Monday: A good deal of sunshine. High near 35. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph. Monday night: A few passing clouds, otherwise generally clear. Low 28. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
EVENT OF THE DAY: York College Celebrates 75 Years of Blue Note Records
On Monday at 6 p.m., the York College Cultural Diversity Center and the Male Initiative Program will host “The Blue Note Sound: Celebrating 75 Years of Blue Note Records.” The celebration will pay tribute to Blue Note Records’ contribution to jazz. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own
Spring nor’easter to dump more snow on tri-state
The tri-state is expected to get more snow this week as a nor’easter delivers a glancing blow Tuesday night, forecasters say, but the area should be spared from the worst of the wintry spring storm. Read more: NBC New York
3 people shot at Queensbridge housing projects in Long Island City; cops searching for shooter
Two men and a woman were shot in a Queens housing project Sunday. Read more: New York Daily News
De Blasio on charter school students: ‘we need them to succeed’
Just weeks after moving to prevent their expansion, Mayor Bill de Blasio has offered an olive branch to the charter school movement. Read more: CBS New York
NYPD to train cabbies in new sergeant-taxi driver partnership
NYPD sergeants will be training city cabdrivers on how to protect themselves against violent passengers and farebeaters, as well as teach them methods for handling high-stress situations that could lead to road rage and accidents. Read more: New York Post
Giuliani: de Blasio taking city ‘in the wrong direction’
Rudy Giuliani sounded off on Mayor de Blasio Sunday, saying his successor is moving the city “in the wrong direction.” Read more: New York Post
Queens needs another small business development center, but one with flexible hours staffed with “culturally competent” workers, advocates and lawmakers said Tuesday.
The borough currently has two heavily-used centers, one in Long Island City’s LaGuardia Community College and another in Jamaica’s York College.
Advisers give free consultations and offer low-cost training at the centers, which are partially funded by federal Small Business Administration (SBA) funds.
But minority and immigrant owners struggle too much with language barriers at the existing sites to benefit from the services, small business owners and advocates said. And conflicting work hours are a huge deterrent.
Imada and a panel of small business advocates urged the SBA to fix its outreach to minority owners during a Congressional Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce hearing held at Queens College.
Local shop owners and Congressmember Grace Meng, who held the rare field hearing, said underserved areas like Flushing need help from staff members who speak mostly Chinese, Korean and Spanish.
“The other locations are very inconvenient for us in Flushing,” said Zhejiang Chamber of Commerce President Howard Dai. “It would give small business owners easier access, and information would spread word of mouth.”
“A third center in Queens, particularly with Asian and Hispanic language capacities, is urgently needed,” Moy said. “Without competence in culture, language and technical support, all of this outreach is nothing but false promises.”
The SBA’s acting chief of staff, Michele Chang, said the administration would implement more training and urged business owners to get virtual help using the SBA’s online learning center.
“We understand that being a small business owner is a hard job,” Chang said. “You work all hours of the day. It’s your lifeblood.”
JetBlue Airways has given aviation students an extra push to fly above and beyond.
JetBlue, with a mission to inspire humanity beyond air travel, announced the launch of the JetBlue Foundation Tuesday. This company-sponsored foundation was created to encourage and advance aviation-related education by sparking interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.
“The sky is literally the limit for aviation students,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue Foundation board of directors president. “Through the JetBlue Foundation, we will continue our efforts to put aviation on the map as a career choice for students of all ages and backgrounds. As a leader in the aviation space, we believe it is our responsibility to give back by making an investment in the future of this industry.”
The newly formed foundation will give three $25,000 grants this year to schools and educational alliance, two in Queens and one in Florida, with a focus on STEM and aviation-related programs aimed towards underserved groups and communities.
“Inspiration starts here. Encouraging education in Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and advocating for the future of aviation is how we will make a difference for our industry,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue Foundation executive director. “These are the areas where we need more passion and focus to carry our industry forward.”
Aviation High School, the country’s largest public aeronautical high school with over 2,300 students primarily from underrepresented groups, will use the money to introduce an Aviation Welding Improvement Plan. This plan will guarantee students have resources to earn a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification as an aircraft maintenance technician. The school would purchase advanced technologies and materials needed to prepare students.
CUNY Aviation Institute at York College will use the grant to develop a course to create an FAA-approved Aircraft Dispatcher Certification program, making the college the first New York public education institution to offer this program.
