Free mask giveaway in Glendale this afternoon

Councilman Bob Holden’s office is hosting a free mask giveaway this afternoon.

The event will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in front of Community Alliance Initiative, located at 60-35 Myrtle Avenue.

Holden’s office says participants should also bring an empty hand sanitizer bottle that can be refilled.

Participants should also wear a mask and practice social distancing during the giveaway.

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Rajkumar leads in Assembly race, Richards on top for Queens BP

Assembly candidate Jenifer Rajkumar is leading the Assembly race for District 38.

Assembly candidate Jenifer Rajkumar is leading the Assembly race for District 38.

Glendale Assemblyman Mike Miller is in the fight of his political career as he trails challenger Jenifer Rajkumar after last night’s primary.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Rajkumar has collected 2,624 votes, or 52 percent, while Miller has only 1,300 votes, or 26.8 percent.

Another challenger, queer poet and activist Joey De Jesus, received 1,108 votes, representing 22 percent of the vote.

Should Rajkumar, an attorney, adjunct professor and former state government official in the Cuomo administration, wins, she would be the first South Asian American elected to the Assembly.

A little more than 5,000 voters cast their ballot in person for this Assembly race, which indicates low voter turnout in a non-presidential cycle. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused even fewer voters to turn out than usual.

Like many other primary races, this contest will not be decided until all of the absentee ballots are counted, which could take more than a week.

Miller has represented the 38th Assembly District, which includes Glendale, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and Ridgewood, since a special election in 2009.

In the race for Queens borough president, Councilman Donovan Richards is leading all candidates with 41,915 votes, good for 37.2 percent, with 96 percent of precincts reporting. Richards and Rajkumar cross-endorsed each other in their respective races.

Trailing Donovan is former Glendale Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who has 31,781 votes, or 28 percent.

Other Democratic candidates include Councilman Costa Constantinides with 17,164 votes (15 percent), Anthony Miranda with 16,613 votes (14.7 percent) and Dao Yin with 5,028 votes (4.4 percent).

Though Richards is leading by a decent margin, we will wait until all ballots are counted to declare a winner.

The Democratic nominee will likely face Joann Ariola, the Republican’s pick, in the general election in November.

In the 6th Congressional District, which includes Glendale, Congresswoman Grace Meng defeated challenger Melquiades Gagarin and Sandra Choi.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Meng, who is seeking re-election to her fifth term in office, received 15,181 votes, nearly 61 percent of the district.

Gagarin, a progressive activist, won 5,261 votes, or 21 percent. Choi, another first-time candidate, received 4,318 votes, good for 17 percent.

 

Though the district leans heavily Democratic, Meng will still face Republican nominee Thomas Zmich in the general election in November.

State Senator Joe Addabbo, who represents Glendale, did not face a primary challenger.

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Borough president announces appointments to community board

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Acting Borough President Sharon Lee appointed 339 people to serve in Queens’s 14 community boards on Tuesday.

Of the 399 appointees, 76 are first-time members who have never served on the board, but have shown a commitment and understanding to the community’s needs.

The two-year term for these appointees run from May 31, 2020 to March 31, 2022.

The office received 595 applications, including 252 from applicants who had never served on a community board. More than 340 were from those who were reapplying at the end of their 2020 term.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee announced in late March that community board members whose terms end on March 31 would continue for an additional 60 days.

Here are Borough President Lee’s appointments for the 2020-2022 term for Community Board 5, which serves Glendale:

  • Bhubaneshor Adhikari
  • Antonetta Binanti
  • Eric Butkiewicz
  • Robert Cermeli
  • Patricia Crowley
  • Dmytro Fedkowskyj
  • Shawn Fisch
  • Sukh Gurung
  • Frederick Heller
  • Frederick Hoefferle
  • Richard Huber
  • Kinga Kurzyna
  • John Maier
  • Edgar Mantel
  • Eileen Moloney
  • Margaret O’Kane
  • Michael O’Kane
  • Michael Porcelli
  • Kelvin Rodriguez
  • Luis Rodriguez
  • Dennis Stephan
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Meng hands out PPE at Glendale Veterans Triangle

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Although the COVID-19 curve has flattened, community members still need to wear face masks, stay six feet apart with social distancing and frequently wash their hands with soap.

Today, Congresswoman Grace Meng, in partnership with Community Board 5, the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol and Glendale Kiwanis, provided 1,000 mask to Glendale residents.

Meng distributed them at the Glendale Veterans Triangle, located at Myrtle Avenue and Cooper Avenue. She also delivered masks to nearby St. Pancras Church.

“As we continue our efforts to combat COVID-19, it is vital that local residents have the PPE they need,” Meng said. “Having a face mask is essential and I encourage other houses of worship in my district to contact my office if they need access to masks.”

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Check out this gallery of the Ridgewood Reservoir

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While programming is shut down for the Ridgewood Reservoir, that doesn’t mean community members can’t engage with this important part of our community.

NYC H2O has curated a new exhibit at the Queens Museum about the reservoir, including an incredible new video.

And while the museum is closed during the pandemic, you can view the online gallery here.

Hopefully, this gallery will inspire you to look forward to visit the reservoir soon!

