New medical care office opens in Ozone Park

Photo Courtesy of Sheikh Medical Care PLLC

On Monday, community members celebrated the grand opening of Sheikh Medical Care PLLC in Ozone Park.

Located at 103-02 93rd Street, the practice is led by board certified Dr. Tania M. Skeikh, who boasts a long career as an internal medicine physician.

Among the people who cut the ribbon for the new office was Councilman Eric Ulrich.

“There are so many people in this district that have been looking for a doctor’s office, and we want them to know they have a great option right here in our backyard,” he said. “Dr. Tania M. Skeikh is the epitome of the American dream, having come here from Bangladesh.

Sheikh said she’s grateful to serve the health concerns of Queens.

“It’s long awaited, but the community can rest assured a great and qualified doctor is in your neighborhood,” she said.

For more information, contact Sheikh Medical Care PLLC at 718-487-3944 orSheikhMedicalCarePLLC@gmail.com.

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Local priest to ride 100 miles to raise funds for food pantry

Screen shot via Google Maps.

A local priest is embarking on a 100-mile journey to raise funds for the parish’s food pantry.

Father Christopher Heanue, administrator at Holy Child Jesus Roman Catholic Church, is riding from the parish in Richmond Hill to East Hampton, Long Island.

Heanue is calling it “100 Miles of Hope.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, donations to Holy Child Jesus Roman Catholic Church have maintained the operation of the food pantry.

Two parishioners will join Father Heanue on the journey, which they expect to complete in 10 hours.

“These have been difficult months,” he said. “It is vital that the food pantry continues to serve those in need, and I am committed to doing all I can to keep bringing hope to our people through its service.”

To donate to the 100 Mile Ride, visit their GoFundMe at www.gofundme.com/f/100-miles-of-hope or text ‘miles’ to 718-550-6525.

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Advocates host Census “Day of Action” to get counted

Last week, Councilwoman Adrienne Adams joined the U.S. Census Bureau and Chhaya CDC to host a Census “Day of Action.”

The event focused on educating and motivating hard-to-count communities in Queens to get counted in the 2020 U.S. Census.

A current multilingual and multi-targeted campaign is underway to reach all residents, including non-English speakers, immigrants and those with limited internet access.

The campaign is educating residents about what’s at risk with the Census, including federal funding for services.

Respond to the Census online here.

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Mail collection box in Woodhaven restored

Thanks to the help of a local elected official, a mail collection box in Woodhaven has been restored.

Congresswoman Grace Meng announced earlier this week that she convinced the U.S. Postal Service to bring back the box on 98th Street and the northbound service road of Woodhaven Boulevard.

Residents in the area complained that the box suddenly went missing last month, Meng said. The congresswoman then contacted the agency and learned that it was taken away for repairs.

Moving the box on 98th Street forced residents to walk several blocks away to another collection box. It affected many seniors who were unable to walk that additional distance.

Within days, the box was reinstalled.

“This collection box serves an important need for local residents, and I’m pleased that those who use it can continue to do so,” Meng said. “Making my constituents travel further to send out their mail was a major inconvenience for them, and physically difficult, if not impossible, for many seniors.”

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Ulrich explains his “no” vote on the budget

File photo

On Tuesday night, the New York City Council passed an $88 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2021.

The budget process was particularly difficult this year given the billions of dollars the city is losing in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic lockdown.

Among the more contentious parts of the budget was the decision to cut nearly $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion operating budget.

For weeks, activists have marched and protested calling for defunding the NYPD by at least $1 billion. While the budget falls short of that, it reduces overtime pay for police officers, transfers school safety to the Department of Education and cancels two cadet classes.

In the late hours on Tuesday night, 37 members voted for the budget, while 12 rejected it. Councilman Eric Ulrich was among those who voted no. Here’s why.

“I could not, in good faith, vote ‘yes’ on the budget adoption,” he said in a statement. “These deep cuts to the NYPD budget are just insane.

“While gun violence and murder skyrocketed, the mayor and Council are catering to the demands of left-wing extremists who aim to completely dismantle the NYPD.”

Ultimately, nine members of the City Council voted no because they believe the cuts don’t go far enough. Eight members said no because they opposed cuts to the NYPD.

“This budget will more New York City a more violent place,” Ulrich added. “New Yorkers will not soon forget this betrayal of public trust and who was behind it.”

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Woodhaven BID and Queens Chamber host free mask pick-up

Yesterday, the Woodhaven Business Improvement District (BID) teamed up with the Queens Chamber of Commerce for an event that provided local businesses with free masks and other PPE.  

The masks came as part of a donation of more than 500,000 protective face masks to the Chamber from NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), which is facilitating an effort to distribute more than 4 million face coverings to small businesses across the city. The Chamber had previously distributed 200,000 masks as part of this initiative.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Queens and they have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19, here in the epicenter of the epicenter of the pandemic,” said Chamber President and CEO Tom Grech. “It is essential that we help them navigate this reopening safely, so we can get Queens back to business.”