In order to continue building lasting relationships with the schools, the JetBlue Foundation will also provide aviation-focused educational programs with in-kind support, internships and mentoring from crew members.
“Since JetBlue’s beginnings, the airline set its sights on inspiring humanity beyond air travel, not only for our customers and crewmembers but the various communities we serve,” said Geraghty. “One way we have done this is by showing support for STEM programs. We recognize our responsibility to the world below our wingers – to make it better and inspire others to do the same.”
Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio announced the appointment of 60 leaders and experts to his transition committee on Wednesday, November 20.
“My charge to the transition team is to identify women and men from every part of our city and walk of life that share a commitment to progressive and competent city government,” said de Blasio. “They will be advising me based on their wealth of experience and knowledge of specific issue areas and government agencies.”
The Transition NYC team members, who will be volunteering their time during the transition, include several leaders from Queens organizations and institutions.
They are Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, executive director, Queens Council on the Arts; Udai Tambar, executive director, South Asian Youth Action; Elsie Saint Louis, executive director, Haitian-Americans United for Progress, Inc.; Dr. Marcia Keizs, president, York College, The City University of New York; and Jukay Hsu, founder, Coalition for Queens.
“I am honored to be contributing to the creation of a new administration, a team New Yorkers can be proud of,” said Krakauer in a post on the Queens Council on the Arts website. “And to do that I will look to you, the creative citizens of this amazing borough, for your ideas and thoughts to bring back to the big table.”
Queens also took part in the new administration’s transition through two panel discussions that were held at the de Blasio Talking Transition Tent in downtown Manhattan on Friday, November 22.
“Thrive in Queens,” hosted by The Noguchi Museum, the Queens Economic Development Corporation and Long Island City Partnership, focused on the creative sector of the borough.
According to The Noguchi Museum Director Jenny Dixon, who moderated the first panel, they also spoke about “the need for greater marketing dollars and better public transportation,” and requested that the de Blasio administration “affirm the borough of Queens through an inclusive agenda weighted equally for all of the five boroughs.”
“A great gathering of Queens folks were in the audience and similarly a great group of Queens’ economic drivers were represented on the panel,” said Dixon.
The proverbial gray cloud continued to hang over the York College Women’s Volleyball team after a close loss yesterday to conference rivals City College of New York (CCNY), which ended with violations.
Trailing 11-10 to City College in the deciding fifth set, the Cardinals were going to serve when they were called for an illegal substitution, which was worth a point. The score eventually became 14-12, and a service error cost York the match.
The Cardinals were outlasted by CCNY (25-15, 18-25, 20-25, 25-20, 15-12), dropping the season record to 1-7, and 1-3 in the CUNY Athletic Conference.
As tough as the loss was, York showed some fight throughout the game. The Cardinals took an early 2-1 set advantage by eating up the second and third sets after losing the first.
York was led by Carlean McCrimmon, who had 18 kills with three aces, eight digs and five blocks. Libero Allison Li had 12 digs to steer the defense and Stayce Kay Muirhead finished with 12 kills. Setter Evelyn Florentino also finished with 35 assists.
The Cardinals will host the College of St. Elizabeth in their next match on Tuesday night.
The York College men’s soccer team scored eight goals to win a dominating game against St. Joseph’s College, 8-0, in its home opener on Tuesday.
The goals were the most scored in a game by the Cardinals since September 4, 2008, when the team routed Yeshiva University, 14-3. York is now 2-3 on the season.
Cardinals’ offense had a field day with St. Joseph (0-1). Brian Broadbelt, Andre Adelson and Rohan Burrell notched two goals apiece to led York to victory.
Burrell, who was named CUNY Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week, started the scoring early in the eighth minute when he received a pass on the sidelines from Remi Molake and fired a shot that beat the goalkeeper. He then chipped in another goal in the 26th minute as well.
Adelson, who didn’t enter the contest until late in the first half, wasted little time, scoring his first goal in the 31st minute off an assist from McLaney Moise and then another in the 49th minute from Michael Delgado.
The game wasn’t all about offense though. Cardinals’ goalkeeper Leszek Stankiewicz had three saves to earn the shutout.
York will begin CUNY Athletic Conference matches when they face Brooklyn College on Saturday.
Junior Rachidi Amadou led York College with two goals as the Cardinals shutout Sarah Lawrence College to win their season opener, 4-0, on Thursday.
York (1-0) completely dominated possession and out shot Sarah Lawrence, 41-1. As the final score reflected, the Cardinals scored early and often, ending with Brandon Yotagri’s unassisted goal in the final minute of play.
