South Ozone Park Library celebrates reopening

Photo credit: John McCarten/NYC Council

On Friday, the South Ozone Park branch of Queens Public Library reopened for the community.

The library was closed for a $579,000 roof replacement project.

Councilwoman Adrienne Adams joined Queens Public Library CEO and President Dennis Walcott for a special story time with local students, as well as free giveawas.

“Public libraries are community spaces where residents of all ages can expand their horizons,” Adams says. “The community has eagerly anticipated the reopening of the South Ozone Park Library and I could think of no better way to celebrate than sitting down with local youths for storytime.”


OATH “Resource” Initiative coming to Central Library

Queens Central Library. Screen shot courtesy of Google Maps

On Wednesday afternoon, Councilman I. Daneek Miller and leaders from the NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) are announcing a new OATH Resource Initiative at Queens Central Library.

The initiative will bring information and resources to Queens residents and small business owners at the library.

OATH staff will be able to provide numerous answers and resources about city-issued summonses, property and name searches for outstanding summonses, and more.

The initiative will be announced at the library on Wednesday, October 23 at 3:30 p.m.


Local residents honored for hair donation to cancer patients

Councilwoman Adrienne Adams and Community Board 9 honored three local sisters who donated their hair to help make wigs for cancer patients.

Safia Mohamed, 8, Saudia Mohamed, 12, and Stacey Sanichara, 26, got their hair cut free of charge at Aracelis Unisex Salon in Richmond Hill.

They then donated the hair to Erna Blackman, the co-founder of Butterflies By Blaq, a nonprofit that provides free hair replacements for children who experience hair loss due to cancer treatment.

“I am so impressed that these young women would choose to give up something so personal, especially for people they don’t really know,” Adams says.

“Sadly, many children suffer hair loss as they fiercely battle against cancer or those dealing with the effects of Alopecia,” said CB9 Chair Kenichi Wilson. “Receiving a wig made with real hair can boost a child’s confidence and help increase their self-esteem as they deal with these diseases.”


Donovan Richards expected to announce bid for Queens borough president

Councilman Donovan Richards speaks before the Queens Chamber of Commerce earlier this year.

Southeast Queens Councilman Donovan Richards will likely make official his run for Queens borough president tomorrow afternoon.

Richards will be joined by his family and former Borough President Claire Shulman at noon on Wednesday, October 2 at the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to “make an announcement about the future of Queens.”

When he throws his hat in the ring, he will join a crowded field that includes Jimmy Van Bramer, Costa Constantinides, Paul Vallone, Elizabeth Crowley, Alicia Hyndman and more.

Though Borough President Melinda Katz is term-limited in 2021, Katz, the Democratic candidate for Queens district attorney, is expected to win that race easily in November.

Her victory would then trigger a special election for the borough presidency early next year, likely in February.

Richards, who was first elected to the City Council in March 2013, represents parts of southeast Queens and the Rockaways.

He currently chairs the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety, and was previously the chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection and chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises.

Some of his accomplishments include securing $1.5 billion for sewer infrastructure in southeast Queens, $288 million in investment for the Far Rockaway rezoning, and $70 million for the creation of the 116th Precinct in Rosedale.

Prior to being elected, Richards served as the chief of staff to former City Councilman James Sanders Jr., who was elected to the State Senate in 2013, triggering a special election.

Richards won that special election by less than 1 percent, but went on to handily defeat other Democrats in the primary.

He won the general election in 2013 over Republican Scherie Murray, who is now taking on Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the House of Representatives.

Richards ran unopposed in 2017.


Dr. Chan appointed as Outreach’s new medical director

Dr. Enoch Chan has joined Outreach, a drug and alcohol treatment services agency, with a location in Richmond Hill, as its full-time medical director.

Chan, who has been practicing medicine for more than two decades, served as a consulting physician for Outreach for the past five years.

Chan will help advance Outreach’s integrated care model, which affects families and individuals involved with treatment.

His short-term goals, the agency said, includes working with the executive team and senior management to expand the agency’s Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) capabilities, as well as implementing the use of telehealth.

He will also serve as the organization’s representative to the greater medical community, and provide direct patient care at the agency’s locations.

