Woodhaven Weekend Happenings (2/15-2/17)

If you are staying local this weekend, here are some events happening in Woodhaven to get you up and out of the house:

Weekend Weather:

Friday: Cloudy with a slight chance of rain. High of 50 degrees.

Saturday: Early clouds leading to mostly sun. High of 43 degrees.

Sunday: Mixed sun and clouds leading to mostly cloudy in the afternoon. High of 36 degrees.

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Senators, assemblymen and more at the Ozone Park Residents Block Association’s Call to Action summit

The Ozone Park Residents Block Association’s Call to Action summit on Friday pulled in a crowd full of elected officials, community activists and community board members. The meeting resulted in the formation of the 5 Boro Coalition with plans to come together to be proactive and find solutions to the ongoing homelessness crisis. Four of the five boroughs were represented, with Staten Island being the exception.

Here are some photos of some of the speakers from the summit:

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.
Sam Esposito, who organized the summit in less than a week.
Councilman Robert Holden.
Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi.

5 Boro Coalition’s next meeting will be held on Feb. 23 with Brooklyn set as the next borough to host.

Stay tuned for the full article on what happened during the summit later this week on queensledger.com.

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Weekend happenings in Woodhaven (2/8-2/10)

If you find yourself in Woodhaven with nothing to do this weekend, check out these local events to get you through the cold weekend:

All weekend, businesses along Jamaica Ave. will be ready to help with your last-minute Valentine’s Day needs. From flowers at Park Place Florist and chocolates from Schmidt’s Candy to wine from Dexter’s Wine and Spirits, Woodhaven’s local businesses are sure to make your Valentine’s Day the lovliest for you and your Valentine.  💖 

Don’t forget after the weekend is over, Community Board 9, which covers Woodhaven, is set to host their monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 12 at 7:45 p.m., Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd.

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Ozone Park Block Association set to hold emergency Call to Action summit.

The Ozone Park Block Association (OZPKRBA) is calling out for all leaders and members of community boards, organizations, clubs and associations from all boroughs for a summit meeting on ways they can work together to overcome the homelessness crisis facing the city. Currently, 90 shelters are set to be opened in heavily-residential neighborhoods.

The group has a specific agenda, saying that there will be no discussion about the impact of specific shelters in specific neighborhoods or any other community complaints or issues. Rather, they plan to discuss plans of taking legal action against the City to prevent the shelters from opening. OZPKRBA recently acquired a lawyer who has found possible grounds for lawsuits and is seeking additional support from all communities impacted.

In addition to taking legal action, the association wants to discuss solutions to the crisis that they can present to the City in the future. The goal is the prevention of warehouses and hotels being used to house the homeless.

“We are not anti-homeless but we are not happy with not being consulted, not having local community board input and not helping the homeless to transition and assimilate, but to keep them oppressed and in the system. It’s time for change,” said Sam Esposito, President of OZPKRBA stated in a press-release for the summit.

Esposito has sent out letters to all senators and assemblymen across the state in addition to representatives from all five boroughs in hopes for everyone to come together to be proactive on the crisis. The goal is for one councilman, senator and assembly member to be present. Considering the objective is for all of the City to come together to solve the issue, hopes are for all five boroughs to be represented.

OZPKRBA encourages any Community Board members or those of other neighborhood associations to register in order to attend the summit by emailing OZPKRBA@aol.com. The meeting will be held on Friday, Feb. 8th at 6:00 p.m. at Deshi Senior Center, 83-10 Rockaway Blvd.

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Holiday party with elected officials on Monday

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Are you planning on attending the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association’s holiday party on Saturday? If you can’t make it, no problem! You can still attend the Holiday Party With Assemblyman Mike Miller and State Senator Joe Addabbo.

Miller and Addabbo will hold their annual Holiday Party at Woodhaven Manor (96-01 Jamaica Avenue), from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, December 17th.

Stop by and chat with the elected officials and community members.

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Criminals ‘gamble’ on Woodhaven homes this holiday season

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The most shocking thing about the video is how casual the man is while committing a crime in broad daylight.

He is unhurried and unafraid, not at all concerned that he is quite visible as he walks onto someone else’s property and steals their belongings.

One of the reasons he seems so calm is that he’s probably done this dozens of times before. In this case we know for a fact that he’s done this before, as the same exact man has been caught on video stealing packages from the same exact house in Woodhaven twice in four days.