Amadou started the blazing offense when he scored in the 15th minute and just over a minute later Rohan Burrell added another goal for the Cardinals. In the second half York picked up where they left off when Amadou notched his second goal in the 67th minute.
With a positive start to the season the Cardinals are looking forward to their next match against United States Merchant Marine Academy on Saturday.
Freshman Daisy Narvaez scored two goals for York College, leading the Cardinals to a, 3-2, victory over Sarah Lawrence College on Thursday, giving the team its first win of the season.
Already leading 2-1 going into the 53rd minute, Narvaez scored her second goal off a loose ball inside the box to give the Cardinals (1-1 CUNY Athletic Conference) a commanding lead.
Sarah Lawrence (0-2) responded with a goal in the final minute of the game, but it wasn’t enough to make a comeback.
York dominated the game throughout. Narvaez scored the first goal in the sixth minute, after receiving teammate Jessica Cornejo’s corner kick and the Cardinals jumped to a 2-0 lead in the 35th minute, when Cornejo connected with Anna Lales after a free kick.
Now with their first victory behind them the Cardinals will set their sights on their next opponents, Rutgers-Newark on Saturday.
As Jay Bryant, the brains behind the Harlem Magic Masters basketball and the emcee of its events, called out the name of each member of his team, a gymnasium filled with 300 campers from a half dozen organizations at York College on July 24 went ballistic.
The children visited the school to see athletic acts by the Magic Masters, a basketball entertainment group. And they were rewarded with a dizzying display of dunks, alley-oops, Harlem Globetrotters-inspired hijinks and a positive message against bullying.
“Bullying is not cool, keep it out of our school!” Bryant shouted, before asking his enraptured audience to repeat it. A chorus of hundreds of elementary-aged children echoed Bryant, and explained the importance of inclusion and respect for your peers.
Anyone familiar with the history and shtick of the Globetrotters can picture what a Magic Masters show might look like, however Jay Bryant and his father Jack, who founded the organization in 2008, have incorporated a message to their core youth audience that resonates with adult community leaders.
“The message is extremely important to us,” Bryant explained. “When we started this organization, it was to help schools to raise money. Now we are trying to help spread positive messages to our youth. The main message here is sportsmanship and respect. There is no place for bullying.”
Although none of the names Bryant shouts, such as “’The Punisher, Roderick Burnett” or “Cliff ‘Jetblue’ Malone,” carry particular fame, each member of the Magic Masters is a certifiable basketball veteran, and all of them know how to put on a show.
Bryant has been traveling with the Magic Masters up and down the Eastern seaboard to put on shows and reach out to impressionable youth groups and to lend positive support. They have traveled to elementary, middle and high schools in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Maine.
“What I hope the kids get out of it is adhering to the message, to try to make friends instead of bullying or alienating peers,” Bryant said. “Everyone has an individual talent; we encourage students to find it and to use it to make friends.”
Although not everyone’s talent is high flying basketball, it acts as an entertaining and positive medium with which to garner attention, particularly when the Magic Masters pit themselves against the camp counselors who attempt to wrangle campers on a daily basis.
One of those counselors, Shaniqua Edwards with the University Settlement Camp from Brooklyn, appreciated the message Bryant and his organization have been working to spread.
“I think it’s a great message, especially the rhyming quote. I’m going to take that back to my kids and apply it,” Edwards said. “It’s especially good that they’re teaching this while playing basketball, because now I’ll have the kids talk about anti-bullying before they play basketball.”
The Senior Umbrella Network honored two York College students’ passion for gerontology with scholarships to fuel their futures in the field.
The Senior Umbrella Network is a group of healthcare professionals geared toward senior advocacy. It gave $750 grants to Clari Ocasio of the Bronx and Thamar Valcin of Brooklyn.
Ocasio, 31, a junior at York College and a single mother of two, has maintained a 4.0 GPA in her major. She chose to study gerontology because, at the time, she was caring for her ailing mother and “wanted to know what was going on.”
Ever since her first class on the subject, Ocascio began to understand more. Ultimately, her mother died, but Ocascio continued her studies to help others.
“We bonded more ever since,” she said. “Although my mom is not with me anymore, I know she’s watching.”
Ocasio is currently a Medicaid service coordinator. But her long-term goal is to become a licensed social worker and advocate for seniors.
