Lancman and City Council Host Diwali Celebration

    City Councilman Rory Lancman.

    City Council Member Rory I. Lancman (D-Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica), Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and 18 Council Members hosted a celebration of Diwali at City Hall last week.

    The event featured a lamp lighting ceremony, dance performances, and the presentation of proclamations to distinguished South Asian leaders. Several dignitaries delivered remarks during the program, including Sandeep Chakravorty, the Consul General of India; Puspa R. Bhattarai, the Consul General of Nepal; and Pankaja Munde, Minister of Rural Development & Women & Children Development for the Government of the State of Maharashtra.

    Diwali, or Deepavali, has a deep significance to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists. Each legend of Diwali has the significance of the victory of good over evil; light over darkness; and knowledge over ignorance. During Diwali each year, homes are illuminated with light to celebrate this triumph.

    “Diwali is a special time when millions of South Asians all across the world rejoice and fill the world with light and love. I am honored to join the many Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists in our city who celebrate this important holiday,” said Lancman.


    Katz To Host Veterans Day Observance Ceremony

    Queens Borough President Melinda Katz/via Facebook

    Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will host her annual Veterans Day Observance Ceremony this week.

    Queens is home to more veterans than any other borough and currently has more than 55,000 veterans from the nation’s Armed Forces. In addition, in tribute to the nation’s veterans, the flags of the five U.S. military branches (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard) will be on display in front of Queens Borough Hall and in the Borough Hall lobby for one week beginning Monday, Nov. 5th.

    At this year’s event, three distinguished veterans of Queens will receive Citations of Honor during the event:

    Private First Class Luke Gasparre – United States Army, World War II
    Staff Sergeant Steven David Epps – United States Air Force, Vietnam War
    Lieutenant Sarah Bradwisch – United States Navy, Operation Desert Storm/Operation Desert Shield

    Also, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, local historian Helen Day – Vice President of the Richmond Hill Historical Society and the Vice President of Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery – will deliver remarks on the tremendous contributions Queens residents made during World War I. The armistice that brought an end to World War I took effect on November 11th, 1918. The United States annually observed November 11th as Armistice Day from 1919 until 1954, when the name of the observance was changed to Veterans Day in remembrance of the sacrifices of all U.S. veterans.

    The event is slated for 11 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Helen Marshall Cultural Center in Queens Borough Hall, at 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.

    This event is free and open to the public. Anyone wishing to attend should RSVP at www.queensbp.org/rsvp or call 718.286.2661.


    Miller Demands Increased Safety Precautions In Downtown Jamaica In Wake of Halloween Shooting

    Councilmember I. Daneek Miller

    City Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens) is pushing for a safer and more secure Downtown Jamaica in the wake of a Halloween shooting last week.

    Last Wednesday, a shooting occurred at the intersection Parson Boulevard and Archer Avenue that marred the annual festivities. The incident was just one of a series of violent attacks at the bustling commercial corridor including two prior incidents –one a fatal stabbing– within the last year. According to Miller, routine criminal activity threatens to mar economic development in the area and endanger the public.

    The local lawmaker is specifically demanding that the New York Police Department (NYPD) prioritize the public safety and quality-of-life needs of the residents in the area.

    “Two shootings and a fatal stabbing in the same location within the span of a year should make it abundantly clear to the New York Police Department that the quality-of-life in Downtown Jamaica has deteriorated and it must take immediate action to reverse this decline. Parsons and Archer serves as the gateway to our vibrant Jamaica community, but the entrenched criminal element plaguing local patrons there both undermines a myriad of recent transportation, housing, and commercial upgrades in the district and jeopardizes our public safety,” said Miller.

    “I have met on numerous occasions with senior NYPD officials to register these concerns as well as promote a community-based approach that pairs patrol officers with trained crisis management advocates who work with individuals at-risk of offending. I expect them to act promptly before another tragedy occurs,” added Miller.


    Addabbo Calls For New School Building For P.S. 47 in Broad Channel

    Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

    State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) is demanding that the students at P.S. 47 in Broad Channel receive a brand new building.

    The school’s current structure is a mix of the original building erected in 1935 and another building constructed in 1992. Poor insulation during the harsh winter months is just one of the school’s current structural issues which also includes lack of space.

    Addabbo intends to be a part of a serious discussion regarding a permanent, more appropriate structure erected for the Pre-K through 8th grade students that attend P.S. 47. The Senator believes having a newer, updated building would be beneficial to the students, faculty and staff of P.S. 47, and hopefully help increase the size of the school, since the school routinely has only one class per grade, which would benefit the Broad Channel community.

    Addabbo wants to see the brand-new building house all of the facilities that the current school is lacking.

    “P.S. 47 is a hidden gem in Broad Channel, and I want to see the school grow both in terms of space and class size. It is unfortunate to see sixth graders leave P.S. 47 for other middle schools because this school doesn’t have the necessary space. I don’t believe it’s right that P.S. 47 students are deprived of a gymnasium, auditorium, stage and lunchroom, but must use a “multipurpose room” instead. That is unfair to the students and teachers alike. An actual library in the school would be nice too,” said Addabbo.

    “I want to be involved with the process of getting a new school at this location. The kids deserve it, the teachers deserve it, and the community deserves it,” added Addabbo.

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