Tag Archives: York College

York women’s soccer defeats Sarah Lawrence for first win

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Verity Rollins

One young Cardinal proved that she can fly.

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.



Harlem Magic Masters perform for kids at York College

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Charles Osborn


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.”




Senior Umbrella Network awards scholarships to York College students

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

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.



Politician pushing for tax-free Jamaica

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

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.”



Leaders want Southeast Queens flooding fixed

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre


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.



James Sanders sworn in to Senate

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of James Sanders' Office

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?”



First city ROTC program in decades comes to York College

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Jerry Speier

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.”



Queens Courier Persons of the Year honoree: York College students

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of York College

When Sandy left thousands of people displaced, York College in Jamaica acted as one of the biggest shelters following the storm. Hundreds of York students lent a helping hand, and then some.

“We started to realize that there is power in numbers,” said Daniele Fallon, an occupational therapy (OT) student who worked with evacuees.

And the numbers grew. Roughly 130 students from the OT department, and many more from different campus organizations, alumni and surrounding schools, worked around the clock with storm victims for two straight weeks. They were provided food, clothes and most importantly, shelter.

Dr. Jean Phelps, director of student activities, oversaw a lot of the work that was being done, including an extensive collection of donations and caring for displaced children.

Phelps recalled how one evacuee told her, “You could feel the care [at York], you could feel the love. Everybody treated you with such dignity and respect.”

“[The students] really went the extra mile,” said Phelps.

The OT department collected funds reaching over $1,000 and used the money to purchase new jackets, toiletries and anything else that their guests needed.

“We were trying to tap into the unmet needs of individual people,” said Fallon.

York’s “Helping Hands” club collected items for evacuees, and also for York students that were affected by the storm. The Seek Student Society also assisted in collecting and distributing items, along with donating a significant amount of their time.

With Sandy hitting just before Halloween, the students organized a party for the kids, complete with costumes and trick-or-treating. They also created a “fun room” for the kids where they had movies playing around the clock and, for a few hours each day, other activities such as face painting.

After York’s two-week stint as home for over 1,000 evacuees, students continued to work to provide for those who lost everything. They continued to collect donations, both goods and money, and personally delivered them to the Rockaways.

“Boxes just kept coming in,” said Fallon. “It’s always nice to see that there are people just willing to jump in and help.”

“I have a feeling that people will remember this experience,” she added. “The next disaster that strikes within our community, you can see that it just takes a few people to get the ball rolling.”

More Queens Courier Persons of the Year:


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

EVENT of the DAY: Live at the Gantries Groove to a free jazz performance by talented students and staff members from the York College Music Department in the great outdoors. Expect a mix of traditional jazz from the blues, swing and fusion. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Racino at Aqueduct Race Track in Queens draws a record 1 million customers in July and generates nearly $60 million in net revenue for the month

July was a jackpot month for the racino at Aqueduct Race Track in Queens. More than 1 million customers visited the racino in July — the highest monthly total ever recorded by one of the nine virtual casinos in New York. Read more: New York Daily News

Police seek suspect in Queens assault case Police are looking for a suspect in an alleged assault in Queens. Authorities say a woman was attacked around 9:30 a.m. Monday at 131st Avenue in Laurelton. Read More: NY1

Queens native to participate in texting competition 

Kent Augustine is out to prove he’s 1NAM. That’s “one in a million” in texting lingo. The Jamaica, Queens, native is an avid texter. He can type 3.5 characters per second. At the LG U.S. National Texting Championship in Times Square on Wednesday, he’ll find out if that’s fast enough.Read more: New York Daily News

Queens man takes $20G in suit against Subway where he found knife in bread

That’s a lot of $5 footlongs! The Subway sandwich chain has cut a deal to pay $20,000 to a Queens man who filed suit after finding a serrated knife baked into the bread of his “cold cut combo” in 2008. New York Post

Missing Queens dog found a year later – in North Carolina

Queens dog owner whose adopted pooch disappeared more than a year ago received incredible news last Thursday — Annie, a cream-colored, 6-year-old Westie-Mautese mix, had been found along a North Carolina highway. Read more: Pix11

Thousands show up to York College job fair

| sLieberman@queenscourier.com


After a quarter century, Margaret Jones’ job was outsourced, and now she’s finding the online employment search very difficult.

“It’s impossible if you don’t have the personal touch,” she said.

But job fairs hosted by the New York State Department of Labor are imbuing her with a new hope.

