JACL suspends public programming through April 2

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jamaica Center for the Arts and Learning (JACL) is suspending public programming through April 2.

That includes these public programs:

  • March 20: Omar Edwards – VAUDE/A Toast to the Boogie (workshop and performance
  • March 26: School Assembly
  • April 1: School Assembly

New dates for these programs will be determined at a later date.

JACL’s School of the Arts will also be temporarily suspended, with classes scheduled to resume on Saturday, April 4.

The spring semester will be extended to June 27 to ensure a window of safety for students while maintaining 12 classes for the semester.

For questions, contact Leonard Jacobs, JACL deputy director, at 718-658-7400 ext. 115.

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Property tax info session in Howard Beach

The NYC Department of Finance and Councilman Eric Ulrich are co-sponsoring a property tax information session at the Howard Beach Library on Wednesday, March 1 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The open enrollment event will help local homeowners get much-needed property tax relief.

Representatives from DOF will be there to educate and help eligible residents enroll in various property tax exemptions.

Homeowners who are currently receiving SCHE (Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption) or DHE (Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption) can also submit their renewal applications.

Homeowners must renew their property tax exemptions by March 15, or their property taxes could increase significantly.

The deadline to appeal property tax assessments is March 16.

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Census job fair for young adults

On Tuesday afternoon from 4 to 7 p.m., Queens Public Library is hosting a job fair geared toward young adults interested in applying for jobs with the U.S. Census.

The job fair will take place at 2002 Cornaga Avenue in Far Rockaway.

Several U.S. Census Bureau staff will be in attendance to give presentations on how Census 2020 affects our communities, provide recruitment assistance and answer questions.

The Census is recruiting thousands of people to assist in getting the most accurate count possible.

Though the jobs are temporary, most positions last several weeks, and include paid trainings. Bilingual applicants are encouraged to apply.

The event will also feature music courtesy of WBLS DJs Chuck Chillout and Bugsy Buggs.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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City Council to host hearing on South Ozone Park flooding

Mayor Bill de Blasio visits the home of a Queens resident affected by this weekend’s sewage blockage in South Ozone Park, Queens on Monday, December 2, 2019. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

On Wednesday morning, the City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection will hold an oversight hearing on the causes and response to the flooding in South Ozone Park.

Nearly 100 homes were damaged by backed-up sewage that spewed into basements, displacing hundreds of residents.

City officials initially blamed the sewage incident on residents, alleging that they poured massive amounts of grease down the drain.

The city then walked back their comments.

The committee hearing starts at 10 a.m. inside the Council Chambers at City Hall.

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Ozone Park tree lighting set for this Saturday

The Ozone Park Residents Block Association will celebrate its second annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, December 7.

The event is in conjunction with the Ozone Park Kiwanis, the Southwest Queens Rotary, the Living Word Church, Tibbs Construction, State Senator Joe Addabbo, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato and Assemblyman Mike Miller.

Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. at Living World Christian Fellowship Church (132-05 Crossbay Blvd).

This will be Ozone Park’s biggest lighting event to date, complete with shows from local dance troupes, pictures with Santa, toys, free hot dogs, pretzels, hot chocolate and other surprises.

The Christmas tree will be lit around 7-7:15 p.m.

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