Public discussion on criminal justice reforms Dec. 9

On Monday, Dec. 9, at 6:30 p.m., the Queens Community Board 9 land use and public safety committees will hold a public forum on criminal justice and bail reforms that will be implemented in January.

Queens Senior Executive Assistant District Attorney James Quinn and Councilman Robert Holden will host the discussion.

Starting in January of 2020, judges across New York will have less discretion when a defendant first appears in court. There will be no more cash bail for most misdemeanor and felony arrests.

Location: Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd., Room 213

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Ozone Park tree lighting set for this Saturday

The Ozone Park Residents Block Association will celebrate its second annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 7, thanks to cooperation from the Ozone Park Kiwanis, the Southwest Queens Rotary, the Living Word Church, Tibbs Construction, Senator Joe Addabbo, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, and Assemblyman Mike Miller.

Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. at Living World Christian Fellowship Church (132-05 Crossbay Blvd). This will be Ozone Park’s biggest lighting event to date, complete with shows by local dance troupes, pictures with Santa, toys, free hot dogs, pretzels, Hot Chocolate and other surprises.

The Christmas tree will be lit around 7-7:15 p.m.

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Assemblyman David Weprin sponsors holiday toy drive

Assemblyman Weprin is teaming up with the Irwin Altman Middle School 172 to sponsor a holiday toy drive.

The drive is a tribute to the memory of Jason Mark. Weinstein, son of the Honorable Jeremy S. Weinstein, who served as an administrative judge for the Supreme Court of Queens County.

They are asking for new or gently used toys, books, or games for children ages 12 and under, to benefit the children of Heartshare Human Services of New York, and other programs around Richmond Hill. Many of the toys will go to children with special needs.

Donations will be accepted from now until Dec. 20 at the assemblyman’s Fresh Meadows and Richmond Hill District Offices.

For more information, contact either office at 718-805-2381 or 718-454-3027.

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Ulrich to host 2nd annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner

Councilman Eric Ulrich is hosting his second annual Thanksgiving Day dinner on Thursday, November 28 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Villa Russo, located at 101-12 Lefferts Boulevard.

The free event is held under this mantra: No one should be alone on Thanksgiving.

The councilman started the tradition last Thanksgiving after hearing from several residents who had nowhere to go on that day. More than 60 constituents joined Ulrich last year for dinner at Arabella’s Castle in Ozone Park.

“While the holidays are usually happy occasions for many of us, they can be sad or lonely days for others,” he says. “There are people in our community who suffer from depression, or have nowhere to go on Thursday. I want them to spend Thanksgiving with me.”

Ulrich, who is anticipating a large turnout, picked Villa Russo for this year’s dinner. The venue’s owners generously provided the space at no cost.

Additionally, several local businesses pledged to donate catered food for the event.

The event will provide transportation for seniors and people with disabilities upon request by calling Ulrich’s office no later than Tuesday, November 26.

Volunteers are needed for the day of to help with transportation, setting up and cleaning the venue.

To volunteer, contact Marjorie Coello at 718-738-1084 or at

RSVP is strongly encouraged for the dinner.

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QBG works with the City to place new planters on Woodhaven

The City’s Department of Transportation announced on Oct. 27 that it will install more than a dozen planters alongside Woodhaven Boulevard in an effort to add a splash of greenery to the motorway. Over the next year, the flowers will be maintained by the Queens Botanical Gardens.

Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians traveling down Woodhaven Boulevard will now see colorful and lovely new planters along the corridor.

On Monday, Councilman Eric Ulrich, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Queens Botanical Garden (QBG) announced a new project to install 15 planters along Woodhaven Boulevard from 86th Road to 88th Avenue.

“We’re really trying to add some green, beautiful space to the concrete jungle,” said Ulrich, who funded the installations. “A very busy place where I think it’s really needed.”

Read more: Leader-Observer – City QBG install new planters along Woodhaven

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Enjoy Thanksgiving Craft at Woodhaven Library

On November 21, children can enjoy Thanksgiving craft activities at the Woodhaven Library, located at 85-41 Forest Parkway.

Kids ages six through 12 can make a craft and bring more joy into the world.

The event is free. It begins at 4 p.m.

To learn more, call 718-849-1010.

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Planters come to Woodhaven Boulevard

Woodhaven Boulevard is about to become more pleasing to the eye.

By the end of the week, 15 planters will have been installed on the busiest corridor in Queens between 86th Road and 88th Avenue.

The planters, funded by $40,000 from Councilman Eric Ulrich, will be maintained by the Queens Botanical Garden for the first year.

After that, the responsibility will fall on the Woodhaven BID to care for the plants.

All partners in this project hope the planters will not only brighten up Woodhaven Boulevard, but make it safer and more inviting for residents, businesses and consumers alike.

Read more about this initiative in this week’s Leader/Observer newspaper!

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Community leaders honored at WRBA dinner dance

Photo courtesy of Assemblyman Mike Miller

On Friday, the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA) hosted their annual dinner dance fundraiser.

The following community leaders were the night’s honorees:

  • Business of the Year: M&M Hardware (Jack Moy)
  • Woman of the Year: 102nd Precinct Deputy Inspector Courtney Nilan
  • Man of the Year: Community Board 9 Chair & Queens Symphony Orchestra Board President Kenichi Wilson

Assemblyman Mike Miller, pictured above, presented citations to the honorees.

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Equity Playground NYC Soccer Initiative opens in Woodhaven

Assemblyman Mike Miller recently attended the Equity Playground NYC Soccer Initiative ribbon cutting ceremony in Woodhaven. 

The effort to bring a new mini pitch was a collaboration between the Parks Department, Miller, Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, ADIDAS, Etihad Airways, New York City Football Club and Frank DeSario, Principal of The Woodhaven Elementary School – P.S.60 Q.

“I know this mini soccer pitch will be utilized throughout the year. This is a great addition to our community,” said Assemblyman Miller.  “It is important for children to stay active during the school year, the soccer pitch’s placement next to P.S.60 will do just that.”

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Local residents honored for hair donation to cancer patients

Councilwoman Adrienne Adams and Community Board 9 honored three local sisters who donated their hair to help make wigs for cancer patients.

Safia Mohamed, 8, Saudia Mohamed, 12, and Stacey Sanichara, 26, got their hair cut free of charge at Aracelis Unisex Salon in Richmond Hill.

They then donated the hair to Erna Blackman, the co-founder of Butterflies By Blaq, a nonprofit that provides free hair replacements for children who experience hair loss due to cancer treatment.

“I am so impressed that these young women would choose to give up something so personal, especially for people they don’t really know,” Adams says.

“Sadly, many children suffer hair loss as they fiercely battle against cancer or those dealing with the effects of Alopecia,” said CB9 Chair Kenichi Wilson. “Receiving a wig made with real hair can boost a child’s confidence and help increase their self-esteem as they deal with these diseases.”

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