“I’m going to get a job,” she said at York College on Thursday, June 7, when seven statewide simultaneous job fairs brought out 375 potential employers. “I can’t afford to be unemployed. It’s good to know that the government is helping us.”

Meva V. Foster, a resident of Rosedale, has been unemployed for the past two years and sends out a new application for a job every day.

“It’s so frustrating, but you can’t give up,” she said. “I hate staying in the house, I hate calling unemployment.”

She said the job fair provided her with an opportunity to get her resume seen on-site by employers; some even offered interviews.

The New York State Department of Labor is also involved with a program called NY Youth Works, which gives businesses up to $4,000 ($500 dollars a month for eight months) in tax credit to hire eligible job seekers ages 16-24. The program has 10,500 certified Youth Works jobs ready statewide to be filled by local talent.

“I have more jobs than kids right now,” said Rachel Gold, special counsel for the Department of Labor. “The youth aren’t hearing us, so we’re trying now to reach out directly to them.”

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Transgender Community Speaks Out Against Stop-And-Frisk

Members of the transgender community gathered in Queens Thursday to raise awareness of the abuse they can suffer during stop-and-frisks. Make the Road NY officials say the 115th Precinct, which polices Jackson Heights with the 110th Precinct, has the third-highest rate of stops in the city. Read more: [NY1]

Ex-Coast Guard member sent to jail for executive-style murder of a childhood friend

A former member of the US Coast Guard was dishonorably discharged — to prison — by a Queens judge for the executive-style murder of a childhood friend. Read more: [New York Post]

Korean-speaking man busted for charging immigrants to translate at Elmhurst Hospital 

A Korean-speaking swindler was busted at a Queens hospital after he reportedly tried to fleece non-English speaking immigrants, hospital officials said. The man had been repeatedly spotted offering to translate between staff at Elmhurst Hospital Center and Korean speakers for a $240 fee, said hospital spokesman Dario Centorcelli. Read more: [New York Daily News]

Police Search For Queens, Brooklyn Business Robber

The NYPD is asking for help finding the armed man they accuse of robbing several businesses in Queens and Brooklyn last month. Read more: [NY1]

Outpouring of donations for Rockaway family who lost son 

Tammy Benitez thought her son could beat the odds. Christian Benitez, a precocious teenager who dreamed of serving in the military, suffered since birth from numerous heart defects but never let it hamper his blossoming social life. Read more: [New York Daily News]

Department Of Labor Holds Job Fair At York College

As part of Governor Cuomo’s NY Works program to put New Yorkers back to work, the New York State Department of Labor hosted a job fair at York College Thursday. Watch video: [NY1]

Iraq veteran is valedictorian at York College

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

York College Commencement 2012.

While leading a patrol on a well-known supply route in Iraq from Fallujah to Ramadi, Marine Tony Wan spotted a slight disturbance on the path.

Following his training to question his suspicions, he drove closer.

When he realized it was an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) it was too late, and before he could turn back and finish yelling “I-E-D” to his comrades, his Humvee exploded.

Wan, now a 25-year-old resident of Fresh Meadows, survived the explosion with a minor concussion. In fact, it was the second explosion he’d survive while on tour in 2006.

“Going in I felt we were ready and well trained, but it was different than we expected,” Wan said of his tours.

During a later expedition Wan’s company lost two men, one his best friend, and today he wears a bracelet to commemorate them.

“It reminds me of the sacrifice that Marines like them make,” he said of the memento.

The veteran returned home after a second tour and enrolled at York College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY), in 2009.

Fast forward three years, and when York College hosted its 42nd commencement exercise for its largest graduating class on June 1, Wan was the valedictorian with a 3.99 GPA, standing out among the sea of 1,000 caps and gowns.

He was the first member of his family to earn a college degree.

For Wan, who majored in chemistry, the graduation marked a turnaround in his life.

Years earlier, he was struggling to graduate from Benjamin Cardozo High School. Ironically, he “failed chemistry three times,” and had to make up classes.

He voluntarily enlisted in the Marine Corps, because he realized his parents couldn’t afford to send both him and his brother to college.

However, he said the military was a positive experience, which enhanced his personality.

“Through the military I learned discipline and perseverance,” he said, which were the driving forces behind his return to the classroom.

With certificate in hand, he aims for a new goal — to go to medical school so he can help other veterans.


