Tag Archives: queens village

Star of Queens: Suzanne Windland, volunteer coordinator, Services Now for Adult Persons


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Windland

COMMUNITY SERVICE: As volunteer coordinator for Services Now for Adult Persons , Inc (SNAP), Suzanne Windland makes sure that the seniors of eastern Queens are not left alone. Windland finds volunteers of all ages to visit the elderly homebound for one hour a week, assisting them with food shopping, household tasks or simply just spending time playing games.

“They’re there to be a friend,” Windland said. “It has made an amazing impact on so many seniors. It’s an easy way for those with busy schedules who want to give back to be able to.”

SNAP has been working from its location in Queens Village for the past 25 years. The group also provides Meals on Wheels for the homebound, bereavement services, as well as offering meals and classes at the center.

JOB/BACKGROUND: In her spare time, Windland works as a Zumba instructor for people of all ages.

She has also been heavily involved with the local Parent Teacher Associations at the schools her three daughters attended, all of whom graduated from the NYC public school system.

INSPIRATION: Windland says she gets the immediate gratification from the seniors who volunteers visit and are an inspiration to continue the work of SNAP. She says this is something that extends to the volunteers themselves, as they receive joy in knowing they have helped.

FAVORITE MEMORY: Windland remembers one instance in which an elderly person who painted was paired up with a volunteer who also painted.

Before having a visitor, the senior was lonely and did not paint as much. After having the visits, the two would paint together.

“The paintings that came out of that partnership were amazing,” said Windland.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Windland says the hardest challenge is finding volunteers who are able to take public transportation to the seniors’ homes. “Sometimes it takes the volunteers up to an hour to get to the home. That’s why I’m ecstatic when someone says they have a car.”                             

-BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

 

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Cops collar shotgun robbery suspect


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

The man suspected in four armed robberies in Queens has been arrested, said police.

Corey King, 23, of Queens Village, is charged with four counts of robbery for holding up three delis and a dry cleaner in March and April.

During each incident, the suspect entered the store with a shotgun, struck an employee in the face with the weapon, then fled with cash.

 

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Missing Queens woman’s car found abandoned on Gilgo Beach


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a missing Queens Village woman whose car and personal belongings were found deserted by Gilgo Beach on Long Island.

Natasha Jugo, 31, was reported missing on Sunday, March 17, after cops found her 2009 Toyota Prius abandoned on the beach.

She was last seen leaving her home on Saturday, March 16 at 4:30 p.m. in a black robe, pink pajama pants, a gray hooded sweatshirt, a black coat and black boots, police said.

The case is said to have no ties to the 2010-2011 suspected Gilgo Beach serial killings.

Jugo is 5’7” tall and weighs 120 pounds. She has brown eyes and blonde hair.

Her family did not immediately comment.

Anyone with information is asked to call 800-577-TIPS.

 

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Queens Village high school students paint over the past


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan

Students at a struggling Queens Village high school are painting over their past, one locker at a time.

Historical figures, sprawled across obsolete lockers at Martin Van Buren High School, have become symbolic of the new face of the changing school, students and administration said.

“We’re basically trying to paint a picture of a whole new Van Buren,” said art teacher Antonio Montalvo. “We want to create a more welcoming, lighter learning environment. We’re trying to improve.”

Van Buren found itself in the public eye last year when local leaders and parents rallied to replace former principal Marilyn Shevell. Morale plummeted under her leadership, they said, while Van Buren worsened in progress reports. Shevell retired last June after taking over in 2002, education officials said. Since then, interim acting principal Sam Sochet said the school has risen to the challenge of improving.

“Van Buren, at one time, was one of the top schools in the city,” Sochet said. “It has fallen on some harder times recently, and so we’re looking to rediscover the greatness that it used to have and maybe go beyond it.”

An art inclusion class, led by Montalvo, chose scientists Albert Einstein and Alexander Fleming, psychologist Carl Jung and former United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to represent the search for greatness, Sochet said. The project team of 30 students took two months to paint a mural of their caricatures across nearly 90 lockers on the school’s second floor.