Chan received his bachelor’s degree at Stony Brook University and his medical degree from New York Medical College. He served his residency at North Shore Health System, and was the attending physician at Long Island’s Peconic Bay Medical Associates.

“It is an absolute honor to be a part of Outreach, an organization that has committed itself for more than four decades to serving and helping to heal individuals and families struggling with substance abuse,” Chan said in a statement. “I am humbled to be able to work with such tireless and devoted professionals, and I am excited to do my part in expanding the Outreach mission to build healthy lives.”


Street named after SE Queens civic leader

If you’re passing through Saint Albans, you might look up and see a sign that says “Cardinal S. Sandiford Way.”

That street sign is on the corner of Anderson Road and Sidway Place, and it’s named after a revered former civic leader who passed in 2013.

Cardinal Sandiford lived to be 84 years old, surviving a life-threatening eye infection in 2010 before passing away three yeas later.

He was a U.S. Army veteran and civil service division director of the now-defunct Local 144 SEIU, and later rose to the rank of vice president.

Local 144 later merged in 1998 with the leading health care workers union, 1199SEIU.

Sandiford also served as the president of he Octagon Neighborhood Association, a board member of the Robert Couche Senior Citizen Center, and 14 years as a member of Queens Community Board 12, where he chaired the influential Land Use Committee.

As land use chair, he fought for the preservation of residential communities, and was deeply involved in some of the projects that affected southeast Queens.

His family joined Councilman I. Daneek Miller on July 21 to unveil the street sign named after him, which will forever honor his legacy of service to his community.


Female artists to discuss current state of hip hop

On Saturday, March 16 at 1 p.m., Queens Library will celebrate women who helped shape hip hop with a panel event at Central Library in Jamaica.

More than a dozen female artists will discuss the current state of hip hop.

This group of acclaimed artists include: Sha Rock, Original Spinderella, DJ Flame, Sheri Sher, DJ Lady Love, Missy Dee, Belinda Trotter-James, Debbie D, Kimba Reynolds, MC Glamorous, Pauline Mimms, Sweet Tee, Sparky Dee and Nikki Dee.

Ralph McDaniels, Queens Library’s hip hop coordinator, will moderate the panel.

The event, marking Women’s History Month, is free and open to the public.


TONIGHT: Forum on congestion pricing

Tonight, elected officials from southeast Queens, along with business organizations, transit advocacy groups and others, are hosting a forum on congestion pricing.

The event will be at the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center (172-17 Linden Blvd), starting at 7 p.m.

Hear from all sides of the debate about how to best curb congestion in the city, while also funding the necessary fixes to mass transit.

Although there have been intense discussions on this topic, motorists and transit riders in eastern and southeast Queens need to be heard as well.

Attend the forum and learn more about how this policy can affect your commute.


Thief Steals $2,000 from Resorts World Casino Player

resortsthiefIt seems like Resorts World Casino has become a breeding ground for crime. Not long ago, there was a massive brawl and even a brutal murder occurring on the steps of the Queens casino. Now, people are robbing one another.

Last Thursday, around 11:30 p.m., a thief stole $2,000 from an unassuming gambler then disappeared into the night. The 54-year-old victim was sitting at an electronic table game when the suspect grabbed the wad of cash from his hands and dashed away. Security cameras managed to record the crook escaping through a side exit stairwell.

The suspect is described as a light skinned man with a thin build in his early to mid 20s.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).



Comptroller Stringer audits Close to Home program

4ZNZ_Juvey_hall_pic_The much opposed Close to Home program is being audited by City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Although there is no word on how long the audit will last or what its looking into, news of the audit still comes to good news for city neighborhoods.

The Close to Home program, orchestrated by the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), hopes to move juvenile delinquents from upstate facilities to buildings around the city in an effort to bring them closer to their families as well as have them re-introduced into society.

There has been a loud outcry from both South Ozone Park and Queens Village in an effort to dismiss the juvenile facilities from popping up in the areas. Last week, Stringer rejected the contract for the South Ozone Park facility due to “inconsistencies.”

Due to property value decreases as well as safety concerns, members of both communities hope that Stringer’s audit will be a step towards shutting down both facility plans.