Tag Archives: Queens Library

Queens has most immigrant seniors in city: report


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Queens has the largest number of immigrant seniors in the city, with Flushing leading the list of neighborhoods, according to a new report.

The borough is home to about 162,000 foreign-born people over the age of 65, says a study by the Center for an Urban Future. The report shows more than 25,000 live in Flushing.

“Immigrants are critical to Queens,” said Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the New York-based think tank.

“They’ve driven a lot of the economic growth in the borough,” he said. “They make up almost half of the population in Queens. It’s important that they can grow old in the city.”

Droves of immigrants, mostly from Asia, first made their way to Flushing in the 1970s, Bowles said.

Since then, many more have moved from Manhattan’s Chinatown to the northern Queens neighborhood for a more affordable way of life that is surrounded by immigrant services. In the last decade, more than 8,000 immigrant seniors have settled in Flushing, according to the report.

“They want to live in Flushing because it’s more convenient for them in terms of language barriers,” said Kathy Liu, program director for the Flushing YMCA’s New Americans Welcome Center. “It’s one of the neighborhoods which allow immigrants to go to different agencies to help them in their language.”

The center is a one-stop shop for non-English speakers and one of many locations where immigrants can receive for free literacy, citizen preparation, job readiness and computer classes year-round. The facility sees natives from China, Korea and even France, Liu said.

The Flushing branch of the Queens Library, which offers similar services, is the most heavily used branch in the state, said Queens Library spokesperson Joanne King.

Still, the report shows immigrant seniors face a number of challenges, including a higher poverty rate. They are also less likely to receive government benefits.

“Many don’t qualify for retirement or housing benefits,” Liu said. “With rent so high in this area, they find it very difficult to live with the savings they brought from their own country.”

According to the report, Flushing has the highest concentration of poor seniors. More than half of all Korean seniors in the city who are below the federal poverty line live in Flushing, the study found.

The Rockaways had the second largest group of poor immigrant seniors, 3,154 people.

“Immigrant adults have all of those traditional challenges, but then they have additional ones because of language barriers or a lack of familiarity with programs and services that are available,” Bowles said. “I don’t see this as a problem necessarily, but as a challenge that New York City policy makers have to plan for.”

Some other highlights:

  • Bellerose, Rosedale, Forest Hills and Rego Park, trailing slightly behind Flushing, also made the list.
  • Howard Beach and South Ozone Park had the largest change in their immigrant senior population. They saw a 112 percent jump, which amounts to nearly 5,000 seniors.
  •  Over the last decade, the number of immigrant seniors in Queens increased by 42,000, while the number of native-born seniors dropped by nearly 41,000.



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Bayside library reopens following $1.3M renovation project


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Queens Library

Bayside bookworms reveled in the reopening of their new library on July 20 with balloon animals and face painting.

The afternoon-long affair celebrated the completion of a $1.3 million project to renovate the Bayside branch of the Queens Library at 214-20 Northern Boulevard.

The complete interior makeover, funded by city and borough leaders, now includes a new self-service check-out station, separate areas for adults, teens and children, full handicap accessibility, and bright new decor at the 10,300-square-foot public library, officials said.

The branch closed late last December and reopened in June.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Monday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain, then thunderstorms and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 90. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%. Monday night: Partly cloudy with thunderstorms and rain showers. Low of 72. Winds from the West at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Lincoln Center Local at Queens Library: Classical Jam

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is partnering with Queens Library to bring free music, dance and theater to select community libraries this summer. Classical Jam brings five highly demanded soloists and chamber musicians together to present an engaging and lively performance, including Q&A with artists. Free at the Richmond Hill Branch at 6 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Former governor Eliot Spitzer plans run for NYC comptroller 

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who resigned from the position in 2008 following a prostitution scandal, is planning a political comeback with a bid for city comptroller, the New York Times reported Sunday. Read more: The Queens Courier

Queens woman dies in SUV crash on Long Island Expressway

A 33-year-old Queens woman died in an SUV crash on the Long Island Expressway early Sunday. Read more: New York Daily News 

Reports: Crime database has been misused by NYPD officers multiple times 

Multiple NYPD officers have been charged with corruption in recent years, on allegations that they misused the FBI-operated National Crime Information Center to snoop on other officers, or even to get information on people they might rob. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Hot Sunday sets all-time electricity usage in the city

Sunday’s high of 92 was not close to a record — but it did cause an all-time record electricity use for a Sunday, Con Edison said. Read more: New York Daily News

Call to ban smartphone spy ware apps

A lawmaker says a new smart phone apps that make it easier to spy on your loved ones should be banned because they can also help stalkers and abusers track their victims. Read more: Fox New York

Pilot of crashed Asiana plane was in 777 training

The pilot of the crashed Asiana plane at San Francisco airport was still “in training” for the Boeing 777 when he attempted to land the aircraft under supervision on Saturday, the South Korean airline said. Read more: Reuters

Queens Library leader recognized by White House


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Public Library

A Queens Library leader won a national honor last week for being a “Champion of Change” for cultural institutions in her community.