“They’re old figures, but they do represent people who worked really hard, people who broke traditional thinking, who really thought outside the box,” Sochet said. “And that’s the idea. These are examples of what the human spirit is capable of.”

The display also promotes Van Buren’s newest college-ready science programs or “majors” for incoming freshmen, said Sanjay Patel, the school’s director of specialized programs.

Graduating middle school applicants can apply to Van Buren’s revamped engineering program, which features the school’s robotics team, or its pre-med, law and forensics, or computer technology programs, Patel said.

“There are a lot of careers available in these areas, and we’re trying to prepare students,” said Assistant Principal Cathy Kross.

Van Buren received a “C” in the Department of Education’s most recent progress report, which is based on student progress toward graduation, performance on standardized tests, coursework and student attendance. The school improved a full letter grade from last year’s “D.”

“The change is happening, although sometimes it’s very difficult to detect,” Sochet said.

Junior Jeshu Dastidar, a first-time honor roll student this year, said the school’s new environment has revived his passion for learning.

“In the last two years, school really wasn’t really in my interest,” said Dastidar, 16. “But this year, the first day I went to class, I was feeling this rhythm. Something was in the air. The school has changed. Grades have gone up tremendously for me personally.”

 

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Striking school bus drivers stand by their demands


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER / Photo by Alexa Altman

Maria Gentile has driven a school bus for more than 34 years. She knows the name of every student she carries along her route, through Bayside, Douglaston and Oakland Gardens. She’s witnessed the first and last days of school for countless families. When she drops a child off at home, she doesn’t drive away until they’ve made it safely inside.

“Safety is first with the children,” said Gentile, who gathered with dozens of other striking drivers outside a bus depot in Jamaica. Two weeks into the citywide school bus strike, drivers remain firmly behind their demands, calling specifically for job security.

“We just want to keep our jobs. That’s it,” said bus driver Jessica Saltos of Queens Village. “We’re not looking for a raise, healthcare, a pension, nothing at all. We want to keep working. That’s it.”

According to Gentile, drivers are fighting to retain the Employee Protection Provision (EPP), an amendment added in 1979 that guarantees drivers will retain routes, regardless of which company oversees the bid.

Strikers believe Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to instate makeshift drivers could be hazardous for the thousands of children who take buses to school. Certification, which normally takes roughly a year and includes drug testing, fingerprinting and hours of training, will take less than 24 hours for fill-in drivers.

“If the mayor wants to put a child in a vehicle with a driver who has no experience, what does that say?” said Gentile. “They’re going to rush to the school and throw the kid off the bus because they don’t care.”

The substitute bus drivers are set to make $14 an hour, a wage many drivers agreed doesn’t promote job longevity or dedication.

“[Bloomberg] is putting the almighty dollar above children’s safety,” said a driver.

On Monday, January 28, representatives from Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 met with a mediator, Justice Milton Mollen, to discuss drivers’ concerns. While city officials did not attend the meeting, Local 1181 President Michael Cordiello said Bloomberg’s involvement in arbitration is “necessary to move towards a resolution and end this strike.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast with a chance of rain, then rain showers in the afternoon. Fog early. High of 54. Breezy. Winds from the South at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Wednesday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. Fog overnight. Low of 45. Windy. Winds from the SSW at 20 to 35 mph with gusts to 55 mph. Chance of rain 100% with rainfall amounts near 1.1 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Women’s Business Center Power Networking Event

Every entrepreneur will need a strong support team to be successful. At the Women’s Business Center Power Networking Event meet professional women with experience in supporting thriving entrepreneurs and the key roles they play in every stage of business. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Obama signs $50.5B Sandy aid bill

Exactly three months to day that the storm hit the tri-state area, President Obama signed a $50.5 billion Sandy aid bill. Read more: Queens Courier

Death of autistic man at Queens Village mental health facility last summer ruled a homicide

The death of an autistic man last summer after he was restrained by guards at a Queens Village mental health facility has been ruled a homicide by the city Medical Examiner. Read more: New York Daily News

Water main break leaves 7 basements flooded in Queens

A water main break left seven basements flooded in eastern Queens Tuesday evening. Read more: CBS New York

