Tag Archives: Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.

Idlewild Park set to get nature center

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Parks Department

More room for learning is coming to Idlewild Park.

Borough President Helen Marshall allocated $4.9 million for the building of a new nature center in the park, which was recently given the green light by the city for construction.

“The Idlewild Nature Center will be an extraordinary educational resource for children and anyone else who wants to learn about the rich variety of plant and animal life that can be found in Idlewild Park,” Marshall said.

The center will be built in the park near 149th Avenue and Springfield Lane. There will be two inside classrooms, one outdoor classroom, an exhibition space, reception lobby, offices and bathrooms, all done with minor landscape changes.

The new building will additionally feature a surface drainage system and will be environmentally friendly.

Construction is slated to start in the fall of 2014, and once complete, will cater primarily to school children to teach them about the flora and fauna of the park’s surrounding salt marshes and dunes.



BP Marshall helps dedicate namesake preschool in Bayside

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

She went from borough president back to a teacher again.

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall temporarily switched hats during the dedication ceremony of her namesake preschool in Bayside.

The former educator of eight years cut the ribbon on the brand new Queens Borough President Helen Marshall Early Education Center at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children on Tuesday – and then found herself back in the classroom.

“I love working with children,” Marshall said before clapping and singing with a circle of tots. “I’m extremely humbled. St. Mary’s is truly a unique institution.”

The early education center opened this September at 29-01 216th Street and serves 54 special needs children, officials said.

St. Mary’s had a preschool program in the past, but with no official space, students were scattered throughout the hospital, according to spokesperson Leslie Johnson.

Now with 4,000 square feet, there are six classrooms and an outdoor playground for the toddlers to roam.

“Education is a key component of everything we do at St. Mary’s,” said Dr. Eddie Simpser, St. Mary’s interim president and CEO. “Here, we treat some of New York’s sickest children. But we also provide for the holistic care of children — their family needs, health needs, social needs and educational needs.”

The preschoolers learn their basic ABCs and 123s in the center, Simpser said, but they also receive physical, speech and occupational therapy on site for about eight hours a week.
Officials say St. Mary’s is the only post-acute care facility for children with life-limiting conditions in the city.

“There is no person who has walked through these doors whose hearts haven’t been touched,” Marshall said. “The childhood education center is the fulfillment of a dream I share with all of you.”

The $750,000 center was funded by Marshall and the City Council, hospital officials said. It is part of the $114 million expansion project that led to the creation of St. Mary’s new patient pavilion.

“This is a tremendous support for parents,” said St. Mary’s Early Education Director Jean Steins. “This is a gift.”



Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Monday: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain. High of 54. Breezy. Winds from the West at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Chance of rain 20%. Monday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 36. Breezy. Winds from the NW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Jazz Appreciation Month at Louis Armstrong House Museum

Come visit the Louis Armstrong House Museum this April as it celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month. Eighty-five  years ago, Louis Armstrong recorded one of his all-time masterpieces, “West End Blues,” one of the most important records in jazz history. For Jazz Appreciation Month, the museum’s historic house tours will feature an ultra rare recording of Louis Armstrong performing “West End Blues” live at Freedomland in 1961. This performance was recently donated to its archives by the son of Freedomland sound engineer Peter Denis. Previously unissued and not in any discographies, it will be featured only during Jazz Appreciation Month. This recording ties into the museum’s current exhibit, Louis Armstrong at Freedomland that closes April 30. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

11 injured in Queens house fire

Fire officials say 11 people have been injured in an early morning fire at a two-family house in Queens. Read more: Fox 5/AP

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall took off more than 40 days in 2012

Where’s the beep? As she wraps up her third term, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall seems to be preparing for retirement early — taking more than 40 days off last year. Read more: New York Daily News

Jon Niese takes hill for New York Mets on Opening Day

Two main attractions will be missing when the New York Mets host San Diego in their season opener Monday. Read more: ABC New York/AP

City to resume search for human remains in Twin Towers’ debris

The grim and sad search for human remains in the debris from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks resumes Monday. Read more: CBS New York

Majority of mayoral candidates send children to public school: News survey

Five of the city’s eight mayoral hopefuls who have children send or have sent their kids to public school.  Read more: New York Daily News

Dolan says the Catholic Church should be more welcoming to gay people

On Easter Sunday, weeks after he helped elect a new pope for a church struggling with declining numbers and controversy over social issues, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan said that the Roman Catholic Church could be more welcoming of gay men and lesbians despite opposing same-sex marriage. Read more: New York Times

Immigration deal at hand, focus turns to details

Big business and big labor have settled on a political framework for an immigration overhaul. Now, the lawmakers writing bipartisan legislation need to resolve the nitty-gritty – and keep their parties’ political flanks mollified. Read more: AP

Borough President Marshall fights mayor’s budget cuts

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo by Mike Stavitzky

Borough President Helen Marshall made her mark during her final budget hearing, seeking millions of dollars in funding.

Marshall, who is term-limited out, will battle for $1.6 million for senior centers and various programs across the borough. This discretionary funding was eliminated under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed $70.1 billion budget for the fiscal year 2014.

“Without [this money], six senior centers will close, and four adult day care centers and transportation programs will cease,” said Marshall.