Participating businesses received 5 masks per employee, in addition to a flyer directing them to further resources and guidance on safety measures as NYC reopens, courtesy of SBS.

“We are truly grateful for this opportunity to show our steadfast support for the Queens business community,” said Raquel Olivares, executive director of Woodhaven BID. “This is a critical time for small businesses, and we must all do our part—owners, staff, customers—to ensure a swift and safe reopening period for them.”

For more information on how small businesses citywide can still receive free face masks, visit:  www1.nyc.gov/nycbusiness/article/free-face-coverings

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Jenifer Rajkumar takes the lead in Assembly race

The unofficial tallies from yesterday’s New York primary were released by the Board of Elections, and it appears that 38th Assembly District candidate Jenifer Rajkumar is poised to make history as the first South Asian elected to the legislative body.

If poll numbers stay consistent over the coming days, as tens of thousands of absentee ballots are counted, it is likely that Rajkumar will unseat longtime Assemblyman Mike Miller. She currently holds at 2,624 votes or 52.05 percent, with 99 percent of precincts reporting. 

Miller, who has served as the 38th District’s representative since winning a Special Election in 2009, trails behind with 1,300 votes, good for 25.79 percent. Just following him is poet and Adjunct Lecturer at BMCC  Joseph De Jesus, with 21.98 percent of the vote as of early this morning.

Jenifer Rajkumar could make history as the first South Asian elected to the Assembly.

In Woodhaven’s concurrent Assembly race for District 24, incumbent Assemblyman David Weprin leads with 2,144 votes, or 46.37 percent. Weprin followed by community organizer Mahfuzul Islam at 29.39 percent and then by United Communities Alliance President Albert Baldeo at 23.96 perfect.

In a seemingly prophetic result, State Senate incumbent Michael Gianaris dispatched challenger Iggy Terranova for Senate District 12 with 14,114 votes, good for 73.6 percent. Terranova, a former DSNY official, got 4,989 votes, or 26 percent, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

With a whopping 79.52 percent, or 32,965 votes, the AP has projected current House Rep. Nydia Velasquez as the winner of the 7th Congressional District race. If she wins, this would make her 15th term in Congress.

Velasquez’s opponent is local rapper Paperboy Love Prince, who identifies as non-binary. Prince tallied in at 8,278 votes, good for 19.97 percent, with 98.33 percent of precincts reporting.

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.

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

Councilman Costa Constantinides is coming in third, with 17,164 votes, or 15 percent. Closely behind him is Anthony Miranda, with 14.7 percent, and Dao Yin, with 4.5 percent.

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Outreach provides substance abuse outpatient service via tele-practice

Alcoholism and substance abuse services provider Outreach is reminding the community that its outpatient services have continued through tele-practice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outreach says it’s offering same-day access to tele-health services on an easy-to-use platform.

Services include:

  • Medication Assisted Treatment, including induction
  • Psychosocial, Medical and Psychiatric Treatment
  • Individual and Group Counseling
  • Case Management Services
  • Vocational Services
  • Peer Services

“For those who need our services, we are here,” said Outreach president and CEO Debra Pantin. “Our staff is doing its utmost to meet the needs of those who are suffering during this very difficult time.”

Outreach serves individuals and families in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island.

For outpatient services in Queens, call 718-849-6300.

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Woodhaven Assembly candidate picks up endorsements

Assembly candidate Jenifer Rajkumar has gained several new endorsements in her bid for elected office.

Rajkumar, an attorney, CUNY adjunct professor and former state government official, has recently been endorsed by Citizens Union, a good government group.

She has also been endorsed by Councilman Donovan Richards, Eleanor’s Legacy, Stonewall Democrats of NYC, New American Voter Association, WoC for Progress, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, National Association of Social Workers, Congressman Ro Khanna, and Councilman Ben Kallos.

If elected, Rajkumar would be the first South Asian elected to the Assembly.

She is running against longtime Assemblyman Mike Miller and poet and activist Joey De Jesus.

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Ulrich appointments five women to community boards

Raquel Olivares, center, was appointed by Councilman Eric Ulrich, far right.

Councilman Eric Ulrich has announced the appointment of five women to community boards representing parts of southern Queens, including Broad Channel and Ozone Park.

For Community Board 9, Marilyn Custodio, Sister Catherine Feeney, Raquel Olivares and Alexandria Sumpter-Delves have been appointed.

Custodio is principal at PS 97 The Forest Park School; Sister Feeny is executive director of the School Sisters of Notre Dame Educational Center; Olivares is executive director of the Woodhaven BID; and Sumpter-Delves is director of the youth workforce division at Queens Community House.

For Community Board 14, Joanne Fogarty, former president of the Rockaway Point Association, has been appointed.

All community board members are appointed by the borough president, with half recommended by City Council members.

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