Tag Archives: CUNY

First city ROTC program in decades comes to York College

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Jerry Speier

New cadets are being trained for a future serving the country right at York College, in the first city ROTC program in decades.

Last September, the CUNY school took on an ROTC program for young, hopeful cadets.

“I’ve wanted to be an officer all my life,” said junior Jerome Tabaosares. “I wanted to go to school close to home, and as soon as I found out [York] offered ROTC, I jumped right in.”

York’s ROTC program is the first offered at any CUNY college since 1960, and includes a three-credit course comprised of Military Science 101, 102 and 202, as well as Military Custom and Courtesies, Army Ethos and more. An appreciation breakfast was held on Wednesday, January 17 in honor of the growing program; the

York cadets, faculty and also Army members were in attendance.

Tabaosares, a first generation New York native, comes from a long line of Filipino marines and knew that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of those before him. A nursing major, he intends on taking his ROTC experience and continuing on to the Nursing Corp of the Army, hopefully as a Nursing General.

“I’d like to add [something] new to our family,” he said. “If my relatives can do it, so can I.”

Colonel Twala Mathis, U.S. Army Cadet Commander and Second Brigade Commander, addressed the young cadets, commending them for their participation in ROTC.

“This is the absolute best leadership training in the nation,” she said. “Today’s service members are part of a unique team, working together for a single purpose.”

During what Mathis called “one of the most turbulent times in our nation’s history,” she said it was young cadets like those at York that will continue to ensure the safety of our country.

“ROTC is about developing strong leadership skills for life,” said Marcia Keizs, president of York College. “With this preparation, our participating students are enhancing their abilities as leaders.”



Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Tuesday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 72. Winds from the SW at 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then mostly cloudy. Low of 59. Winds from the SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT of the DAY: CPR for Everyone

Learn how to recognize the signs of a cardiac emergency and get a hands-on demonstration of basic resuscitation techniques from registered EMTs with years of experience with the New York City Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services. This program is presented in partnership with the FDNY. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Stray bullet fired wildly by singing thug hits teen doing homework in apartment

A Queens teenager who got up before dawn Sunday to do her homework was injured by a stray bullet fired by a singing thug, police and witnesses said. Read more: New York Daily News

Pedestrian killed in Queens

The NYPD says a pedestrian was struck and killed by a BMW at an intersection in Queens. Police say the operator of the car was traveling southbound on Cross Bay Boulevard when he struck the male pedestrian crossing from the west side of the street. Read more: Fox New York/AP

Two Queens community colleges fight CUNY changes

The English departments at two Queens community colleges are fighting CUNY’s efforts to reduce their four-hour introductory writing classes to three hours. Read more: New York Daily News

Cops winning underground war

An NYPD anti-crime initiative on trouble-prone Bronx and Queens subway lines resulted in a 20 percent reduction in major felonies — and now it will be expanded citywide. Read more: New York Post

Occupy Wall Street protestor suing NYPD over alleged pepper spray incident

A woman who was pepper sprayed during an Occupy Wall Street protest last year has filed a civil suit against the New York Police Department and the officer involved. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Obama set to address UN General Assembly

Campaign politics shadowing every word, President Barack Obama on Tuesday will challenge the world to confront the root causes of rage exploding across the Muslim world, calling it a defining choice “between the forces that would drive us apart and the hopes we hold in common.” Read more: ABC New York/AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Wednesday: Clear. High of 82. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph shifting to the NNW in the afternoon.Wednesday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 64. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph

EVENT of the DAY: Michael Jackson Birthday Bash 

“Do you Remember the Time” when you first saw the King of Pop’s slick moves literally glide across the dance floor? Do you remember singing the lyrics to “Billie Jean” at the top of your lungs? Or maybe, you laid in bed at night visualizing all the moves in the “Thriller” video. Either way, the music lives. On August 29, it is officially Michael Jackson Day at Resorts World Casino New York City. With MJX, the premier MJ Impersonator, and DJ Spinna on the ones and twos, it will be a night to remember.Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Dumping stops in Queens neighborhood