Queens couple fights Russian ban on American adoptions

A Queens couple, fighting the Russian government to adopt a 1-year-old boy, has joined the chorus of prospective parents and elected officials calling for the repeal of Russia’s ban on American adoptions. Read more: NBC New York

Departure of one of Rockaway’s NYPD top brass rankles civic leaders

Local activists are irate over the exit of a top law enforcement official in the Rockaways who helped shepherd the community through the chaos caused by Superstorm Sandy. Read more: New York Daily News

Gun rights advocates fight against new law signed by Cuomo

A gun advocacy group took the first step Tuesday to legally halting the newly-signed gun laws for New York state. Read more: CBS New York

Amid questions, Senate begins hearings on gun control

Six weeks after the massacre of 26 people at a Connecticut school ignited new calls to fight gun-related violence, the issue reaches the U.S. Congress on Wednesday amid questions about whether lawmakers will be able to agree on significant legislation. Read more: Reuters

 

Queens native wins Nobel Prize


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Alvin Roth

Alvin Roth, one of the two winners of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, is a Queens native and graduate of Martin Van Buren High School, the New York Post reported.

The Harvard professor, 60, who reportedly has accepted a position at Stanford University, won for his work on how to match different agents, such as  students with schools and human organ donors with transplant patients, as efficiently as possible.

“I didn’t become an economist until rather late in life,” said Roth in an interview with Nobelprize.org.

“The kinds of things that I found myself interested in, trying to understand and trying to make things work better were things that involved people and that meant economics.” he added.

 

Board of Elections leaves Bengali off ballot


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Translators and appropriate documents will be at voting stations with large Bengali populations this November, a Board of Elections (BOE) official said, after it was announced the language would not be an option on this year’s ballots, much to the chagrin of officials and residents.

The BOE’s vendor, Election Systems & Software LLC (ES&S), had “significant technical difficulties” changing its voting system, said BOE spokesperson Valerie Vasquez. BOE staff met with ES&S and determined the changes — and the needed for state certification — would not be feasible by this November, she said. The vendor is continuing to work on making the changes ready for elections in 2013.

Ballots are required, under the federal Voting Rights Act, to have the native languages of an area’s population where five percent of eligible voters have below average English skills. Census data released last year showed an increasing number of Bengali residents in the borough and thus required by law to be used on ballots in select areas.

Other prominently spoken languages in the borough, including Spanish, Chinese and Korean, will not be affected by the difficulties, Vasques said.

Materials and personnel will be provided to Bengali-speaking voters, she said, to remedy the difficulties some may face when casting their ballots.

“The Board has taken important steps to address the language community’s needs until ballot placement can be achieved, and continues to reach out to community representatives through an established working group,” she said. “Steps planned include a translated candidate name list for use by voters, as well as a sample ballot poster for the November general election, together with translated posters, other written materials and signage.”

This is not enough to some, however, as politicians and community members spoke out soon after the announcement, demanding something be done to ensure the legal requirements are enacted.

“Data released a year ago told us what we already knew in our area of Queens County – that a significant segment of the population speaks Bengali (also known as Bangla), Punjabi, and Hindi,” Assemblymember David Weprin said. “It is not enough to provide interpreters or translated materials. Asian-Indians in Queens are covered under the provisions of the Voting Rights Act and anything less than full compliance is an injustice.”

Queens has a number of South Asian populations that will be affected by these changes, including Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, Queens Village and Jackson Heights.

Vishnu Mahadeo, a Richmond Hill advocate originally from Guyana, said in the past the BOE had not taken responsibility to help Bengali voters.

Mahadeo, who heads the Richmond Hill Economic Development Council and is a coordinator with the BOE, said he has tried in the past to get interpreters hired for Bengali residents, predominately in South Ozone Park, and for Punjabi and Hindi residents in Ozone Park and Richmond Hill.

The problem Mahadeo says he’s run into, however, is a miscommunication between the BOE and the community. Many residents have been under the impression that citizenship is required to work for the BOE. All that is required, Mahadeo said, is proficiency in a language and permanent residency.

Weprin, who pushed for multi-lingual ballots in the Legislature, expressed disappointment the language would not be available to Bengali-speaking voters.