Jennifer Manley, the vice president of government and community affairs for the Queens Public Library, was one of 12 people in the nation this year to be recognized as an advocate for museums and libraries.

“Manley believes in the power of information and education to improve lives, one at a time, neighborhood by neighborhood,” the White House said in a statement.

The 62 branches of the Queens Public Library circulate more than 13 million items and see more than 13 million visitors a year. It has become a leader in providing services to immigrants, who make up half of the borough’s population, library and White House officials said.

“Jennifer’s work embodies what this program is all about — recognizing leaders who make a difference in their communities,” said Congressmember Steve Israel. “Queens Borough Public Library is fortunate to have leaders like

Jennifer who contribute so much to the excellence of the institution.”
Congressmember Joseph Crowley called Manley a “staunch advocate” for libraries. He said she “works hard to preserve this invaluable resource for the people who need it most.”

The Champions program gives accolades to individuals and groups who do “extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities,” the White House said.

“Jennifer has been a tremendous asset to the Queens Borough Public Library,” said Congressmember Grace Meng, “and this award exemplifies the outstanding work she’s done to make a difference throughout the many communities of Queens.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain, then a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 79. Breezy. Winds from the SW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Low of 64. Winds from the WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: A Mouse in the City: A Puppet Musical of ‘Ginormouse’ Proportions

Starting at 4 p.m. children ages 3-13 years old can enjoy a performance of “A Mouse in the City: A Puppet Musical of ‘Ginormouse’ Proportions.” The show follows the tale of a mouse on his journey to the big city. Taking place at the Flushing Library at 41-17 Main Street. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Father and son attacked by pit bull mix

A father and son were viciously attacked by a pit bull mix in Queens. Read more: ABC New York

Huntley: I’m still AG Schneiderman’s target even though I’m prison-bound

Former state Sen. Shirley Huntley may be headed to federal prison, but she claims state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman isn’t through with her yet. Read more: New York Daily News 

New York City soda ban appeal heads to court Tuesday

The next step in the not-so-sweet battle over New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s war against obesity moves to a state appellate court Tuesday. Read more: AP

Sleeping guards at JFK raise major red flags about security

Protecting some of the world’s most strategically important sites in the New York area – including the airports, bridges and the new World Trade Center and memorial site – is a matter of vital concern and large sums of money. Read more: CBS New York

Scientists warn of larger flood zone, extreme heat for NYC

The projections paint an unsettling picture of New York’s future: A city where by the 2050s, 800,000 people could be living in a flood zone that would cover a quarter of the land, and there are as many 90-degree days as is now normal for Birmingham, Ala. Read more: AP

Federal government to comply with order allowing morning after pill for all ages

The federal government on Monday told a judge in Brooklyn that it will reverse course, and take steps to comply with his order to allow girls of any age to buy emergency contraception without prescriptions. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Officials to fight Queens Library cuts


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

The city’s executive budget includes $100 million in cuts to libraries across all five boroughs, slashing $29.6 million from Queens libraries alone.

“If that proposal were to become reality, the impact [is] unthinkable,” said Thomas Galante, president and CEO of Queens Library.

The cut marks a 35-percent decrease from current funding, will cause 428 layoffs, close over half of Queens Library locations and slash weekly hours from 40 to 21.

“The proposed cut is enormous,” Galante said.

Advocates tout the library as a sanctuary for quiet reading, research and computer use along with opportunities to sharpen job skills. With the proposed cuts, 1.9 million children and teen visitors will lose library access after school and during vacation time, and 28,000 job seekers will lose access to help with job searches, resume writing and interview skills, according to Queens Library.

“These cuts, if they do take place, would be devastating,” said Borough President Helen Marshall. “But we still have a little time left. We haven’t given up yet.”