Valcin, 27, aspires to be in a geriatric care managing position. She is currently a senior at York College. While going to school full-time, she is working as a licensed nurse. She dove head first into geriatrics because she was raised living with her grandparents and helped take care of them as they got older. Now she wants to share her talents with the public and turn it into a career.
Valcin unsuccessfully applied for the scholarship in her freshman year. However, she persevered and was rewarded this time around. She maintains a 3.7 GPA at York and will apply to nursing schools next fall. She joined Eta Sigma Gamma and the National Society of Leadership and Success, two honor societies, in May.
Downtown Jamaica could be included in a tax exemption program that stands to give an economic boost to the area around York College.
Governor Andrew Cuomo created and passed a program that installed tax-free zones in designated area around SUNY campuses. When State Senator Malcolm Smith caught wind of the new venture, he proposed getting Queens in on the action.
“A university or school can be the center for economic development for a neighborhood,” he said. “York College is the center of southeast Queens.”
The program, Start-Up NY, aims to bring revenue to communities in need by giving unprecedented exemptions from sales, property, state and corporate taxes for 10 years. It also includes exemptions from state personal income taxes for employees in newly created jobs.
If Smith’s proposal is passed, York College could apply to sponsor a tax-free zone around it. Among the criteria for a neighborhood to gain the special status, it has to have the highest poverty rate out of all college neighborhoods in the borough. The York College community has a roughly 20 percent poverty rate, slightly higher than any other college community in Queens.
The initiative is designed with an eye to attracting businesses that can enhance employment opportunities for students and graduates. Retail outlets and real estate firms will not be eligible to participate, while fiber optics companies and other high tech ventures are sought.
“These are very powerful incentives,” Smith said. “If properly applied, they could be transformative for York and economically regenerative for Jamaica.”
Smith has engaged in talks with Dr. Marcia Keizs, president of York College, to execute this economic vision. The legislator said he has “no doubt” Cuomo will approve the proposal.
“There is a strong community presence and involvement in the program,” he said, “because that’s what’s going to make it exceptional and transparent.”
As Sandy barreled down on the East Coast last year, there was one thing on Helene Martello’s mind.
“Where am I going to move my car?’” she asked.
It wasn’t the first time she feared flooding.
After returning to her Hollis home from a party in 2008, Martello was surprised to find her car submerged in a flood with water reaching as high as the dashboard. “I was upset because you didn’t even think another flood would happen,” Martello, 61, said. “We’ve had sewers put in. They told us everything was going to be okay, and it wasn’t.”
In the latest community effort to get the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to solve flooding in Southeast Queens, nearly a dozen Queens leaders, led by Assemblymember William Scarborough, met with residents at York College on Thursday, February 28 to explain the importance of action before the Bloomberg administration passes its budget.
At the meeting, Scarborough revealed new legislation he penned to force the city to take financial responsibility for partly causing the flooding issue in Queens. He introduced a lawyer who will attempt to file a consolidated suit against the city, combining as many residents’ evidence of property damage they can find.
“We’re looking to get money damages for their ongoing damage of having cellars and basements that are inundated with water and have to be pumped out regularly,” said attorney Mark Seitelman.
The DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion into developing the area’s sewer system, and has about 200 projects in place for the next 10 years that are worth another billion, according to an agency spokesperson. Late last year the agency began a new pilot plan to insert three basins throughout areas in Jamaica that would collect and pump out millions of gallons of water each day.
It helped, but not enough, residents said. They want some former wells reopened, but the DEP refused to do that until 2018 when the city plans to temporarily close and repair the Delaware Aqueduct, an upstate resource where the city gets half its water.
The DEP is not responsible for the underground water, but elements like rain or snow can cause floods, a DEP representative said. The agency is testing the wells and the quality of water for functionality and at this moment is not sure if they are usable.
Former Councilmember James Sanders graduated to the State Senate in style.
Last Thursday, January 17, Sanders was sworn in at York College, surrounded by a “rainbow coalition of people” – nearly 300 of his constituents.
“We had a little bit of everybody who makes up our district,” said Sanders about the event. “Now, the goal will be to keep this grand coalition together; to ensure that all of the people who were out are allowed to partake in what our district has.”
Sanders plans to focus first on “fighting for our neighbors in the Rockaways,” and ensure the safety of those still struggling after Sandy. Despite his new position, he still intends to keep a very “vigorous” schedule, working with his constituents face-to-face.
“The people hired me not to simply be a creature of Albany, they hired me to come and meet them,” he said. “How are you going to serve the people if you don’t even know the people?”
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.”