King Manor hosts Constitution and Cocktails

The King Manor Museum in Jamaica recently celebrated the 232nd anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution.

The night’s honorees were Congressman Gregory Meeks and Andrea S. Ogle, the VP of the Assigned Counsel Association of Queens Family Court & Board of Managers of the Queens County Bar Association.

Ogle and Meeks’ wife, Marie, reflected on the importance of the Constitution and upholding its values.

For more on the night, stay tuned for the next issue of the Leader Observer.


DOT begins to pave, mill parts of Cross Bay Boulevard

The Department of Transportation has begun milling and paving parts of Cross Bay Boulevard from Howard Beach to Broad Channel.

Starting on September 9, the city will resurface the 10 miles from 156th Avenue to 165th Avenue.

Then it will repave the area from the Joe Addabbo Bridge to West 5th Road in Broad Channel, starting the week of September 23.

The repaving will include fresh high-visibility crosswalks and other markings.

The project was made possible with $2.125 million in funding from Councilman Eric Ulrich.

It’s the first time these sections of Cross Bay Boulevard will be resurfaced in more than 20 years.

The project is expected to be completed in October, weather permitting.


Martin Van Buren HS principal retires

After 32 years as a New York City educator, Sam Sochet has called it a career.

Sochet, the principal at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village/Bellerose, has retired after seven years at the helm.

He was largely credited with turning around the school. Sochet receives the High School Principals Association’s Leadership and Excellence in Education Award earlier this year.

Tracy Martinez, pictured above, will take over as interim acting principal of Martin Van Buren HS.

To read more about the school’s turnaround, see here and here.


Breast cancer screening program coming to Jamaica

The American-Italian Cancer Foundation’s (AICF) Mobile, No-Cost Breast Cancer Screening Program is coming to Jamaica.

The screening program provides mammograms and clinical breast exams to uninsured and medically underserved New York City women.

The mobile van will be in Jamaica on Friday, September 13 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

To schedule an appointment please call 1-877-628-9090 or 718-850-1242.


Borough Hall collecting backpacks, school supplies for homeless

As the new school year approaches, Queens Borough Hall is collecting backpacks and school supplies as part of its annual drive.

“Project: Back to School” is organized by the Coalition for the Homeless, and provides homeless children with backpacks filled with things they need for school.

Borough Hall is accepting donations from now through Wednesday, August 28 at 120-55 Queens Boulevard, on the first floor in the main lobby.

You can also donate #2 pencils, hard and soft pencil cases, pencil sharpeners, crayons (24-count boxes), colored pencils, washable markers, Elmer’s glue, glue sticks, composition notebooks, binders, ruled paper, safety scissors, pocket folders and scientific calculators.

The donated items are anonymous and non tax-deductible.


Free seminar on the Child Victims Act

Assemblyman David I. Weprin and the Zero Abuse Project are hosting a free seminar entitled “Courageous Conversations, Critical Choices: What New York’s Child Victims Act Means for Queens” on Tuesday July 30 at 3:30 p.m.

The seminar will inform community members about the changes to the statute of limitations requirements for child sexual abuse in New York under the recently enacted Child Victims Act (CVA).

The Zero Abuse Project’s Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Dion, will guide a conversation with leading child welfare advocates, clinicians and sexual abuse prevention experts, including NY Loves Kids and the Queens District Attorney’s Office, about the new opportunities under the CVA for survivors of sexual abuse to seek justice against their abusers and the institutions who covered for them.

The Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens is located at 110-04 Atlantic Avenue in Richmond Hill.


Holliswood man celebrates centennial birthday

A community member celebrated his 100th birthday with a proclamation from Assemblyman David Weprin.

Dr. Sheldon Schwartz turned 100 yesterday, and was recognized at the JASA Holliswood Senior Center last week.

Schwartz was born at his home in East New York on July 21, 1919. He played football at Richmond Hill High School and graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and NYU School of Medicine.

After his schooling, Schwartz became a doctor, serving as the chief of the Clinic of Arthritis and Rheumatism at Bellevue Hospital.

He was also the chief of medicine at Hillcrest General Hospital and the first chairman of rheumatology at Long Island Jewish Hospital.

Today, Schwartz and his wife Marlene Walder are members of the JASA Holliswood Senior Center, and attend the Young Israel of Holliswood every week.


Health Department to conduct aerial larviciding

Mosquito season is back, and the Health Department is stepping up its pesticide treatment in local marshes.

The Health Department is conducting a second aerial larviciding treatment to marshes and wetland areas throughout the city from Wednesday, July 17 to Friday, July 19, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In case of bad weather, application would be delayed to Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

The helicopter will treat only non-residential areas.

To date, no human cases of West Nile virus have been reported this season, according to the Health Department.

The agency will use environmentally-friendly and EPA-approved “VectoLex® FG,” which contains naturally occurring bacteria and kills young mosquitos before they grow into adults.

The most effective way to control mosquitos, the department notes, is to eliminate standing water.

Here are the Queens areas that will be part of the aerial larviciding:

  • Alley Pond Park – Alley Creek
  • Linden Hill/College Point – Abandoned Flushing Airport
  • Edgemere, Somerville – Dubos Point and Edgemere Park
  • Brookville Park
  • Kissena Park

Pols throw first pitch at softball league All-Star Game

Under the hot summer sun on July 13, Assemblyman Mike Miller, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato and Queens Parks Commissioner Michael Dockett threw out the first pitch at the 8th annual American Softball League’s All-Star Game.

The game took place at Vito Locascio Field in Ozone Park.

The league teaches players who have developmental challenges how to play softball. They practice three times a week.

“American Softball League provides a fun and great learning environment for adults with disabilities to learn the game,” Miller says. “I look forward to throwing the first pitch again and seeing the continued progress the players have made.”


Bartlett Dairy receives City Council approval

Last week, the City Council overwhelmingly approved the ULURP application for Bartlett Dairy to develop a new permanent home for milk distribution inside the JFK North Site.

Bartlett is a family-owned MWBE business that can now build a 54,000-square-foot dairy distribution center on one of the largest city-owned manufacturing properties.

The company has distributed dairy and dry goods since 1968. They employ about 500 people across three locations in Jamaica, Rochester and Newark.

Their largest contracts include the city’s Department of Education, Starbucks and the Archdiocese of New York.

The JFK North Site will now be Bartlett’s New York headquarters.

In celebrating the rezoning, Thomas Malave Jr., president of Bartlett Dairy, announced that they will also establish a scholarship fun for local graduating high school students.

Call that a win for everyone!