However, Marshall said that even if the cuts are restored, there will still be no enhancements for library programs.
Galante said there needs to be a stable funding stream for the future. Additionally, for services to remain as per usual, libraries must stay open at least five days a week.

Visit www.savequeenslibrary.org to sign the electronic petition. You can also email your elected representative to help.

“You need your library,” said Galante. “Right now, your library needs you.”

 

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Grant to replace books at Sandy-damaged libraries


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Public Library

A nonprofit is helping Queens Library get back on its feet by putting books back on its shelves.

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is giving a $250,000 grant to the Queens Library Foundation to replace more than 140,000 books and other library materials that were damaged by Sandy.

“Our public libraries provide essential resources to New York City residents,” said Megan Sheekey, president of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “We are grateful to the Queens Library System for its dedication to keeping its doors open in impacted neighborhoods and serving community members.”

Library branches in communities such as Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways were particularly damaged from flooding and are still trying to get back up on their feet.

The Broad Channel Library just reopened in early March. During Sandy, two feet of water inundated the building, ruining 16,000 books and ultimately costing $940,000 in damage.

Other branches have yet to reopen. During repairs, temporary facilities are serving the community.

“The Rockaways and Broad Channel lean on their community libraries for computer and broadband access, education, schoolwork support, job skills training, consumer health resources and their daily information needs. We are so grateful that the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City will help Queens Library restock the empty shelves and provide the critical information that will help the community rebuild,” said Thomas W. Galante, president and CEO of Queens Library.

Officials say a total of $2.2 million in books, DVDs and magazines must be replaced, including picture books and homework help materials for children, large print books, books in Russian, Spanish and other languages, materials for job-seekers who want to learn more about employment trends and build their skills, and so much more.

In addition, to the Mayor’s Fund grant, $1 million in additional grants have already been raised for replacement costs.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Mostly cloudy in the morning, then overcast. High of 50. Winds from the SSE at 5 to 15 mph. Monday night: Overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 46. Winds from the SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Fifth Annual Reel-Abilities Film Festival

On March 11, as part of the  country’s largest film festival by and about people with disabilities, the Central Queens Y will screen Still Standing about singer who has performed at the White House, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center despite having lost a leg to cancer. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Quinn officially announces mayoral run

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is officially running for mayor. Read more: Queens Courier

Suspect nabbed in library assault

A suspect wanted in connection with the March 4 assault on a 15-year-old girl at a Queens library has been arrested, police said. Read more: Queens Courier

Gang stabs, robs cyclist in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

A cyclist was stabbed and robbed by a group of men in Queens on Saturday. Read more: NY1

Queens parents council says no room for new charters in overcrowded District 24

Three Queens charter schools are vying to open in one of the city’s most overcrowded school districts — much to the dismay of a local parents council. Read more: New York Daily News

Gov. Cuomo’s favorability rating drops to all-time low: poll

It’s been an unlucky ’13 for Gov. Cuomo so far – relatively speaking. His favorability rating has dropped to an all-time low since he took office Jan. 1, 2011, according to a new poll – though it’s still better than two-to-one (64-30 percent). Read more: New York Post

Jury deliberation resumes Monday in ‘Cannibal Cop’ case

Jury deliberations in the case of the so-called ‘cannibal cop’ case will resume on Monday. Read more: Fox New York

SKorea, US begin drills as NKorea threatens war

North and South Korea staged dueling war games Monday as threatening rhetoric from the rivals rose to the highest level since North Korea rained artillery shells on a South Korean island in 2010. Read more: AP

Mitchell-Linden library to move, expand


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Public Library

The Mitchell-Linden library will be moving to a larger space down Union Street, officials said.

The existing branch at 29-42 Union Street in Flushing is one of the busiest libraries in Queens, according to Queens Library spokesperson Joanne King. But the 5,900-square-foot building had become too crowded since its 1962 opening.

Since the space cannot be expanded, King said Queens Library officials purchased the first floor of a nearby condominium at 31-32 Union Street to serve as the branch’s new home. The two locations are less than a two minute walk apart.

The new library will be 25 percent larger, officials said, with an additional 720-square-feet of space to be later acquired.

It will finally be fully handicap accessible, with a bigger meeting room inside, new décor, more computers, separate spaces for adults, children and teens and a window view reading lounge.

The new space is expected to open this summer, officials said.

 

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Rising Stars of Queens honored


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

055-DSC_4165

The stars aligned last week when The Queens Courier honored 40 of the borough’s budding young professionals. “It’s awesome to be honored, and it’s humbling to be among these people,” said Eric Abrams, 26, digital media and membership associate for the Queens Chamber of Commerce. “I feel like I’m on my way up.”

