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.


Retired police officer charged with assault for firing a gun in a restaurant

A retired police officer who allegedly fired a gun inside a sushi restaurant in Howard Beach this week during a verbal dispute with another patron has been charged with assault.

According to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz’s office, the stray shot hit an innocent bystander.

“This kind of gun violence is unacceptable, particularly when the shooter is alleged to be a retired member of service,” Katz said.

The defendant, identified as 52-year-old Dwayne Chandler of Staten Island, was arraigned on Wednesday morning in Queens Criminal Court.

If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.

The victim who was shot was taken to an area hospital, and currently has no sensation in his legs, Katz’s office said. He is also unable to move his toes, which was a result of the bullet that pierced his back.


Khaleel Anderson on track to win open Assembly seat

Khaleel Anderson, a community activist and organizer, is on pace to become one of the youngest legislators in the New York State Assembly.

At just 23 years old, Anderson is a member of Community Board 14, the Far Rockaway NAACP and helped found the Rockaway Youth Task Force.

He ran for the open Assembly seat in District 31, which was vacated by former Assemblywoman Michele Titus, with the backing of influential progressive groups like the Working Families Party, Rockaway Revolution and True Blue NY.

In Tuesday’s primary, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Anderson received 2,888 votes, or 38 percent of the vote.

Richard David is in second place.

Five other candidates sought the open seat, including community activist Richard David, who is in second place with 2,113 votes, or 28 percent.

However, the race is not over yet. Tens of thousands of absentee ballots have to be counted, which could decide the fate of this and many other primary races this year.

For the 5th Congressional District, longtime Rep. Gregory Meeks overwhelmingly won with 34,413 votes, or 78 percent.

Progressive challenger Shaniyat Chowdhury received 9,336 votes, or 21 percent.

Meanwhile, in the race for Queens borough president, Councilman Donovan Richards has emerged on top with 41,915 votes, roughly 37 percent.

Trailing him are former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, with 28 percent, Councilman Costa Constantinides, with 15 percent, Anthony Miranda, with 14 percent, and Dao Yin, with 4 percent.

This race will also be decided by absentee ballots.



Ulrich appointments five women to community boards

Raquel Olivares, center, was appointed by Councilman Eric Ulrich, far right.

Councilman Eric Ulrich has announced the appointment of five women to community boards representing parts of southern Queens, including Broad Channel and Ozone Park.

For Community Board 9, Marilyn Custodio, Sister Catherine Feeney, Raquel Olivares and Alexandria Sumpter-Delves have been appointed.

Custodio is principal at PS 97 The Forest Park School; Sister Feeny is executive director of the School Sisters of Notre Dame Educational Center; Olivares is executive director of the Woodhaven BID; and Sumpter-Delves is director of the youth workforce division at Queens Community House.

For Community Board 14, Joanne Fogarty, former president of the Rockaway Point Association, has been appointed.

All community board members are appointed by the borough president, with half recommended by City Council members.


Borough president announces appointments to community board

Community Board 10 meets monthly at the Old Mill Yacht Club in Howard Beach.

Acting Borough President Sharon Lee appointed 339 people to serve in Queens’s 14 community boards on Tuesday.

Of the 399 appointees, 76 are first-time members who have never served on the board, but have shown a commitment and understanding to the community’s needs.

The two-year term for these appointees run from May 31, 2020 to March 31, 2022.

The office received 595 applications, including 252 from applicants who had never served on a community board. More than 340 were from those who were reapplying at the end of their 2020 term.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee announced in late March that community board members whose terms end on March 31 would continue for an additional 60 days.

Here are Borough President Lee’s appointments for the 2020-2022 term for Community Board 10, which serves South Ozone Park:

  • Mohamed Amin
  • Luis Amorium
  • James Caruso
  • Anthony Cosentino
  • Frank Dardani
  • Anoop Dhanpat
  • Irene Dimoh
  • Geoffrey Duldulao
  • John Fazio
  • Edna Fraylom
  • Peter Granickas
  • Romeo Hitall
  • Pierre Kishun
  • Phillip Lynch, Jr.
  • Dorothy Mitchell
  • Cynthia Marie Mocombe
  • Fazlurrahman Mohamed
  • Jose Quijano
  • Raja G.S. Rathour
  • Nellie Santiago
  • Asheley Siewnarine
  • Jody Stahl
  • Marilyn Vecchio
  • Linda Walker

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.


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.”