The work to restore this stretch of land along the Van Wyck Expressway is finally underway. It’s a welcoming sight for residents near 116th Avenue who remember what the area used to look like. Read more: NY1

Chain ladder breaks as kin flee fire

A Queens family desperately trying to escape a raging fire tearing through their home tried to use a chain-link ladder to escape — but it suddenly broke, forcing the five people to jump two stories Read more: New York Post 

Suspect charged with killing homeless man in Woodside

Police have arrested and charged Ramiro Martinez with the stabbing death of Enrique Morales Martinez on a street corner in Woodside, Queens on Sunday afternoon. Read more: NY1

CUNY considers constructing a Queens hotel

The City University of New York has retained Cushman & Wakefield Inc. to help the school determine if it should proceed with a plan to build a hotel in Long Island City, Queens, in order to expand its hospitality program. Read more: Crain’s New York

Isaac makes second landfall, levee overtopped in Plaquemines Parish

The center of Hurricane Isaac made a second landfall over Port Fourchon, La., early Wednesday, overtopping a levee southeast of New Orleans, knocking down trees and cutting power to more than 400,000 homes. Read more: ABC News

Republican convention is in full-throated roar

The Republican National Convention is finally in full-throated roar, cheering presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s name at every turn in a long-sought show of unity and mocking the man he is out to defeat in November. Read more: AP

Venus Williams an easy winner in return to the U.S. Open, beats fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-3, 6-1

Bethanie Mattek-Sands, the American wearing a black cap over blue hair, blitzed compatriot Venus Williams early in their first-round match Tuesday, taking the first two games of the opening set. Read more: New York Daily News


New programs to provide more job training for growing tech industry

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy William Alatriste

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, together with the City University of New York (CUNY), the Coalition for Queens and tech industry leaders announced two initiatives to help train more New Yorkers for jobs in the city’s growing technology sector.

One of these initiatives will provide for more tech educational opportunities in Queens. Coalition for Queens, a non-profit that focuses on fostering the technical system in the borough, CUNY, Skillshare, and other leaders in the tech field will provide classes in areas such as computer programming, digital marketing and entrepreneurship at CUNY campuses in the boroughs.

The other initiative, open to current computer science and engineering students at CUNY, is an Advanced Software Development program. It will launch this fall, with 20 students. Every student who completes the program will receive a paid apprenticeship with a New York City tech firm. The Queens classes will also launch in the fall, and the Coalition for Queens will have a full list of classes on its site soon.

The City Council has allocated approximately $101,000 for the CUNY Advanced Software Development Program and $65,000 for Coalition for Queens.

“[These programs] bring employers and academia together to ensure that our schools are preparing students for employment in the tech sector upon graduation,” said Quinn

Currently there are 1,700 digital firms in the city, 932 of which are hiring. Unemployment in the city is 9.6 percent, and there are few other industries where half of the companies are still hiring.

But these jobs require specific training and skills. The two programs will not only help close that skills gap and improve unemployment numbers, but will also help ensure continued growth of the tech sector in New York City, she said. In the last four years, more than 500 tech firms have opened in the city.

One applied science campus, Technion-Cornell, should open by 2017 on Roosevelt Island, and will start offering off-campus classes this fall. It’s estimated that 30,000 to 120,000 tech jobs will grow out of the Cornell campus in the future and much of this will be in Queens, said Coalition for Queens founder, Jukay Hsu.

One of his non-profit’s partners in the initiative is Queens College, which educates more computer scientists than any other school in the metropolitan area. The initiative will provide even more opportunities for high-quality tech education in the borough. “We believe that anyone can gain the skills required to work in the new tech community,” he said.

By offering tech classes through CUNY, more New Yorkers will be able to work in the sector, especially those who can’t afford Cornell, said Quinn.

“We want to make sure those folks have exactly, even if not a better chance, of being leaders in the tech field as anybody else. What’s the answer to that — CUNY,” she said.