Abrams — recognized for his work for the Chamber, including his part in securing a $100,000 grant to develop a mobile phone app for Queens tourism — shared the limelight with several other “Rising Stars” honored for exemplifying outstanding leadership skills in their chosen fields and communities.

SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT

Presented by Metropolitan Hospitality, the fifth annual “40 under 40” awards and networking event drew over 500 people and raised $2,500 in charity raffle funds collected to benefit the Hank Auffarth Family Center of The Child Center of NY and Morgan Center, a pre-school for kids with cancer.

“This makes me proud of my staff, the company and proud to work in Queens,” said Seth Taylor, 33, executive director at the 82nd Street Partnership. “It makes me think back to the work I’ve done and it reminds me of all the work to be done.”

On January 31, at the Caesars Club in Citi Field, event attendees networked with top professionals and mingled with representatives from leading businesses in the area, including this year’s event sponsors National Grid, TD Bank, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation, Delta Airlines, Queens Library, Con Edison, Flushing Bank, Council for Airport Opportunity, Queens County Savings Bank, Time Warner Business Class, Samuel Field Y, Sandwire, Crystal Window & Door Systems, Investors Bank and Ehren Joseph Studios.

Danielle Monaro, a co-host on Z100’s Elvis Duran & The Morning Show, received the “Star of Stars” award and was the night’s honorary emcee.

“I went to St. John’s University, so I feel like I grew up in Queens,” she said. “It’s just really nice to see how diverse the crowd is, how everybody comes together and supports each other. It really does mean a lot that I was chosen to be here. “

VIDEO: MEET THE 2013 “RISING STARS”

Monaro, a New Jersey resident, said she started her gig as a radio personality at St. John’s, where she did theater and WSJU Radio before graduating in 1995.

She helped honor fellow award recipients, including “Mentor of the Year” Bud Harrelson, a 1969 New York Mets World Series champion.

Also honored this year for their community work were Joseph Amodeo, development director for Quality Services for the Autism Community; Eric D. Abrams Digital Media & Membership Associate Queens Chamber of Commerce; Gerdie Rene Gordon, member, Cambria Heights Development Corporation; Seth Taylor, Executive Director, 82nd Street Partnership; Anahit Azatyan, manager of OKG Jewelry; Anokye Blissett, attorney at Law Firm of Russo & Blissett; Ricky Brava, senior partner at Apollo Financial Group; Ricardi Calixte, director of neighborhood economic development for the Queens Economic Development Corporation; Jennifer Colletti-Membreño, assistant director of development at Samuel Field Y; Elizabeth Culp, assistant vice president and branch manager at Roslyn Savings Bank; Paisley Demby, business services director at Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at LaGuardia Community College; Josh Fatoullah, president and founder of JR Wealth Advisors; Dr. Peter Feibish, orthodontist at Dynamic Dental; Christian Goode, CFO and SVP of Resorts World NY; Gerdie Rene Gordon, member of Cambria Heights Development Corporation; Tracie Hall, vice president of strategy and organizational development of library services at Queens Library; Matthew Jahrsdoerfer, audit principal at Grassi & Co; Isabella Leung, human resource manager at Crystal Window & Door Systems; Jennifer Matthews, NTC marketing and events for USTA National Tennis Center; Maria Messados, principal/insurance broker for Queens Medallion; Ann O’Connor, cultural collaborator at Zoescope Studio; Tony Rappaport, licensed sales associate at Greenthal Property Sales & Management; Michael Ratner, partner at Abrams, Fensterman; Jeffrey Reich-Hale, director of sales and marketing at Wyndham Garden LIC; June Reid, department manager at Delta Air Lines at JFK International Airport; Jeff Yanni, general manager at Delta Air Lines at LaGuardia Airport; Elias Roman, CEO and co-founder of Songza Media, Inc; Rick Rosa, executive vice president and managing director at Douglas Elliman; Frank T. Santoro, counsel at Farrell Fritz, P.C; Suzanne Shusteris, manager at TD Bank; Aravella Simotas, assemblymember of District 36; Kevin Skelly, assistant general manager at Clearview Golf Corp.; Silvia Tejeda, licensed real estate broker at Rapid Realty Astoria Inc.; Ebony Young, executive director of Long Island City YMCA; Jason Hilliard, executive director for Congressmember Gregory Meeks; Frank Russo III, manager of Russo’s on the Bay; Abbi Leman, communications director at CUNY School of Law; Andrew Barnes, manager at National Grid; Wafa Abboud, founder and CEO of Human First, Inc.; Chris Lynch, director of operations of Parker’s Medical Transportation Division for Lakeville Ambulette Transportation; and Jeffrey DeShields, mortgage development officer and team leader for Sovereign Bank. “I feel blessed. You can’t ask for anything better,” said DeShields, 39.