“Our practice should be to provide ballots in the languages of the Asian Indian communities to encourage voter participation, not fall short of our promises to accommodate these populations,” Weprin said. “This is a very important election and voter suppression simply can not be tolerated in our Democracy.”

Bengali ballots should be released for elections, Weprin said, or other options needed to be taken.

“We must stay on top of this issue and demand this mandate be implemented,” he said. “Otherwise we will have to consider other options to ensure the Board of Elections complies with this law.”

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 88. Winds from the WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 66. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Zumba on the Beach

This is the last chance of the summer to take an evening Zumba class at Rockaway Beach. This free Shape Up NYC class is a fusion of Latin, International and popular music dance that features aerobic, fitness interval training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body with easy to follow dance steps. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

LIRR worker fatally electrocuted in Queens

A Long Island Rail Road worker is dead after he came in contact with the third rail near the Queens Village station.The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says service was temporarily suspended around the area after the accident Monday morning. Read more: AP/Wall Street Journal

Drama brewing over axed arts program in Glendale

Encore! A coalition of parents, teachers and students are rallying behind a displaced Queens drama teacher to ensure this isn’t his curtain call. Theater teacher Evan Behlivanis, 31, was told in late July that his nine-year tenure at Public School/Intermediate School 119 in Glendale was coming to an end due to budget constraints. Read more:  New York Daily News

Tennis fans brave soggy start to U.S. Open

The U.S. Open is back up and running in Queens with scores of eager fans ready for action following a three hour and 15-minute rain delay earlier today. About 700,000 fans are expected to visit Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for the 20-day tournament. Read more: NY1

City has just one Parks Enforcement Patrol officer for all of Queens, union charges

The ranks of city Parks Enforcement Patrol officers are so thin that only one officer is available to patrol all Queens parks this summer, union officials charged. Read more: New York Daily News

New Yorkers want to throw Department Of Sanitation policy in the trash

New Yorkers are crying foul over a sanitation policy that they say needs to be trashed. “I think it’s crazy that without a warning or anything, it should have been a warning. Unless they’re trying to make money, which is what I think,” Raymond Jansson of Whitestone, Queens told CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez on Monday night. Read more: CBS New York

Tropical Storm Isaac takes aim at New Orleans

Tropical Storm Isaac had nearly reached hurricane strength as it bore down on the U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday and appeared to be taking direct aim at New Orleans, almost seven years to the day since the Crescent City was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Read more: Reuters

Republican National Convention enlists first Sikh speaker

An American Sikh is scheduled to speak Wednesday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., the first time the party has invited a Sikh to speak at a national convention. Read more: New York Times

 

 

Queens man charged in attempted murder of three police officers


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

641139733

Police arrested a man Tuesday and charged him with the attempted murder of three cops in Queens, said the NYPD.

According to authorities, Jeffrey Contreras, 23, of Queens Village, was also charged with three counts each of assaulting a police officer, aggravated vehicular assault, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.

In the early morning of August 17, near 92nd Road and 222nd Street in Queens Village, three officers were attempting to arrest the suspect when he jumped into a car and struck them with his vehicle, injuring the men.

They were immediately transferred to North Shore Manhasset Hospital in stable condition. As of Saturday, two of the officers have been released from the hospital.

 

 

 

Suspect wanted for 11 armed robberies in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

11 robberies

The NYPD is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a man wanted for committing 11 gunpoint robberies in various areas of Queens.

Darren Hicks, 28, first robbed a Pepsi delivery truck driver in front of the J&C Grocery store at 110-02 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard in Jamaica around 2:50 p.m. on July 3. He committed 10 more robberies throughout July and early August, holding up other delivery truck drivers and several businesses.

The last two robberies occurred on August 2 within about a 30 minute period. Around 11:30 a.m. the suspect robbed a driver unloading his truck outside the Key Food Supermarket at 213-22 Jamaica Avenue in Queens Village, then held up another delivery man while he was in his truck in front of the Rite Aid drugstore at 222-14 Linden Boulevard in Cambria Heights.

