Ulrich funds cleanup along Jamaica Bay

Councilman Eric Ulrich has funded a $55,000 initiative to clean up marine debris along Jamaica Bay.

The effort will also remove derelict boats. Abandoned boats are among the biggest problems in New York City’s waterways.

“Preserving and protecting the Bay is a top priority for Broad Channel and its surrounding communities,” Ulrich said.

“Time and time again, residents have had to deal with abandoned boats and other maritime debris in Jamaica Bay. This is unacceptable and wrong.”

The funds were allocated to the Department of Parks and Recreation through the NYC Cleanup Initiative.


District 28 conducts community cleanup efforts

Last weekend, Councilwoman Adrienne Adams enlisted community-based organizations and resident volunteers in a community cleanup effort across the district.

Working in small groups, volunteers beautified and cleaned streets in Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park and Jamaica.

Due to recent budget cuts, there has been increased litter on streets and sidewalks across the city.

Community groups that participated included: South Queens Women’s March, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, South East Queens Cleanup Initiative and Hood Love.

“Sanitation is critical to the health and safety of our communities and we each have a role to play,” Adams said. “While we worked to clean up trash, this event was also an opportunity to raise awareness abut the importance of keeping our community clean.”


Jamaica, Rockaways prioritized in city’s new Outdoor Learning initiative

Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza announced a new Outdoor Learning initiative for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The program will allow schools to hold classes outdoors in schoolyards, adjacent streets and nearby park space. The program is open to all public, charter and private schools.

Schools in areas hardest hit by COVID-19 with no outdoor space will receive priority.

Beginning on Monday, school principals can submit a request for learning space in school adjacent streets and nearby parks. Schools that want to use their own on-site yards can fill out a survey to notify the Department of Education.

Proposals submitted by Friday, August 28th will receive responses by September 4. Additional requests can be submitted on a rolling basis.

Jamaica, Rockaway and Far Rockaway are some of the Queens neighborhoods that will be prioritized.

Others include Corona, Briarwood and Queensbridge in Long Island City.


South Ozone Park man sexually abused children at daughter’s daycare

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced last week that 77-year-old Ramon Rodriguez of South Ozone Park has been sentenced to two years in prison for sexually abusing two girls at his daughter’s daycare center.

One of the victims was just seven years old when she was abused in 2010. The second was just five years old when she was abused in 2019.

In January, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to sexual abuse in the first degree.

He will be required to register as a sex offender.


Sheikh Medical Care opens in Ozone Park

Photo Courtesy of Sheikh Medical Care PLLC

On Monday, community members celebrated the grand opening of Sheikh Medical Care PLLC in Ozone Park.

Located at 103-02 93rd Street, the practice is led by board certified Dr. Tania M. Skeikh, who boasts a long career as an internal medicine physician.

Among the people who cut the ribbon for the new office was Councilman Eric Ulrich.

“There are so many people in this district that have been looking for a doctor’s office, and we want them to know they have a great option right here in our backyard,” he said. “Dr. Tania M. Skeikh is the epitome of the American dream, having come here from Bangladesh.

Sheikh said she’s grateful to serve the health concerns of Queens.

“It’s long awaited, but the community can rest assured a great and qualified doctor is in your neighborhood,” she said.

For more information, contact Sheikh Medical Care PLLC at 718-487-3944 orSheikhMedicalCarePLLC@gmail.com.


Holliswood resident celebrates 101st birthday with citation

Dr. Sheldon Schwartz celebrated his 101st birthday at his Holliswood home last week with a citation from Councilman Barry Grodenchik.

Schwartz was chief of the Clinic of Arthritis and Rheumatism at Bellevue Hospital for more than 30 years. He became the first chair of rheumatology at Long Island Jewish Hospital.

He then helped build Hillcrest General Hospital and was chief of medicine there for another 25 years.

Born in Brooklyn, Schwartz played football at Richmond High School. He later graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He enrolled at NYU School of Medicine, and later became a professor of clinical medicine and fellow of the Academy of Internal Medicine.

“From building a hospital to winning sports trophies to play a mean game of bridge, Dr. Schwartz teaches us that living life fully is key to a long and bountiful life,” Grodenchik said. “He is a pillar of the medical field, his family and our community.”


Wildcat helps clean up parts of Howard Beach, Broad Channel

Image courtesy of Wildcat

A recent clean-up effort in Howard Beach and Broad Channel swept up trash-ridden areas along, underneath and adjacent to the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge.

The effort, through Wildcat Service Corporation, was funded by Councilman Eric Ulrich.

Wildcat provides job opportunities and resources for New Yorkers to become more economically independent. It has helped thousands of unemployed New Yorkers find jobs, build careers and receive training since its inception in 1972.

Ulrich said his office has received several complaints about trash and debris along the Addabbo Bridge, which is why he enlisted the help of Wildcat for a clean-up effort.

“The Addabbo Bridge serves as the gateway to both Howard Beach and Broad Channel,” he said, “so it is important this area remains clean.


Apply now to join Community Education Council 29

Acting Borough President Sharon Lee is looking for a dedicated parent volunteer to fill a vacant positions on Community Education Council District 29.

Lee is accepting applications from education-minded individuals until Friday, August 7.

CEC 29, which includes Jamaica, Jamaica Estates, St. Albans, Queens Village, Cambria Heights, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens, Hollis and Rosedale, is responsible for advising and commenting on educational policies and providing input to Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.

Each CEC oversees elementary and middle schools in their respective community school district. There are seven community school districts in Queens.

To read more about the role of CECs, click here.

CEC members meet for public meetings every month, and visit schools to see what their educational needs are. They also review the district’s educational programs, approve zoning lines, and submit a capital plan to the chancellor after holding public hearings.

The CEC membership application is available online here and can be returned by email to education@queensbp.org.


Advocates host Census “Day of Action” to get counted

Last week, Councilwoman Adrienne Adams joined the U.S. Census Bureau and Chhaya CDC to host a Census “Day of Action.”

The event focused on educating and motivating hard-to-count communities in Queens to get counted in the 2020 U.S. Census.

A current multilingual and multi-targeted campaign is underway to reach all residents, including non-English speakers, immigrants and those with limited internet access.

The campaign is educating residents about what’s at risk with the Census, including federal funding for services.

Respond to the Census online here.


Two local Catholic schools to permanently close

Our Lady’s Catholic Academy in South Ozone Park
The Diocese of Brooklyn has announced that six Catholic Schools will close permanently on August 31. Among them are Our Lady’s Catholic Academy in South Ozone Park and Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach. The diocese said the “devastating effects” of COVID-19 on enrollment and finances made it “impossible” for them to reopening this upcoming school year. All six schools already saw a decline in enrollment over the last five years, but the registration totals for this year were “significantly down,” the diocese said. Affected students and families will receive help to transfer to nearby Catholic academies. The Diocese of Brooklyn, through the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Trust, will provide a one-time grant of $500 for each child from a closed school enrolling in a new Catholic academy in Brooklyn or Queens. “This is an incredibly sad day for our Catholic community to have to close these schools, but the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic is insurmountable,” said Thomas Chadzutko, Superintendent of Schools. “The difficult decisions come after the intense analysis of the financial picture of each academy.”