&B star Melba Moore will perform at Resorts World Casino New York City’s (RWCNYC) Bar 360. Known for worldwide hits like “This Is It” and “Love’s Comin’ at Ya,” Moore will be reprising some of her biggest hits on stage in Queens!

Moore got her start in the cult classic musical HAIR and after a successful run in the theatre business, she went on to begin a successful solo musician career. She recorded hits “This Is It,” “Love’s Comin’ at Ya,” “You Stepped Into My Life” and more. These songs boosted her career and rocketed her into the spotlight, getting her multiple Grammy nominations such as “Best New Artist” and “Best Rhythm & Blues Performance – Female.”

Moore recently released her fourth album titled “Forever Moore.” The single “Love Is” is up for two Grammy Awards in the first round of the nominating process in the categories of “Best Short Form Music Video” and “Best Traditional R&B Performance.”

Resorts World Casino is located at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd in Jamaica. For more information about this event, log onto www.rwnewyork.com.