Representatives from community boards, hospitals, nonprofit organizations and more attended the hearing on Wednesday, February 20, to request funding for their own particular needs, ranging from $10,000 to expand programs to $750,000 for medical equipment.

Jonathan Gaska, district manager of Community Board 14, spoke about the devastating effects of Sandy and the Rockaways’ ongoing recovery, and Hans Kuenstler, Jamaica Hospital’s director of construction, requested $3 million to augment funds for a new Jamaica Senior Housing Corporation facility.

In what Marshall’s office has referred to as the most dramatic testimony, a sign language interpreter spoke for a deaf senior citizen couple, requesting continued support for the Peter Cardella Center in Ridgewood, the only program for hearing impaired seniors in the country.

All who spoke are hoping that Marshall will include their needs into her budget priorities. The proposed fiscal plan reportedly may slash community board budgets.



Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Thursday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then clear. High of 37 with a windchill as low as 9. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Thursday night: Clear. Low of 27 with a windchill as low as 18. Breezy. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Skimming the Surface

Dance Entropy presents a special performance featuring repertory favorites alongside premiere works in celebration of the modern dance company’s 15th anniversary season. The action centers around a table and 24 knives. Feb. 21-23, 8 p.m.; Feb. 24 at 5 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Burglar swipes electronics from Long Island City church

An unholy burglar broke into a Long Island City church Monday, stealing some of its electronics. Read more: Queens Courier

Man killed by Queens cop car responding to emergency  

A man is dead after a patrol car struck him at a Long Island City intersection Thursday, according to police. Read more: Queens Courier

Final budget dance for Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and City Hall

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall is taking her final spin in the annual budget dance with City Hall. Read more: New York Daily News

Bloomberg administration urges judge not to delay ban on large sugary beverages set to take effect March 12

The Bloomberg administration Wednesday urged a judge not to delay the start of the planned March 12 launch of the mayor’s ban on large sugary drinks, saying the lives of New Yorkers were at stake. Read more: New York Daily News

School bus drivers back on the job, but not some matrons

New York City school bus drivers who serve more than 150,000 children have returned to work after a month-long strike. Read more: ABC New York

Obama weighs stepping in on gay marriage case

Facing heightened expectations from gay rights supporters, the Obama administration is considering urging the Supreme Court to overturn California’s ban on gay marriage – a move that could have a far-reaching impact on same-sex couples across the country. Read more: AP


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Tuesday :Overcast with rain. High of 41. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the NNE in the afternoon. Chance of rain 80% with rainfall amounts near 0.2 in. possible. Tuesday Night: Overcast with rain. Low of 34. Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%.

EVENT of the DAY: Holiday Tree Lighting in Sunnyside/Woodside

The tree lighting is a true community celebration with local elected officials, a presentation by the Sunnyside Drum Corps, caroling with local schools and holiday cheer. Borough President Helen Marshall will light the tree and Father Brian Dowd from Queen of Angels RC Church will lead a Christmas prayer. There will also be candy canes for the children. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens school shut since hurricane is reopening

The New York City Education Department said on Monday that Public School/Middle School 114 in Belle Harbor, Queens, would reopen on Tuesday, three days earlier than planned, after it was flooded during Hurricane Sandy. Read more: New York Times

Queens church’s crucifix vandalized

The beloved 25-year-old crucifix at St. Leo’s Church in Corona, Queens, was vandalized at night on or after thanksgiving. Read more: Fox New York

City workers still reeling from Hurricane Sandy

The recovery from Superstorm Sandy has tested every level of city government and all ranks of city employees. Read more: New York Daily News

Nets beat Knicks in OT, take 1st Brooklyn matchup

Playing the Knicks never looked or sounded so sweet for the Nets in New Jersey. Read more: ABC New York

Top LIPA executive, trustee resign

A top LIPA executive and a LIPA trustee announced their resignations Monday as the power authority deals with criticism in their response to Sandy, NBC 4 New York has confirmed. Read more: NBC New York

Experts estimate $1.5 billion in sales on Cyber Monday

Americans clicked away for deals on Cyber Monday, which was expected to be the biggest online shopping day in history. Read more: CBS New York

Obama to meet executives, go to Pennsylvania for fiscal push

resident Barack Obama will launch a multipronged push this week to garner support for his proposals to solve U.S. fiscal problems, meeting with business executives at the White House and visiting a small business in Pennsylvania to press his case. Read more: Reuters


12 Sandy-damaged schools reopen in Rockaways, Brooklyn

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Mayor's office / Spencer T. Tucker

Twelve schools that were closed because of Superstorm Sandy reopened this morning, including  four that started class ahead of schedule.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott marked the occasion with a visit to P.S. 43 in Far Rockaway Monday.

Because of flooding, power outages, and other damage from Sandy, the school was not supposed to open until November 30.

“Our most important task was getting students back in the classroom as soon as possible,” said Walcott. “Teachers, principals, custodians and facilities personnel have been working around the clock to get the vast majority of students back to their schools, and today we can welcome back 5,400 students to their original buildings. We will continue to make repairs as quickly as possible in order to get the remaining 18 schools reopened.”

Including the schools that reopened today, 26,000 students who were displaced from their schools because of the superstorm have returned to their regular buildings, but 7,800 still remain at reassigned locations.

Last Monday, Bloomberg announced a $500 million plan to help repair public schools and hospitals that were damaged by Sandy.