Hotel to rise on Skillman Ave in Long Island City

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com


The City University of New York (CUNY) is aiming to check in to the borough’s new hotel hotspot.

CUNY recently sent out a request for proposal (RFP) to hospitality industry consultants, seeking ideas on how to develop its lot on Skillman Avenue in Long Island City nearLaGuardia Community College — with the goal of building a teaching hotel, as well as other academic facilities, for its students.

According to CUNY spokesperson Michael Arena, the facility would be both commercial and educational, with students comprising the staff of a fully-functional hotel.
“The hotel and tourism sector is rapidly growing in New York City. There are many jobs connected to it, and there is a strong need for it,” Arena said. “The idea of students being able to take skills they are learning in the classroom and use them in a professional environment is tremendous. That’s what internships are, but in this case we will have the facility connected to the academic program.”

Arena referenced the positive impact of similar facilities at both Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania as motivation to develop the lot.
Dr. Gail O. Mellow, LaGuardia’s president, also believes the educational opportunities would be vast and highly positive.
“The hotel’s location near LaGuardia would give our students hands-on experience in seeing and helping run a major hotel,” she said. “Students studying accounting, tourism, food and nutrition, marketing and more would have the ability to apply the skills they learned in the classroom to a real-world setting. The educational benefits would be outstanding.”

Zoning permits CUNY to use up to 600,000-square-feet of the lot — part of which is currently used for parking – without the trouble of variances.
Thus far, the response from the private sector has been strong.

“There has been a lot of interest in the site,” said Arena. “The response has been very positive. The RFP went out identifying companies that have expertise in the area, and those companies are responding very strongly.”

Rob MacKay, the director of tourism for the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC), called the project “fantastic news.”

“The hospitality field is very stable in Queens right now, and residents should be able to have solid, long-lasting careers in the industry,” MacKay said. “Furthermore, with the Resorts World Racino, plans for two convention centers, new media interest and TV shows based in borough, I predict that the field will grow exponentially in the near future.”

According to MacKay, city records show more than 7 million visitors spent over $3 billion in Queens in 2010, and the travel sector currently supports roughly 16 percent of the jobs in the borough.

Arena says the decision to develop the plot was based on the premier real estate factor – location.

“It is in a vibrant community close to Manhattan – only a five minute train ride to Times Square,” he said.

Woman murdered in Queens

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Woman murdered in Queens

A 33-year-old woman was found murdered last night in a Queens apartment building, police said. The victim, whose identity was withheld, was slashed across the throat and found at 8:30 p.m. by her in-laws in a second-floor apartment at 26-80 30th St. in Astoria. It was unclear how long she had been dead. The medical examiner’s office will perform an autopsy. Detectives are looking to speak with the woman’s husband, cops said. Read More: New York Post


East Side ‘rape’ bust

A maintenance worker has been busted for allegedly raping a woman after breaking into her Manhattan apartment while she slept. Alberto Delgado, 37, of Queens, was arrested Tuesday on rape charges for allegedly assaulting the 24-year-old woman in her apartment on East 30th Street near Third Avenue, police sources said. The attack occurred in the early-morning hours on Dec. 16 after the victim attended a party at another apartment in the building, the sources said. Read More: New York Post

CUNY Law shielding bad grads from bar

Anxious CUNY Law School administrators are urging struggling students not to take this summer’s bar exam in an apparent bid to boost the school’s sagging pass rates, irate students charged. The administrators even offered a handful of students a grant in the fall that’s normally reserved for those taking the July exam if they would agree to postpone sitting for the test until February 2013. Students say an associate dean has pulled at least six classmates in for a one-on-one sales pitch advocating for the delay — even though the February exam is reputedly more difficult. Read More: New York Post

Where to watch the Super Bowl in Queens

It won’t be just Giants and Patriots fans hitting the bars to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 5 — more than 110 million people watched last year’s game.  Bars and restaurants throughout Queens feature food and drink specials for Giants fans and anyone else that wants to take in the Super Bowl 42 rematch.  Here are a few places to watch the games in Queens… Read More: Queens Courier