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SHELTER WATCH: Pol says Cooper site feels like a jail

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At last week’s Community Board 5 meeting, Councilman Robert Holden detailed his March 6th visit to the Cooper Rapid Re-Housing Center at 78-16 Cooper Avenue.

Holden, who toured the site along with Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi and representatives from other elected officials’ offices, said when he walked in he immediately saw a security station and a metal detector.

They walked to the second floor and ran into another security station. On the other side of the hallway was another security checkpoint with monitors and security guards. They found the same set-up on the third floor.

The elected officials then visited the dormitories, which had ten beds to a room. Holden noted that he felt the space was tight, and that the men were “on top of one another.”

“To me, I felt, this is not a place to live,” he said. “This looked more like a minimum-security jail.

Read more of this week’s shelter watch in the Glendale Register newspaper.

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Pol wants investigation into police response at Sacred Heart

Screen shot via Google Maps

Screen shot via Google Maps

After a concerning incident involving a stranger trying to enter Sacred Heart Catholic Academy, a local politician is calling for an investigation into the NYPD’s poor response.

Councilman Bob Holden wants the 104th Precinct to be probed for its four-hour response time after staff members at the Glendale school called 911 to report a suspicious man lurking around the facility.

Holden says that a man knocked on the door of the school at about 12:30 p.m. on February 25 “while holding a stick-like object” in his hand and wearing a bag over his shoulder.

A faculty member answered the door, followed by the man asking for directions. The faculty member, who felt uncomfortable, closed the door. The man lingered for a few minutes.

Sacred Heart faculty then called 911 twice to report the incident, but no officers arrived until after 4 p.m., according to Holden.

The 104th Precinct’s response was that a car accident with injuries took priority over the situation at the school.

“I am extremely frustrated with the lack of response and urgency from the 104th Precinct,” Holden said.

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SHELTER WATCH: Shelter opponents protest mayor’s town hall

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In the wake of the opening of the Cooper Rapid Rehousing Center at 78-16 Cooper Avenue, opponents of the Glendale shelter took their frustration directly to the mayor.

Last Wednesday, members of the Glendale-Middle Village Coalition protested outside JHS 190 Russell Sage in Forest Hills, where Mayor Bill de Blasio hosted a town hall meeting.

Among those protesting was coalition leader Mike Papa, who was collecting signatures for a petition to “remove and prosecute” the mayor for “crimes against the people of the city.”

“We took the opportunity to see the mayor face to face,” Papa said. “We’re here to let him know he’s not getting away with it.”

Among the “crimes” Papa described were closing Rikers Island and other city jails, opening homeless shelters that he said act as “halfway houses,” and signing high-priced contracts for developers to build those facilities.

Other topics that he wants de Blasio to be investigated for include the ThriveNYC program and the deal that sold the Rivington House on the Lower East Side.

“We’re going to take this to the U.S. Attorney’s office and try to get him investigated and prosecuted for it,” Papa said.

The mayor was booed and heckled by the crowd at the town hall in Forest Hills, which focused on topics like bail reform, the new borough-based jail in Kew Gardens, protected bike lanes on Queens Boulevard and the district school desegregation plan.

De Blasio defended the Glendale shelter as a way to put a roof over the heads of “working people.”

He acknowledged that people don’t want homeless shelters in their neighborhood, but blasted any notions that there were backroom “deals.”

Papa, who has been a vocal opponent of the Glendale shelter, made his goal clear.

“We want to get rid of de Blasio,” he said.

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Infit Nutrition celebrates grand opening

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Glendale’s newest health and nutrition-focused store celebrated its official grand opening over the weekend.

Infit Nutrition, located at 69-44 Cooper Avenue, offers a variety of products to help customers live a healthy lifestyle, whether their goal is to lose weight, gain weight or boost their energy.

Among the options on the menu are low-calorie, low-sugar and high-protein smoothies, teas, bowls and other specialty drinks and snacks.

Owner Jonathan Acosta, who opened Infit Nutrition in January, said the smoothies taste like ice cream and their teas taste like juice, but are all healthy. He said they put aloe in many of their products because it helps clean out the digestive system and burn fat.

“We want people to have healthier options,” he said.

Read more about Infit Nutrition’s grand opening on the Glendale Register here.

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Cooper Avenue shelter is now open

The proposed homeless shelter in Glendae on Cooper Avenue

The proposed homeless shelter in Glendae on Cooper Avenue

The Department of Homeless Services (DHS) officially opened the Cooper Rapid Rehousing Center on Friday.

The transitional housing facility at 78-16 Cooper Avenue will provide “high-quality shetler and dedicated employment services” to single adult men experiencing homelessness, a DHS spokesperson said.

The facility welcomed eight men on its opening day, and will gradually increase the number of residents over the next few weeks.

“We look forward to welcoming and supporting more neighbors in need at this location over the next few weeks,” a DHS spokesperson said in a statement. “Working together with service provider Westhab and the community, we’re confident that we will make this the best experience it can be for these individuals as they get back on their feet.”

DHS will also set up a community advisory group that will provide a phone line for community members to call with concerns or issues.

Read more about the opening of the shelter in this week’s Shelter Watch in the Glendale Register.

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