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee: Arvind Mahankali of Queens finishes third for second straight year

New York’s reigning wordsmith again came achingly close to a title at the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday, notching a third-place place finish for the second straight year. Arvind Mahankali of Bayside Hills, Queens, who was sponsored by the Daily News, sailed through his third national bee until well into Thursday night’s finals – aired live on ESPN – when pronouncer Jacques Bailly hit him with “schwannoma,” a tumor of the sheath of the peripharal nerve. Read more: [New York Daily News]


P.S. 174 Teacher Now Accused Of Molesting Five Boys

A Queens elementary school teacher arrested in February is now accused of molesting a total of five boys. 49-year-old Wilbert Cortez was originally charged with fondling two young boys in his classroom earlier this year. Read more: [NY1]


Deli fury at city’s ‘grocer’ injustice

Big Apple deli owners yesterday cried foul over Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to ban them from selling sugary drinks that are more than 16 ounces — a rule that wouldn’t apply to “Big Gulp” king 7-Eleven and other grocery stores. Read more: [New York Post]


State Senator’s husband tells cops he was mugged at Aqueduct racino 

A casino may be the perfect place for bluffing, but not when guns and the law are involved. The husband of a Queens lawmaker claims that he was recently mugged at gunpoint in the parking lot of the Aqueduct racino. Read more: [New York Daily News]


Decorated Marine named valedictorian of York College in Jamaica 

A decorated former Marine corporal who served two tours of duty in Iraq has overcome yet another challenge: college, and with flying colors.Chemistry major Tony Wan, 25, of Fresh Meadows, was named valedictorian of his class at York College. Wan, the first college grad in his family, is to accept his diploma on Friday. Read more: [New York Daily News]


Man Who Hijacked Plane In 1968 To Be Re-Sentenced

A federal appeals court ordered a new sentencing Thursday for a man sent to prison 15 years ago for hijacking a plane from New York to Cuba in 1968. Authorities say 69-year-old Luis Armando Pena-Soltren hijacked the plane to Cuba after it took off from Kennedy Airport. Read more: [NY1]

A basketball player kids have to look up to

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ photo by Liam La Guerre

There’s more than one reason for kids to “look up” to 7’3” Curtis Johnson.

Johnson, a Queens resident and former Red Storm big man at St. John’s University, will perform in entertainment basketball games at York College on June 4 and 6, to amuse and mentor kids from Pre-K to eight grade.

“I just want to teach them to respect each other, respect themselves and each other and just to have fun,” Johnson said about the show’s purpose.

Johnson also wants to spread positive thinking to the kids by letting them know of his philosophy that life has unlimited possibilities – a message he lives every day.

Johnson had big dreams after graduating St. John’s with a Bachelor’s degree in theology.

He went to try out for various professional basketball teams, even as far as Fujian, China, hoping to make his way through the system and hit the hardwood of the NBA.

Although he can dunk without leaving his feet, injuries plagued the 7-footer.

“I thought I would be an NBA player and maybe a pastor someday, but life didn’t turn out that way,” he said, adding “but I didn’t get stuck there.”

When basketball was a no-go, Johnson began seeking professions he believed would give him stable hours and keep him away from the doctor’s office — like jobs on Wall Street.

He was already working part-time as a clerk for Morgan Stanley, but in 2005 he became a financial analyst, re-reading contracts for Lehman Brothers.

His time in the financial sector came to an end in 2008, just before the company filed for bankruptcy, but he enjoyed it, he said.

“I always had a deep interest in business,” Johnson said. “It’s always interesting to me how you could start off with a small investment and end up with a large return. It’s really ‘the sky is the limit.’”

Next he landed a job delivering various newspapers for several months in Westchester and then after that he began working in security.

While working as a bouncer at a Korean nightclub last year, he was given a unique opportunity to compete in a traditional Korean Ssireum wrestling tournament.

One day the club owner asked Johnson if he was interested, to which Johnson replied “Yeah, you only live once.”

“I realize that for me basketball is a tool,” Johnson said about his worldly adventures and various jobs. “You can do whatever you want in life. There are no limitations.”

During his time away from professional basketball Johnson played part-time for the entertainment basketball group, Harlem MagicMasters, and now he wants to do it full-time.

“Entertainment basketball is something a guy like me could do for the rest of his life,” he said. “We make a lot of kids happy. It’s very emotionally rewarding.”

The basketball group also thinks that Johnson will help convince kids to focus on positive thoughts.