Mike $laps Komen

Mayor Bloomberg rode to the rescue of Planned Parenthood yesterday, pledging up to $250,000 for the organization after the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer foundation yanked funding for screenings. “Politics have no place in health care,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Breast-cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care,” he said. “We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way,” he added. But Bloomberg refused to say whether he would cut his own ties with Komen. Read More: New York Post


Service disruptions on 7-line could put damper on Flushing Lunar New Year parade 

Queens’ massive Year of the Dragon celebration may be hindered by MTA subway disruptions, several elected officials and business owners fear. Saturday’s Flushing Lunar New Year Parade — one of the city’s largest celebrations — coincides with the ongoing 7-train rehabilitation that cuts service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza. The lack of a direct link from Manhattan to Flushing could stifle the flow of attendees, which usually tops more than 100,000 people, said parade organizer Peter Tu. Read More: Daily News


Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona gears up for Black History Month

Louis Armstrong was already an international jazz icon when he stepped out of a taxi in front of a Corona house in 1942 that his fourth wife, Lucille, had just picked out. After growing up in poverty in New Orleans, owning even a modest home in a middle-class Queens neighborhood was almost inconceivable. “He couldn’t believe he owned this house,” said Al Pomerantz, a volunteer at Satchmo’s Corona home that is now the Louis Armstrong House Museum. “It wasn’t until Lucille actually answered the door that he let [the cabbie\] drive away.” Read More: Daily News

Daytime Burglaries Rattle Queens Community

Some Indian New Yorkers think their Queens community is being targeted by thieves. “I turned the lock, and I was like, ‘wait a second, I locked the door when we left that morning,’” said Lea Balgobin, a burglary victim. She did, but someone had broken into her home after she left with her husband Rohan to run errands. The burglar only took cash and gold. “Every piece of jewelry we had, they took,” said Rohan Balgobin. Those items were worth over $50,000 according to the police report . The Balgobins say it’s common for Indians from Asia and the West Indies to keep large amounts of jewelry in their homes because people often give gold as gifts and the jewelry is passed for generations. Read More: NY1

Students protest tuition hikes

| nkarimi@queenscourier.com

City University of New York (CUNY) undergrad students protested the fact that over the next five years, their tuition will increase by $300 – annually.


“I still have another three semesters to go. The increase will definitely take a load out of my pockets, especially since I’m considered an ‘out of state’ student and CUNY was supposed to be affordable,” said Nazifa Azizi, a nursing student at CUNY Hunter College.


CUNY’s Board of Trustees voted 15 to 1 on November 28 on the annual hikes, which would amount to a 31 percent increase in tuition over four years.


By 2015, undergraduate senior college students would pay $6,330 annually under the plan, compared with $4,830 in 2010. The fee for community college students would also increase to $4,800 by 2015.


Rita Rodin, CUNY University director of public information, said, “the annual current tuition for a senior college is $5,130 and for a community college its $3,600.”

According to Rodin, the proposed tuition increase will go into effect in the fall of 2012. The reasoning behind the increase is part of the state funding agreement.

The request is based upon CUNY’s financial model, known as the CUNY Compact, which seeks to provide stable funding through a balance of stakeholder responsibilities: public allocations, private philanthropy, operational efficiencies, revenues from increased enrollment and modest, predictable tuition increases to permit families to plan to meet college costs.

“Currently six out of 10 full-time CUNY students get covered by financial aid and 170,000 students participate in both Pell and TAP [grants], so the tuition increase shouldn’t affect those families in financial need,” said Rodin.

Reportedly, the Board also approved $5 million to aid needy students.

Shabnam Yaqubie, who is majoring in elementary education at CUNY Queens College, said, “I’m going to graduate in spring 2012. The tuition hike is not going to affect me that much, but I feel bad for future CUNY students.”

Still, CUNY officials tout the affordability of their education.

“Students save more and borrow less with CUNY and they don’t leave with a huge debt, compared to private colleges,” said Rodin.