Tag Archives: Ridgewood Library

Ridgewood library brought thousands of visitors to June events


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan's office

Ridgewood’s local library is the place to be this summer.

The Ridgewood library attracted over 5,400 visitors with its regular and special programs last month. In addition, the Ridgewood branch is fourth in the library system in the number of programs offered and the number of people who visit the library, according to Joanne King, the director of communications for the Queens Library.

Three events in June helped catapult the Ridgewood branch to these strong numbers.

The first was Fun Day at the Library, which took place on June 20. Volunteers from the Friends of the Ridgewood Library (FORL) and students from Christ the King High School in Middle Village helped set up 39 tables for the flea market-style event.

Fun Day at the Library was an important factor in the future funding of the library. The money raised will help bolster the library’s collections and programs.

“We were so grateful to the hundreds of people who bought items and those who donated items and those who helped us sell the items,” said Thomas Dowd, president of FORL. “We raised about $1,200. That money will help us improve the library.”

The event brought out 27 vendors, local civic organizations, members of the fire department and face painters for the children. Another part of Fun Day at the Library was a telecast from Lincoln Center. This kind of telecast for world-class performers comes to only two libraries in Queens, Ridgewood being one of them.

“Because of our donations to the collection and the active pursuit of programming opportunities by our librarian, Vesna Simon, the Ridgewood branch is considered a principal library in the Queens System,” Dowd said.

Another well-attended Ridgewood library event was the “Invest in Libraries” rally held by Councilman Antonio Reynoso. The rally was in support of adding additional funds to the mayor’s executive budget for the three library systems in New York City.

Representatives of elected officials at all levels of government joined members of the Queens Library staff to promote the importance of library programs for informal education, early childhood development and English as a second language classes.

The June library participation numbers were also enhanced by the Ridgewood branch’s participation in I.S. 93’s 100th birthday celebration.

Located directly across the street from the library, the intermediate school is a chief beneficiary of the library. The relationship between the library and the school has become so close that the principal and two assistant principals often visit the library after school to help kids and to channel the enthusiasm of the young teens.

Volunteers from the FORL watched as kids and parents participated in events like “dunk the principal” during the celebration. Free library gifts were also given out and parents were encouraged to join the FORL group.

The FORL thinks that the Ridgewood branch can become an even more integral part of the cultural life of the community going forward. The library has just undergone a renovation of the 100-seat performance space, and a balcony and the children’s room was built.

In addition, FORL will launch a new initiative to read in the public parks. They will start on July 20 at 11 a.m. at Grover Cleveland Park.

“We now have many more laptops and tablet PCs for use. All the computers have been moved to the balcony to give more seating space,” Dowd said. “Our outdoor performance and exhibit space is underutilized for lack of security. Right now the budget does not allow the meeting room to stay open after the library closes.”

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Ridgewood residents tackle housing, other matters at forum


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Residents, community leaders and local activists revisited various issues and concerns affecting Ridgewood during the Ridgewood Tenants and Neighborhood Association‘s (RTNA) public forum, “Ridgewood: Your Voices, Your Issues,” on Monday at the Ridgewood Library.

“This is a way of starting a conversation and a way to bring together a lot of different people in the neighborhood,” RTNA co-founder and moderator Glenn Dyer said.

The group broke up into four different sections, each representing a specific topic or issue facing Ridgewood: housing, economic development, transportation and the environment.

Paul Kerzner, former Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association (RPOCA) president, chaired the housing group. He expounded on his idea of forming tenant co-ops set forth in the first forum back in February, using the analogy of geese flying together in a “V” formation to illustrate the need for Ridgewood’s many tenants to band together in their pursuit of affordable housing.

“Individual tenants in Ridgewood cannot get to their destination by themselves,” he said. “If they fly in formation and work together in a building, they can accomplish their end.”

According to Kerzner’s plan, tenants living in buildings with four to six units could feasibly purchase each unit for roughly $200,000 each, becoming co-owners of the building itself. By qualifying for mortgages and available federal loans, he estimated monthly out-of-pocket costs to be roughly $1,340, much less than the average rent in Ridgewood.

Ted Renz, executive director of the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), moderated the Local Economy group. Many residents voiced concerns regarding overdevelopment of Ridgewood and the sale of large retail properties to outside brokers and entities.

