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.”

Pool Bar, rooftop pool and observation deck at TWA Hotel now open

As New York City continues to reopen in phases, more features within the TWA Hotel are now open to guests.

The Pool Bar, rooftop infinity pool and observation deck are now open, but with new safety protocols.

Guests of the hotel can book a reservation at the infinity pool, which is purified every 30 minutes, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every night.

Hotel guests do not need to make a reservation to swim or visit the observation deck from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

The Pool Bar is also serving a new summer menu, with aviation-inspired cocktails and bites.

If you haven’t already checked out the TWA Hotel by JFK Airport, it’s a must-see.


Dr. Eanes named permanent president at York College

File photo

Starting on August 1, Dr. Berenecea Johnson Eanes will serve as the president of York College.

Dr. Eanes has served in the role on an interim basis since September 2019.

CUNY’s Board of Trustees approved her appointment to the permanent role earlier this week.

Dr. Eanes previously served as vice president of student affairs at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) from 2012 to 2019.

Prior to that, she served as vice president for student affairs at John Jay College for Criminal Justice for six years.

The new York College president has a Ph.D in social work from Clark Atlanta University, a master of social work from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in public health from Dillard University.

Read more about Dr. Eanes in this profile of her in the October 2019 issue of “This Is Queensborough” Magazine.


Adams outlines budget wins for her district

Councilwoman Adrienne Adams, center, with other elected officials and constituents. File photo.

Tuesday night’s contentious budget vote focused mainly on defunding the NYPD by $1 billion, but as many elected officials note, significant funding is coming back to their districts.

The City Council voted 37 to 12 in favor of the $88 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2021.

Councilwoman Adrienne Adams said in a statement that while the budget is imperfect and many cuts to city programs were painful, the budget preserves many services for young people, older adults, small businesses, victims of domestic violence and more.

“The Council started from zero dollars in key funding and worked to secure programs that are vital to our communities without financial assistance from the federal government or the state,” Adams said.

“After so much pain, our communities should know that their needs and priorities are being met by the city even during the worst financial crisis.”

Within the $88 billion budget, here is the breakdown of wins for Southeast Queens, according to Adams:

  • Youth and teen services: $231,000
  • Senior services: $320,000
  • Free legal services: 106,400
  • Arts and culture: $210,500
  • Human and economic development: $351,500
  • Education services: $587,900

In terms of capital budget victories, these are within District 28:

  • Thomas White Affordable Housing: $2.5 million
  • Renovations to Maurice Fitzgerald Playground: $850,000
  • Library renovations: $1.997 million
  • Rochdale Village building repairs: $2.88 million
  • York College renovations: $2 million

Addabbo opens Howard Beach district office

On Monday, June 29, State Senator Joe Addabbo reopened his district offices in Howard Beach and Middle Village.

The Rockaway office, however, will remain closed as renovations continue on the building.

During the shutdown, Addabbo’s offices were open but ran at reduced hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., while staff had staggered schedules.

Since Monday, the offices has returned to operating full-time, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Although in-person services have resumed, all constituents are asked to wear a mask upon entering the offices.

The Howard Beach office is located at 159-53 102nd Street. Their phone number is 718-738-1111.


Pop-up food pantry distributes 200 boxes of groceries

Last Tuesday, Councilwoman Adrienne Adams teamed up with the Met Council to distribute 200 boxes of groceries and face coverings to local families and seniors in South Ozone Park.

Volunteers from ACE Programs for the Homeless assisted in ensuring social distancing and coordination.

The pop-up food pantry helped families get groceries without risking a trip to the supermarket.

“Our community has been hit so hard by the pandemic and Tuesday’s distribution of food and face coverings was an important effort given the current demands on food pantries,” Adams said.