“If people like [Johnson] come into the gym and they talk to the kids and tell them do not attempt to use any type of drugs or alcohol, don’t bully or tease your fellow classmates, then the lessons resonate,” said Jay Bryant, Vice President of the Harlem MagicMasters.

Johnson enjoys traveling up and down the east coast and sometimes the mid-west with his teammates, spreading their message to kids, but also personally motivating them with his own life.

“I’ve always wanted to help motivate and help other people,” he said. “I realize that even though I’m not an NBA basketball player I could still promote what we do — and do it well.”

Courier Happenings

| aaltman@queenscourier.com


‘Temptation of the Muses’


At 8 p.m., The LaGuardia Performing Arts Center’s Mainstage Theater, located at 31-10 Thomson Avenue in Long Island City, presents two acclaimed Asian music and dance groups — the Ahn Trio and the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company — in a cross-cultural program. The artists will perform “Temptation of the Muses,” an imaginative piece that draws from poetry, drama, music and dance and brings an artful fusion of Eastern splendor and Western dynamism. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company fuses the freedom of American modern dance with the grace of Asian art. The three sisters who make up the trio — violinist Angella, cellist Maria and pianist Lucia — are known for performing a diverse set of genres, ranging from classical to popular music.

Photo courtesy of The LaGuardia Performing Arts Center



Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m., Queens Theatre, located at 14 United Nations Avenue South in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, presents SPENT. Straight from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival comes the U.S. premier of this hilarious, witty and quick political satire about the greed and corruption that started the worldwide financial crisis. The show features two actors playing 20 different characters, each from different parts of the world. SPENT won Toronto’s Dora Award for Best Performance. Tickets for this show are $25.

Photo courtesy of the Queens Theatre

Friday, March 9

At 8 p.m. Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, is hosting The Queens College Orchestra. Lead by music director Maurice Peress, the classical music group will feature solos from violinist Alicia Bisha as well as music by Beethoven, Mozart and Wagner. This event has a suggested donation of $20 for non members and $10 for members.

Friday, March 9 thru Sunday, April 29

Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, invites you to experience nomadic life in Turkey through a display of handmade carpets and textiles from this exotic region. Beautifully crafted pieces of functional art will be on display, including two recreated dwellings. The textiles will also be joined by ancient ceramics, glassware and metal objects. Suggested admission for this event is $5.

Saturday, March 10

At 2:15 p.m. Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, invites you to enjoy Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a bilingual show presented in both English and Spanish. This family-friendly performance features the award-winning SEA Teatro, a group that has performed in New York, Florida and Puerto Rico for over 25 years. Tickets are $12 for non members and $10 for members, $8 for non member children and $6 for member children.

At 6:15 p.m., St. Josaphat’s Church, located at 210 Street & 35 Avenue in Bayside, will host an organ recital by David Crean of Manhattan’s renowned Juilliard School. Crean will entertain the crowd with music by Bach, Brahms, Strayhorn, Gabrieli, Boellmann and Widor . For more information, call 718-229-1663. All are welcome to attend and admission is free.


At 7:30 p.m., The Zucker Hillside Hospital’s Sloman Auditorium, located at 266th Street and 76th Avenue in Glen Oaks, presents “How to Work and Still Keep Your Benefits,” in conjunction with the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Queens/Nassau. This program will teach attendees about how to hold a job while maintaining their benefits from a field expert, well versed in work incentives. The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Queens/Nassau is a non-profit organization that provides support, education and advocacy for families of residents suffering from mental illness. For more information, call 718-347-7284.

Wednesday, March 21 thru Monday, March 26

The Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum located at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale, invites you to experience the magic of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. This once in a lifetime event, called DRAGONS, celebrates the Year of the Dragon through astonishing feats and acts of bravery. Tickets range from $20 to $150. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.Ringling.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

Friday, March 23

7 p.m., York College Performing Arts Center, located at 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard in Jamaica, presents James Spaulding, a jazz saxophonist and flutist who has established himself as a masterful soloist for ensemble performances. Originally from the Indianapolis, Indiana area, Spaulding is a modernist with solid roots in classical jazz. This performance has a suggested donation of $10.


At 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Queens Theatre, located at 14 United Nations Avenue South in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, presents Tom Wopat, the next installment in the theatre’s Celebrity Series. Wopat, a seasoned stage star whose credits include “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Guys and Dolls” and television credits include “Dukes of Hazzard” and “Cybill,” will perform a concert of Broadway hits and standards from the 40s and 50s. Regular tickets for this show are $44 and Producer’s Circle tickets are $60.