Robberies also occurred in the Rosedale, Hollis and Saint Albans areas of Queens.

The suspect is described as approximately 5 feet 1o inches tall and 150 to 180 pounds. In several of the incidents, including the last one on Linden Boulevard, he fled in a white sedan, possibly a Honda Accord or Ford Focus.

Anyone with information in regard to this suspect or any of the listed incidents is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.  All calls are strictly confidential.

Queens native wins HGTV’s ‘Design Star’


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of HGTV

Under the scorching studio lights, Danielle Colding felt calm.

“I’ve done the best I can do,” the “HGTV Design Star” finalist thought as the judges made their concluding remarks and deliberated between the two last-standing contestants.

She played out both outcomes — winning and losing — in her head, proud she had made it so far and understanding the judges’ decision was simply a matter of preference.

Colding, a 36-year-old Queens native, won “HGTV Design Star,” an interior styling competition show that hands the winner his or her own television show.

Originally from Queens Village, Colding studied interior design at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles. She graduated with her associate degree in 2003 and moved home to New York where she landed a job as an assistant designer with a high-end residential firm.

Colding, a long-time fan of HGTV, was encouraged by friends to audition for “Design Star.” She watched previous seasons carefully to get a feel for the show, including season five, in which a friend of hers participated. When HGTV executives announced that there would be an open call for the show in New York City, she signed up. Within five minutes of her first interview, held at an Upper East Side bar, the casting director told Colding she had made it to the second round.

The audition process overlapped her mother’s battle with cancer. She passed away the week before Colding got the call announcing she would appear in the seventh season.

Colding kept busy with the show, divulging that she struggled with the isolation of the competition and the challenge’s tight time constraints — something she had never experienced during her design career. During the competition, an entire space needed to be redone in two or three days. Projects in the real world last for several months or even a year.

“You have to go with your gut and make decisions right away,” she said of the competition.

The tense rivalry was smoothed over by the camaraderie between the contestants, regardless of the stakes.

“It was a supportive environment,” said Colding. “We made friends right away and felt like we were in it together. There was an incredible bond there.”

Colding claimed the competition kept an element of fun throughout, referring to it as “designer boot camp.”

The New York creative who now runs her own company, Danielle Colding Designs, pulls most of her inspiration from travel and says she loves seeing how people all over the world do things differently, citing Paris as her favorite inspiration destination.

“When I go I just feel so inspired,” she said. “The French just know how to do it right. Everything is beautiful and everything tastes great.”

Colding, who now lives in Brooklyn, calls her style “eclectic,” drifting towards contemporary basics, straight lines and elegant details with global accents. Her new show, “Shop This Room,” combines shopping and at-home salvaging as the designer uses items from a client’s home, reworking them as a centerpiece.

“It’s like a puzzle with each different client,” she said. “Even if people have homes they aren’t crazy about, there’s something in there that they love.”

Colding hopes the program will show people that it is possible to rework a room without breaking the bank by reusing items they already own.

While Colding admitted she never though she would have her own television show, she said fell into the spot shockingly comfortably.

“I’m just a girl from Queens,” she mused. “Is this really happening?!”

What to do in Queens: July 4 holiday


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Even though you can’t see fireworks in Queens, there are still plenty of fun things to do around the borough this Fourth of July holiday.

 

TUESDAY, JULY 3

Fireworks at Citi Field
Following the 7:10 p.m. Mets game vs. the Phillies, the Mets will have its annual fireworks night at Citi Field. Don’t have tickets to the game? You can catch a great view of the fireworks from other location near the stadium, including the Home Depot parking lot, located at 131-35 Avery Avenue.

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4

Independence Day Festival in Queens Village
Starts at 10 a.m. at Sanford Avenue between Main Street and Union Street

Louis Armstrong Birthday Tours 
Louis always celebrated his birthday on the Fourth of July. The Louis Armstrong House Museum honors him by remaining open  from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  for special tours that include celebratory birthday photos, audio clips and a complimentary cupcake for kids 12 years old and under.