“We need to preserve Myrtle Avenue for the mom-and-pop shops and smaller entrepreneurs,” Renz said. “Our goal is to have input into getting a better store mix for our community.”

Many residents spoke in favor of a proposed six-to-nine-month moratorium on liquor licenses due to the sharp uptick in bars and nightlife venues in Ridgewood. “It’s oversaturation,” Renz said.

RTNA co-founder Matt Peterson agreed: “There are already a number of bars in Ridgewood. It’s not just a business. It attracts a whole culture.”

John Maier, co-chair of the Community Board 5 Public Transit Committee, led the transportation group. According to Maier, the biggest issue facing local transit is the loss of funding on a federal level.

“Our transportation fund has run out and is operating on a month-to-month basis,” he said. “We need to figure out how to get the money for better service.”

Professor Stephanie Wakefield managed the local environment group. Topics and ideas generated from this group included replacing the trash cans on Fresh Pond Road, community field trips to the Ridgewood Reservoir, poor air quality at the Fresh Pond Road bus depot and the need for additional green spaces in the neighborhood.

“People would really like to find a way to create more green space that is not a playground,” Wakefield said.

CB 5 member Henry Cross proposed holding a legislative forum in which area elected officials could address these topics.

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What to do with the kids this weekend


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the New York Hall of Science

QUEENS

Saturday, September 29

9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Join the Friends of the Ridgewood Library for their semi-annual Fun Day, where there be a flea market, crafts, reading in the garden and more.

11 a.m. – 3 p.m., The National Estuaries Day Festival commemorates Little Neck Bay, the local estuary. Meet people from health service, recreational and civic associations, school groups and government organizations. Hike along Alley Pond Environmental Center’s unique and beautiful estuary trails, listen to live music, visit educational booths and exhibits from neighborhood organizations and participate in children’s activities and crafts. Free entertainment, hands-on demonstrations, fun games, boat and canoe rides. Please pre-register.

5:30 – 8:30 p.m., At the Voelker Orth Museum’s Oktoberfest in the Garden there will be food, drinks, music and more in celebration of the German-American heritage of the Voelker and Orth families. Admission $30 ($25 for members), inclusive of food and drink. Reservations recommended.

Saturday, September 29 – Sunday, September 30

10 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Sunday), Deemed “The Greatest Show and Tell on Earth,” the annual Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science will feature more than 500 maker exhibits, the world’s most diverse showcase of creativity and innovation in technology, craft, science, fashion, art, food and more. Expect outrageous attractions such as the Life-Sized Mousetrap, Coke Zero and Mentos Show, Power Racing Series, iconic Cupcake Cars and other spectacular surprises, such as workshops on soldering, lock picking and Arduino.

Sunday, September 30

12 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Forest Hills Street Festival is a family fair on seven blocks with about 150 vendors, promotions, kiddie rides and crafts. Plus, Austin Street stores will be open. Rain or shine.

4 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Autumn Moon Festival at the Queens Botanical Garden is an afternoon of moon cakes, arts and crafts, and cultural performances celebrating an ancient holiday that reflects on the summer harvest, the fullness of the moon and the myth of the immortal moon goddess. Bring picnic blankets and summer chairs. Free with admission.

 

AROUND QUEENS

Saturday, September 29

1 p.m., Ballet Long Island’s Princess Tea Party opens this weekend, featuring Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid and more. Kids can also take photos with the princess characters and join them for a tea party following the performance.

5:30 p.m. -6:30 p.m., Take part in the national attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most soccer balls ever dribbled by a group at one time. The event also raises money and awareness for America SCORES, which help bring soccer to under-resourced elementary schools. The New York City event will take place at Pier 25 (at Hudson River Greenway and North Moore) and will be followed by a happy hour fundraiser at Harry’s Italian Pizza Bar in Battery Park City.

Saturday, September 29 – Sunday, September 30

11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., Come to the Long Island Children’s Museum this weekend to see Dora the Explorer Live! “Dora’s Pirate Adventure.”

Sunday, September 30

12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Kiddie Cruise: A Princess and Pirate Adventure is an all inclusive fun-filled family event that sails for two hours on the Hudson River. Guests enjoy a puppet show, magician, face painting, arts and crafts, live music while soaking in the sights. All guests receive a healthy bagged lunch and unlimited juice and soda. Kids are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Princess or Pirate. The boat leaves from Pier #40 West Side Highway in Manhattan.