Retro Fitness donates products to Jamaica Hospital

Last week, Retro Fitness donated over $3,000 worth of products to frontline health care workers at Jamaica Hospital.

In response to the pandemic, the gym franchise has frozen all memberships, offered free daily workouts and helped the elderly with grocery shopping. It also decided to give back to the community.

Working with Europe Sports Products, Retro Fitness donated more than 230 cases of protein drinks, snacks and energy drinks, including brands like Muscle Milk, American Body Builder, Optimum Nutrition and Cytosport.

The products were isolate for four days prior to delivery and sprayed with disinfectant to ensure they were sanitized.

The Retro Fitness area manager and franchise owner say they were inspired after losing two members of their own club communities.

“At Retro Fitness, we are dedicated to our communities, especially those affected where our franchisees and members live and work, and stand in solidarity with those on the front lines keeping us safe” said Andrew Alfano, CEO of Retro Fitness.

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Ulrich closes district office due to coronavirus outbreak

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Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the City Council has suspended all office walk-ins, meetings and hearings.

That means starting March 16, Councilman Eric Ulrich has closed his district offices. Staff will be working from home, and calls will be forwarded to Ulrich and senior staff.

Constituents will be assisted through email and social media platforms.

Here is a list of Ulrich’s staff and contact information:

  • Councilman Eric Ulrich: eulrich@council.nyc.gov
  • Chief of staff – Kevin Tschirhart: ktschirhart@council.nyc.gov
  • Scheduler, community liaison – Jenna Donohue: JeDonohue@council.nyc.gov
  • Deputy chief of staff, community liaison – Robby Schwach: rschwach@council.nyc.gov
  • Deputy chief of staff – Ciara Donley: cdonley@council.nyc.gov
  • Budget director – Matthew Pecorino: mpecorino@council.nyc.gov
  • Legislative director, community liaison – Marjorie Coello: mcoello@council.nyc.gov
  • Community liaison – Pietro Ruggero: pruggero@council.nyc.gov
  • Community liaison – Nazia Ahmed: nahmed@council.nyc.gov.

“I cannot stress how serious the situation has become,” Ulrich said. “This is a serious public health emergency.

“People should not go about business as usual,” he added. “I am very concerned about community spread and urge my constituents to take extra precaution and to stay indoors whenever possible.”

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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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Resorts World plays host to MWBE forum

Last week, Councilwoman Adrienne Adams hosted a forum for small businesses and minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) at Resorts World Casino NYC.

The panelists included SBS Commissioner Gregg Bishop, Jonnel Doris, director of the Mayor’s Office for MWBEs, QEDC Deputy Director Ricardi Calixte, Queens Chamber of Commerce’s Tom Grech and Dr. Simone Lord of the Southeast Queens Chamber of Commerce.

The event focused on networking and resources for the small business community, particularly MWBEs.

“Small businesses and M/WBEs are the backbone of our community,” Adams said, “and our thriving economy so it is important to understand the challenges these business owners face and help provide the resources that allow them to thrive.”

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Ulrich to host food drive benefitting local pantries

Stock photo courtesy of iStockPhoto.com.

Councilman Eric Ulrich’s office is organizing a food drive to support local pantries and families in need.

During the Lenten season, his office will collect donations for the food pantry at St. Mary Gate of Heaven Roman Catholic Church in Ozone Park, as well as the pantry at St. Camillus-St. Virgilius Roman Catholic Church in Rockaway and Broad Channel.

These are the food items needed at the churches’ food pantries:

  • Canned meats
    • Chili with beans
    • Corn beef hash
    • Vienna sausage
    • Tuna fish
  • Soup
    • Chicken noodle soup
  • Pasta
  • Italian sauce
  • Beef ravioli sauce
  • Spaghetti and meatballs
  • Macaroni and beef
  • Macaroni and cheese (boxes)
  • Bread
  • Canned vegetables
    • Carrots
    • Spinach
    • Sweet peas
    • Corn
  • Canned beans
    • Kidney beans
    • Baked beans
  • Rice
  • Boxed Potatoes
  • Canned fruit
    • Peaches
    • Pears
    • Fruit cocktail
  • Cereal
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly

The canned/non-perishable food donations can be dropped off at Ulrich’s district office at 93-06 101st Avenue (Ozone Park), or the Rockaway Park district office at 114-12 Beach Channel Drive, Suite 1.

Both offices are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Donations will be taken until April 9.

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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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Richard David announces bid for State Assembly

Community activist Richard David has announced his candidacy for the New York State Assembly.

David will run for the vacant seat in District 31, which encompasses the southeast Queens neighborhoods around JFK Airport: Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Hammels, Richmond Hill, Rosedale, South Ozone Park, Springfield Gardens and Wakefield.

The position was vacated after former Assemblywoman Michele Titus was elected as a Queens Civil Court judge earlier this year. Titus has served in the Assembly since 2002.

Governor Cuomo is expected to declare a special election in the next few days. The regularly-scheduled primary is set for June 23rd.

David has lived in southeast Queens for 25 yeas, and is currently a district leader for Assembly District 31.

He spent 10 years working in government, and was at one point one of the youngest members of his local community board.

He co-founded a youth-led social justice organization, and led the nonprofit desk of a private government relations firms.

David is also an adjunct history professor at York College.

 

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