Skyline Princess NYC Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise
Skyline Princess’s Fourth of July Dinner cruise features a five hour cruise with a front row seat for the famous Macy’s fireworks display in New York Harbor. The cruise boards  from the World’s Fair Marina in  Flushing Meadows at 5:30 pm. Sailing time: is at 6:00 p.m. and it returns at 11:00 p.m.

Free Summer Movie at Socrates Sculpture Park
Celebrate July 4th with a program of short films that is funny, revelatory, dramatic and all-American. “The American Experience” starts at 7:00 p.m.


THURSDAY, JULY5

Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats
The Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats are coming back to Queens Theatre, located at 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Corona Park in Flushing. There is a new cast, new acts and new thrills! Performances will include a combination of acrobatics, traditional dance, costumes, ancient/contemporary music and theatrical techniques.

Sissy McGinty’s Trivia Night
Sissy McGinty’s, located at 25-67 Steinway Street in Astoria, is holding their weekly Trivia Night from 9 p.m. – 11:45 p.m. This week, they will be celebrating the Fourth of July and there will be drink prize for the round winners and a bar tab for the champion.

 

FRIDAY, JULY 6

First Fridays at the the Noguchi Museum
The Noguchi Museum, located at 9-01 33rd Road in Long Island City, has a First Fridays feature which includes a pay what you wish admission with an extended evening hours (5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.). Beer and wine will be offered at the cash bar and a special programming will include “Center of Attention,” and others.

Rocky McBride’s Neon 80’s & 90’s Party
Rocky McBride’s, located at 27-01 23rd Avenue in Astoria, will be hosting a Neon 80’s & 90’s party f rom 7 p.m. – 3 a.m. Come out wearing your favorite neon and enjoy the night with drink specials and more!

Mariachi Flor de Toloache
The Mariachi Flor de Toloache, the all-female mariachi band, will be performing at the Queens Kickshaw, located at 40-17 Broadway in Astoria, from 9 p.m. – 11:30 p.m..

 

SATURDAY, JULY 7

Warm Up at MoMA PS1
Every Saturday this summer, starting July 7, MoMA PS1, located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, has an outdoor series that features  live music, sound, performance and DJs. It is held at their courtyard. From 2 p.m. – 9 p.m., the admission fee is $15 and this includes access to all exhibitions and Warm Up.

 

 

 

‘Failing’ Van Buren principal replaced


| mchan@queenscourier.com

An unpopular principal of a failing Queens Village high school, who local leaders and parents rallied to remove in February, has been replaced, according to the Department of Education.

Principal Marilyn Shevell — called an “ineffective leader” by members of the PTA and community — retired from Martin Van Buren High School, education officials said. Sam Sochet will take over as the interim acting principal, effective July 1.

“The change in leadership at Martin Van Buren is a long time coming, but it is a necessary step to prevent another one of our neighborhood schools from failing,” said State Senator Tony Avella.

Martin Van Buren received a “D” in the most recent Department of Education (DOE) progress report, which is based on student progress toward graduation, performance on standardized tests and coursework and student attendance. It scored a “C” in the last two years as well.

Shevell took over in 2002, which PTA officials said turned the school into a site of plummeting morale.

A C-30 process will commence early in the next school year to find a permanent principal, said Marge Feinberg, a spokesperson for the DOE.

Queens communities facing brownouts


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Several Queens communities face a voltage reduction from Con Edison due to electrical equipment problems.

The 100 degree heat has many residents blasting air conditioners to stay cool.

Con Ed said the neighborhoods affected will have a 5 percent voltage reduction.  This was done in an effort to prevent a significant outage, a spokesperson from the company said.

There are about 20 individual  outages in Queens right now according to Con Edison’s outage map.

The reduction will occur in Bellerose, Cambria Heights, Floral Park, Forest Hills, Glendale, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Jamaica, Jamaica Hills, Laurelton, Middle Village, Queens Village, South Jamaica, Springfield Gardens and St. Albans.

Con Edison asked customers in these areas to conserve electricity and turn off nonessential electric equipment, such as TVs, computers, air conditioners, washers, dryers, and microwaves.

To report power outages or service problems visit www.conEd.com or call 800-75-CONED (6633). When reporting an outage, customers should have their Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether their neighbors also have lost power.