Photo courtesy of the Queens Theatre

At 7 p.m., Community House, located at 15 Borage Place, presents its annual Casino Night. All funds raised at this event will help finance the upkeep of Community House’s facilities. Companies interested in participating in this event should call 718-268-7710 or visit www.thecommunityhouse.net.


At 7 p.m., Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, presents J.H.S. 189’s production of Guys and Dolls JR. Watch as a talented cast of young actors, singers and dancers performs this Broadway classic. Set in New York City, the show tells the story of gamblers and missionaries, love and adventure. This show is free to the public.


From 2 to 5 p.m., Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, presents Celebrate Spring, an interactive arts workshop open for all ages. Make Mexican paper art with skilled artisan, Aurelia Fernandez, who will teach children and adults alike how to create animal hats from paper and found objects. Learn about instruments from Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia and get a chance to build your very own pentatonic panpipe, called a palla. Juan “Pepe” Santana, a skilled musician, will teach attendees how to play simple Andean melodies on their newly crafted instruments. No previous musical training is necessary.


At 2 P.M., Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, presents mirror of another world, textiles and costume traditions in early Central Asian photography. Look through scholar Andrew Hale’s archives, the largest private collection of 19th and early 20th century central Asian images in the United States. Hale will discuss how these photographs document Central Asian costume and textile trends. This event has a suggested donation of $5 for members and is free for students.


From 2 to 5 p.m., Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, presents Celebrate Spring, an interactive arts workshop open for all ages. Felipe Rengel will lead a fascinating workshop on the Puerto Rican tradition of Vejidante, a celebration using masks. Attendees will be allowed to create their very own masks as well as learn about the history behind them. There will also be a demonstration on colorful Mexican flowers and paper banners, typically used in weddings, holidays and other celebrations. This event is $10 for non-members and free for members.


At 7:30 p.m., The Zucker Hillside Hospital’s Sloman Auditorium, located at 266th Street and 76th Avenue in Glen Oaks, presents “Planning for Exceptional Families,” in conjunction with the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Queens/Nassau. This program will teach attendees about how to care for a loved one who has special needs, touching on the sensitive subject of a family member’s care after you pass. This forum will help put those facing these challenges at ease and provide them with the necessary information to make good choices now for the future. Ellen Victor, an attorney specializing in elder law and estate planning will be in attendance to provide advice and support. The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Queens/Nassau is a non-profit organization that provides support, education and advocacy for families of residents suffering from mental illness. For more information, call 718-347-7284.


At 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Queens Theatre, located at 14 United Nations Avenue South in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, presents Janis Ian, the next installment in the theatre’s Celebrity Series. Ian is a Grammy Award-winning folk music legend and the genius behind “At Seventeen,” “Society’s Child,” “Stars” and “Jesse.” She will perform several of her greatest hits as well as a bevy of other classic tunes. Regular tickets for this show are $44 and Producer’s Circle tickets are $60.

Photo courtesy of Peter Cunningham

At 6 p.m., the Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC), located at 228-06 Northern Boulevard in Flushing, presents the Friend of the Environment Earth Day Reception. This celebration will honor Central Veterinary Associates who have provided care for all of APEC’s animals for over 15 years. Admission for this event is $25 per person.

At 8 p.m., the Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC), located at 228-06 Northern Boulevard in Flushing, presents the John Flynn Earth Day Concert – Folk Music For the Earth. Listen to the music of legendary folk singer John Flynn, performing his hits as well as country and love songs. Admission for this event is $25 per person.


At 10 a.m., the Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC), located at 228-06 Northern Boulevard in Flushing, will host their Earth Day Walk for APEC. Join APEC on a fun, leisurely walk along Little Neck Bay and help raise funds for APEC. Trainers from Bayside’s Bell Plaza Sports Club will be on site to lead stretches and warm-ups just before the walk. This activity has a fee of $10 per person.


At 7 p.m., York College Performing Arts Center, located at 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard in Jamaica, presents the Clifton Anderson Quintet. Anderson, who began playing the trombone at age seven, attended the prestigious Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, studied with Simon Karasick and Dave Schechter at Stony Brook University, and graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in 1978. He has performed with a diverse group of musical talents, including Stevie Wonder, Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Simon, Muhal Richard Abrams, WyClef Jean, and Dionne Warwick. Anderson racked up several Broadway credits during his career, including Dreamgirls and Nine. Tickets for this show are $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.