Creative Group, LLC and Delta Airlines provided the raffled-off Cancun trip, which included four nights and five days at the Ocean Spa Resort or the Laguna Suites and two round trip airfare tickets.
Broadway tickets, an HD TV, two Nets tickets to the TGI Suite at the Barclays Center and many gift certificates were also given away by exhibitors.

Guests also snapped pictures in a free photo booth sponsored by Investors Bank and snacked on free Nathan’s hotdogs and pretzels.

Danielle Monaro, co-host of the Z100 Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, talks about The Queens Courier Rising Stars event on her radio show. 

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Mostly cloudy. High of 34F with a windchill as low as 16. Winds from the East at 5 to 10 mph. Thursday night: Overcast with a chance of snow, then snow after midnight. Low of 30 with a windchill as low as 23. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 80%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Peking Operas 

Celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year with arias and episodes from two famous Peking Operas, Filial Visit of the Fourth Son and Henpecked King, presented by the New York Chinese Opera Society at the Flushing Libary . Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

NYC looking at 4-8 inches of snow, points north and east much more Friday

Forecasters say a nor’easter slated to hit Friday could dump large amounts of rain and snow across the Tri-State Area. Read more: CBS New York

No new date for NYC primaries after Albany lawmakers nix June, August proposals

Albany lawmakers are unable to agree on an earlier date for the New York City primaries, even after the city Board of Elections has sounded the alarm about the potential for chaos if the elections are held as scheduled in September. Read more: NBC New York

Man expected to plead guilty in alleged Federal Reserve bomb plot

A 21-year-old Bangladesh national is expected to appear in a federal court in Brooklyn Thursday to plead guilty to trying to blow up the Federal Reserve. Read more: NY1

NYC first to get realistic shooting simulation game for kids

A shooting simulation game that lets children pretend to have shootouts in an indoor fake village with a bank, offices and what appears to be a school has come to Queens and is raising concern among law enforcement authorities. Read more: NBC New York

Three unions back MLS soccer stadium project for Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

A trio of unions is throwing their weight behind a contentious proposal to construct a soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the Daily News has learned. Read more: New York Daily News

Subway safety campaign features bloody MetroCards

Shocking MetroCards splattered with blood and the grim reaper are being handed out in an effort to get your attention. Read more: ABC New York

Brennan to face questions on interrogations, drones and leaks

President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the CIA, John Brennan, is expected to face tough questioning about leaks of sensitive information and U.S. spy activities from waterboarding to the use of drones when he appears at a Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday. Read more: Reuters

 

Local teen designers compete in “Project Runway” fashion competition


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Queens Library

Local teen designers faced off in a “Project Runway” fashion competition last month at the Pomonok branch of the Queens Library.

Fifteen runway hopefuls, between 10 and 17 years old, took on the task of creating the most stylish woman’s outfit out of men’s clothing. Their handpicked models hit the catwalk in their creations, library officials said.

Queens librarian Frances Grossman said she came up with the idea of recreating the popular television show after local teens begged for a library program centered around fashion.

Grossman, 26, said she called The Weinstein Company, which co-produces “Project Runway,” for permission to use the name of the show. They gave approval, as well as prizes, fabric, embellishments, tailoring supplies, sponsors for the contest and the theme song for the show.

Alyssa Sadofsky, 16, won first place with model Corine Houngninou, 10. They were given $100 gift certificates to MOOD Designer Fabrics and two tickets to the “Project Runway” season 11 finals, held in Manhattan during Fashion Week this spring. Runners-up, designer Katelyn Dougherty and model Victoria Woelfle, went home with a “Project Runway” DVD game.