Some of these culprits follow delivery trucks around, waiting for them to leave packages for people who aren’t home. Others are simply opportunists, looking for unattended packages sitting on people’s porches.

He doesn’t care what’s inside the package, he’s a gambler. He might get nothing or he might strike gold, and the severity of the crime and the resulting punishment if he gets caught is based on the value of the items that he steals.

But this thief was caught pretty clearly on video, and we’re hoping that someone out there will recognize this brazen thief who so calmly and casually robbed a local family of their property twice this past week.

If they do, we hope they will call the 102nd Precinct at (718) 805-3207 and pass along enough information that will result in his apprehension and conviction.

For the full story, please visit Ed Wendell’s story on the Leader-Observer website.

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WRBA hosting holiday party this weekend

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The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association is throwing their annual holiday party this Saturday!

The event will feature music, food and drinks. It will be held at the Emanuel United Church of Christ at 91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard.

And although the community will be celebrating the holidays, you can still do some good by supporting a good cause.

The American Legion Post 118 is collecting for the Veterans and this year they are accepting monetary donations (cash or check) to purchase gifts and supplies for the veterans. You can give your donation to Janet Chan-Smith either at the WRBA Holiday Party or drop it off in an envelope (Attention: American Legion Ladies Auxiliary) through the mail slot at the WRBA Office (84-20 Jamaica Avenue).

Another worthy cause is the Winter Clothing for Young Children drive hosted by former WRBA Woman of the Year JoAnn Bartos. The drive, which is hosted on behalf of Catholic Charities, will be collecting gloves, hats and scarves. You can drop off the donations at the WRBA Holiday party or at the Woodhaven Senior Center (at Woodhaven American Legion Post 118 – 89-02 91st Street) on weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm.

Don’t forget the holiday party will be held on Saturday, December 15 at noon.

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The DOT is celebrating the “success” of SBS

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One year after Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards were transformed to install Select Bus Service (SBS), the Department of Transportation (DOT) is celebrating its success.

According to a DOT progress report, the Q52/Q53 SBS has seen a 5 to 8 percent increase in ridership. Travel times have also improved by 10 percent.

Eighty-seven percent of riders say they prefer SBS, according to DOT, which brought off-board fare payment, median stations and all-door boarding to the corridor’s 30,000 daily bus riders.

“This project was a massive group effort by staff at DOT,” said agency Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, “as the project combined innovative planning and engineering with extensive repaving, street marking, expanded sidewalk and median work, which have together made buses faster and more reliable.

“While we were also relieved to see that overall traffic industries have declined,” she added, “two recent pedestrian fatalities along Woodhaven prove just how much more Vision Zero work we have to do to make this crash-prone street safer.”

Other design changes on the thoroughfare included new dedicated bus lanes, wider medians with bus shelters and longer turn bays.

According to DOT, the changes led to a 6 percent decline in crashes resulting in injuries along the corridor. Between 2012 and 2016, there were 129 people killed or seriously injured, among the highest rates in the city.

After two traffic fatalities in August and September, DOT made specific changes at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue, including adding a Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI), improved lighting and installing flexi-bollards.

Read more on the “success” on Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards on the Leader-Observer. The website also features Ed Wendall’s column that puts the BS in the SBS report.

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Participate in Women’s Empowerment Community Mural

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The Indo-Caribbean Alliance is hosting a Women’s Empowerment event to show off your creative side.

The organization is inviting all members of the community to join them on Saturday, December 1 from 2 to 5 p.m. to help paint a canvas mural dedicated to promoting women’s empowerment.

The design for this mural is presented by The Coolitude Collective and funded by Citizens Committee for New York City.

The event will be held indoors at their office and painting supplies and refreshments will be provided to volunteers.

The office is located at 131-12 Liberty Avenue in Richmond Hill.

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Lip Sync Battle at Woodhaven Library

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Does the child in your life love pretending to be the next big pop star?
If so, have them participate in the library’s Lip Sync Battle!

For those aged between 6 and 12, there will be three practices before the final lip sync battle. See if you have what it takes to become the lip syncing champion!

The first practice will take place on Monday, Dec. 3 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Woodhaven Library (85-41 Forest Parkway). The next scheduled practices will be on Monday, Dec. 10 and Monday, Dec. 17 at the same time.

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