Female artists to discuss current state of hip hop

On Saturday, March 16 at 1 p.m., Queens Library will celebrate women who helped shape hip hop with a panel event at Central Library in Jamaica.

More than a dozen female artists will discuss the current state of hip hop.

This group of acclaimed artists include: Sha Rock, Original Spinderella, DJ Flame, Sheri Sher, DJ Lady Love, Missy Dee, Belinda Trotter-James, Debbie D, Kimba Reynolds, MC Glamorous, Pauline Mimms, Sweet Tee, Sparky Dee and Nikki Dee.

Ralph McDaniels, Queens Library’s hip hop coordinator, will moderate the panel.

The event, marking Women’s History Month, is free and open to the public.

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TONIGHT: Forum on congestion pricing

Tonight, elected officials from southeast Queens, along with business organizations, transit advocacy groups and others, are hosting a forum on congestion pricing.

The event will be at the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center (172-17 Linden Blvd), starting at 7 p.m.

Hear from all sides of the debate about how to best curb congestion in the city, while also funding the necessary fixes to mass transit.

Although there have been intense discussions on this topic, motorists and transit riders in eastern and southeast Queens need to be heard as well.

Attend the forum and learn more about how this policy can affect your commute.

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Thief Steals $2,000 from Resorts World Casino Player

resortsthiefIt seems like Resorts World Casino has become a breeding ground for crime. Not long ago, there was a massive brawl and even a brutal murder occurring on the steps of the Queens casino. Now, people are robbing one another.

Last Thursday, around 11:30 p.m., a thief stole $2,000 from an unassuming gambler then disappeared into the night. The 54-year-old victim was sitting at an electronic table game when the suspect grabbed the wad of cash from his hands and dashed away. Security cameras managed to record the crook escaping through a side exit stairwell.

The suspect is described as a light skinned man with a thin build in his early to mid 20s.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

resortsthief2

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Comptroller Stringer audits Close to Home program

4ZNZ_Juvey_hall_pic_The much opposed Close to Home program is being audited by City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Although there is no word on how long the audit will last or what its looking into, news of the audit still comes to good news for city neighborhoods.

The Close to Home program, orchestrated by the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), hopes to move juvenile delinquents from upstate facilities to buildings around the city in an effort to bring them closer to their families as well as have them re-introduced into society.

There has been a loud outcry from both South Ozone Park and Queens Village in an effort to dismiss the juvenile facilities from popping up in the areas. Last week, Stringer rejected the contract for the South Ozone Park facility due to “inconsistencies.”

Due to property value decreases as well as safety concerns, members of both communities hope that Stringer’s audit will be a step towards shutting down both facility plans.

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106 Precinct discovers $100k worth of illegal fireworks

Fireworks

This past Tuesday, police officers from the 106th Precinct made an arrest in Ozone Park after discovering 100 cases of fireworks with an estimated value of $100,000.

After the precinct’s Field Intelligence Officers noticed something awry, they managed to obtain a search warrant. The police found the cases within a garage belonging to a 30-year-old man who was then arrested for unlawful dealing with fireworks. The fireworks ranged from “Thunder of Orion” to “Tank” and “Cosmic Clash.”

“With the Fourth of July upon us, everyone enjoys the holiday and the professionally organized fireworks displays that are a part of the holiday tradition but illegal fireworks are dangerous not only to the people discharging them but also to the people who reside in the areas where these fireworks are being set off illegally,” said Captain John Ganley. “We strongly urge our community partners who become aware of illegal fireworks displays to report these incidents to the police department.”

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New York City F.C. may head to Aqueduct

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After sharing Yankee Stadium this season and an earlier proposal to build a stadium near the ballpark, its turn out that New York City F.C. won’t be playing in the Bronx next season.

In fact, the soccer team is looking for a new location and that may include the Aqueduct Racetrack.

Aqueduct has over 200 acres of land, so the stadium could possibly be built there. There are pros to the addition, such as the creation of jobs, while there are also some severe negatives. Traffic and public safety could become a problem, especially with Resorts World Casino nearby.

The Aqueduct isn’t the first Queens location that the club has considered. There were plans to build the stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, but the idea was opposed by local organizations and the New York Mets.

No word on whether or not the plans to move the team to the Aqueduct will be successful. Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.’s office and Resorts World Casino will discuss the plans some more within the next few months.

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Aqueduct vendors find space at new Merrick Flea Market

It’s safe to say that Aqueduct vendors have a new home. The 25,000 square foot space at 221-02 Merrick Boulevard, which used to be an old warehouse, has been converted into a new flea market – the Merrick Flea Market.

Some aqueduct vendors have already made their way over to the Springfield Gardens space that was opened last fall but Brian Baxter, the current manager of the Merrick Flea Market who also managed the Aqueduct Flea Market for 33 years expects to see more.

“Aqueduct had between 600 – 800 vendors at any given time. With about 125 – 150 total spaces here, we’re about 75 percent full and we can attribute about half of them to the old Aqueduct vendors,” he said.

Many vendors at Aqueduct are either out of a job or hoping for another space and the Merrick Flea is located conveniently in Queens where they wouldn’t have to travel far and where customers, who receive free parking at the market, could also follow.

Although promises were made by Senator Addabbo and the Queens Borough President, Helen Marshall, to find a new space for the vendors, Baxter said that to find a place similar to Aqueduct would be almost impossible.

“It’s so big, any property that large is not going to be zoned for a flea market,” he said.

The Merrick Flea Market is only five miles away from Aqueduct, a perk which Baxter says can only benefit Aqueduct vendors once they find out – through word of mouth – that the Merrick Flea Market is open.

The Plain and Fancy company that used to run the Aqueduct Flea Market has a confidential client list so Baxter has to promote the Merrick Flea Market to vendors using the contacts he has formed and is close with.

“I have to depend on my own contacts as well as word of mouth to spread the word to vendors out of work. But many of the vendors know one another, like a big happy family,” he said. It’s a workable strategy to get more vendors there in the coming months.

The Merrick Flea Market is an indoor market that will be open year-round on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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