The judges were Brooklyn fashion designer Michelle McGoldrick, jewelry store manager Madeline Roth, art therapist Meredith Farrell and interior designer and fashion blogger Dahlia Jacob.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast. Fog early. High of 54. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the East in the afternoon. Chance of rain 20%. Tuesday Night: Overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 41. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queens Public Library book event with NYT author Carl Weber

Carl Weber is a Queens native and a New York Times bestselling author. Join him as he celebrates the release of his latest book, “The Man in 3B,” with refreshments and big fun at the Queens Central Library on January 29 at 6 p.m. Free and open to the public. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

MTA delays new system that will replace MetroCards with ‘smart’ debit or credit cards

The MTA is delaying implementation of a new fare-payment system that will replace the MetroCard. Read more: New York Daily News

More non-union school bus drivers spark heated protests

A heated protest is expected Tuesday morning over New York City’s ongoing school bus strike. Read more: ABC New York

State seeking suitors to build new Kosciuszko Bridge

State officials are creating a short-list of suitors that will get a chance to reshape a vital link between Brooklyn and Queens. Read more: New York Daily News

New FEMA flood maps double number of local at-risk homes

Some New Yorkers who saw their homes badly damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy will have to rebuild three to six feet above their house’s current level. Read more: NY1

Ex-Mayor Ed Koch re-hospitalized after 2 days

he spokesman for former New York City Mayor Ed Koch says he’s been re-admitted to the hospital two days after he was released. Read more: ABC New York

Some New York City restaurants ban food photography by customers

If you’re one of the thousands of people who snap pictures of your food and instantly share them on social media, you might be surprised to learn that some restaurants are now banning photos of their food. Read more: CBS New York

Obama launches push for immigration overhaul

Seeking swift action on immigration, President Barack Obama on Tuesday will try to rally public support behind his proposals for giving millions of illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship, as well as making improvements to the legal immigration system and border security. Read more: AP

Queens Library recognized as literary landmark


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Library

The Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center of the Queens Library will be nationally recognized on Saturday, February 9 as a Literary Landmark by United for Libraries, as the first public institution named for the famed poet/author of the Harlem Renaissance.

In her letter to Queens Library C.O.O Tom Galante, United for Libraries Executive Director Sally G. Reed said, “I am most pleased that you’ve applied for this designation for a man who had such significant impact on African-American literature and American literature generally.”

Hughes wrote over 860 poems in his lifetime, and was heralded as an author of short stories, plays, essays, anthologies and as a journalist from the 1920’s until his death in 1967.

Although Hughes lived in Harlem, the library was named in his honor in 1969 when it opened for public service.

Langston Hughes Community Library is home of the Langston Hughes, housing New York State’s largest public circulating collection of print and non-print material on the black experience.  This collection is now estimated at over 45,000 titles, including approximately 1,000 volumes of theses and dissertations on Black Literature.

The ceremony will be part of the 28th Annual Langston Hughes Celebration, with a plaque presentation by Rocco Staino, United for Libraries board member emeritus and director of the Empire State Center for the Book. Activities will continue with a screening of the biographical film “Hughes Dream Harlem” by Darralyn Hudson, a lecture by author Jamal Joseph with a special musical rendition of Hughes’ poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by the IMPACT Performing Ensemble.  The day continues with “The Jacob Lawrence Migration Series” by MOMA staff member Marcia Garcia, a lecture on Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance by historian Rashidah Ismaili Abu Bakr.

Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall will present six scholarships for African American Heritage Month scholarships, and the program will close with a musical performance, “Music from the Mind of the Trumpet” by Eddie Allen and Friends.

 

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$17M facelift for Glen Oaks library


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Public Library

A $17 million facelift will soon bring chic changes to a Glen Oaks library, officials said.

A sweeping interior staircase, a sky-lit reading lounge and a partially transparent exterior are some of the modern designs being built at the 255-01 Union Turnpike site of the Glen Oaks branch of the Queens Library.

“We’re very excited about it,” said Bob Friedrich, president of Glen Oaks Village. “It’s a really beautifully designed library, as opposed to the old one that had more of a concrete box-like structure with very few windows.”

Officials said the library, built in 1956, was becoming too small for the growing Glen Oaks population. Renovations will nearly double the size of the library to 18,000-square-feet and include many new customer service features along its three levels, including more computer workstations, separate areas for adults, teens and children, and an outdoor reading space.

“I think this library will attract a lot more people,” Friedrich said. “The community really needs it. We have a lot of seniors in Glen Oaks who love sitting outside to read.”

The new library is slated to open later this spring, officials said. Bookworms can visit the library’s temporary space across the street until construction is completed.

“This state-of-the-art library will be a terrific asset for the community,” said Councilmember Mark Weprin, who helped fund the improvement project with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

 

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