Tag Archives: CUNY Law School

Immigration documentary on Flushing woman to be screened in LIC

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy of No Le Digas A Nadie

After years of not speaking out, Angy Rivera is ready to share her story with Queens viewers during the Long Island City screening of the documentary about her life.

Rivera, who is from Flushing, was formerly an undocumented immigrant for 19 years and as a child was constantly told to keep quiet about many things in her life. However, she decided to speak up and share her experiences through the documentary “No Le Digas A Nadie,” translated to “Don’t Tell Anyone.”

The film’s first Queens screening is scheduled for Sept. 2 at CUNY Law School located at 2 Court Square in Long Island City from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is free.

“I think each time it’s very awkward for me and I get very nervous,” Rivera said. “It’s always nice to see the different crowd, and how they receive it. Everyone takes something different away from the film.”

No Le Digas A Nadie” — which is filmmaker Mikaela Shwer’s debut as an independent director and titled after Rivera’s poem “Rusty Chain” — follows Rivera through her everyday life and focuses on the relationship she holds with her mother, who immigrated to the U.S. with her.

The documentary also shadows Rivera through her experiences as an undocumented immigrant and activist, as she applies for deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) and obtains a visa.

In 2010, the Colombian native started the first national undocumented online youth advice column called “Ask Angy.”

Along with the issue of being an undocumented immigrant, the film also surrounds Rivera’s opening up about being a victim of sexual assault.

“Scenes that come up still impact me and sometimes I catch myself crying during the screenings,” Rivera said.

Even though every time the film is shown she says she feels nervous, Rivera hopes that by sharing her story others, who might find themselves in the same situation will begin to speak out.

She also added that even though some people might not have experienced what she did, she also hopes the film will start conversations on the subject.

“Some people will come up to me and share experiences as well and that’s something that always impacts me,” Rivera said. “I think in immigrant communities we struggle a lot on talking about sexual assault and it needs to happen because it’s happening in our communities and if we’re not talking about it, people don’t have a space to feel supported and feel safe.”

The film is also set to have its national television premiere on the PBS series “POV” on Sept. 21.

To register for the Sept. 2 LIC’s screening, click here. For more information and a schedule on more screenings of the film, visit www.nodigasfilm.com.


Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Ambulance Corp slaps neighbor with $13M lawsuit

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Twitter / @FDNY

The Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corp recently filed a lawsuit against the collapsed building next door’s owners to the tune of $13 million in damages and lost rent.

Owned by 78-19 Jamaica Avenue LLC, the deteriorating building, which was an abandoned furniture store, crumbled on April 12 last year, leaving a hole in the roof and damaging the adjoining ambulance corp structure.

“That building next door, because of the negligence of that corporation and others, is a danger to society,” said Angelo A. DiGiangi, general counsel of Community Advocacy Center, which is representing the volunteer ambulance organization pro bono in collaboration with CUNY Law School. “The building looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. If this building continues the way that it is, my client will lose its building.”

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Senior Center rented space from the volunteer ambulance group, but had to move to a temporary location—American Legion Post 118—after the structure was determined unsafe by the city’s Buildings Department.

Nearly a year later, the collapsed building still has a gaping hole and mold, elected officials said.

After much pushing by local politicians, 78-19 Jamaica Avenue LLC recently paid off $3,200 in fines it owed to the Department of Buildings and hired an architect, according to the agency. However, the building still has eight open ECB violations and a total of $33,000 in fines, $20,000 due in Department of Buildings civil penalties for work without a permit and $7,500 due in  civil penalties for failure to correct hazardous violations, according to the Buildings Department.

“It’s disgusting that it took so long to get to this point,” Assemblymember Mike Miller said. “Seniors have been suffering and they want to be back in the ambulance corp. This is their home.”

The owner of the property could not be reached for comment.

Despite the recent positive movement, elected officials are still unsure of when the owner will actually repair the building.

“I need for work to be done on the building. That would be positive. Paying the fines does nothing for seniors or the Woodhaven – Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corp,” State Senator Joseph Addabbo said. “With that gaping hole in the roof, with the snow and ice, that building is only going to get worse.”