“Who Killed Malcolm X?” episode screening this weekend

New York State Senator James Sanders Jr. will host a free screening of an episode of the new Netflix docuseries, “Who Killed Malcolm X?” this Saturday, March 14.

The episode will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the show’s directors, Rachel Dretzin and Phil Bertelsen, as well as a key figure in the series, Abdur-Rahman Muhammad. 

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance has said that he will re-open the case and into the assassination of Malcolm X, and this weekend’s event at The Black Spectrum Theatre (117-01 Baisley Blvd.) follows recent news from Senator Sanders regarding the criminal justice system.

During his remarks at the 55th Annual Commemoration of Malcolm X on Feb. 24, announced two pieces of legislation he introduced to the state legislature that will promote truth and justice for unsolved civil rights crimes, further preserving the legacy of Malcolm X.

Both of the bills are modeled on current federal law.

Time: 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

You Must RSVP to attend. Please call 718-523-3069 or 718-327-7017 and speak to a staffer. Do NOT leave a message.

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Spring Forward 5 & 10 mile run on March 8, registration open

Queens Distance Runners and the Woodhaven BID are sponsoring are inviting residents to welcome Spring with five and ten mile runs through Forest Park on March 8.

Starting from the Woodhaven Boulevard side, runners will pass by Victory Field Track, heading through the hills of Forest Park Drive.

The course continues to Metropolitan Avenue, making a turnaround back toward Woodhaven Boulevard, completing one 2.5-mile loop of the race.

For more information, and to register for a run, visit bit.ly/woodhavenrun.

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No-cost mammograms coming to Ozone Park

A mobile bus providing no-cost mammograms and clinical breast exams is coming to the neighborhood.

Councilman Eric Ulrich is teaming up with the American-Italian Cancer Foundation to bring the bus to Ozone Park on Friday, March 6 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

It has been more than a decade since Ulrich first brought the initiative to his district in 2009. His Ozone Park district office is located at 93-06 101st Avenue.

Here are the eligibility requirements:

  • Women aged 40-79 with health insurance
  • Women aged 50-79 without health insurance
  • Currently living in New York City
  • No mammogram in the past 12 months

No-pays are required, and deductibles are waived. Uninsured patients are also welcomed.

To schedule an appointment, call the American-Italian Cancer Foundation at 1-877-628-9090.

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Comptroller to host Woodhaven stakeholders roundtable

Comptroller Scott Stringer is hosting a Woodhaven Roundtable tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Woodhaven Manor, located at 96-01 Jamaica Avenue.

The event will be an opportunity for community members to voice their concerns and issues in the neighborhood.

Community board members, local businesses and civic leaders have all been invited to the meeting.

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Free jazz concert at Neir’s Tavern this Saturday

Courtesy of Newtown Historical Society

In honor of Black History Month, the Newtown Historical Society is hosting a free jazz concert at Neir’s Tavern this Saturday, February 8 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The event will feature the Carl Bartlett, Jr. Quartet. You can learn more about the quartet here. They’re expected to play original compositions, as well as classics that we all know and love.

The concert has no cover. And you can enjoy brunch at Neir’s from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. while enjoying some great tunes.

You won’t want to miss this great, free event this weekend!

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Signups for W.O.R.K.S. Little League open this Friday

W.O.R.K.S. Little League has been a part of the communities of Richmond Hill and Woodhaven since 1958. In 2002, they merged with Ozone Wakefield Little League. They now serve Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens and South Ozone Park.

The league offers T-ball, girls softball, Baseball and Challengers to kids ages 4 to15.

Today, W.O.R.K.S. announced registration dates for the 2020 Spring season, which will take place at 84-01 Jamaica Ave. in Woodhaven:

Friday, February 7, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Thursday, February 13, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Friday February 21, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Saturday, February 22, 2pm to 4pm
Friday, February 28, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Make sure to bring proof of your child’s age (passport, birth certificate) and proof of residence (cable bill, rent or maintenance charge receipt, utility bill, etc.). Only cash, check or money order accepted.

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New industrial center opens thanks to state funding

A new affordable industrial center has opened in Ozone Park, thanks to funding and support from state agencies.

Last week, the nonprofit industrial developer Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) marked the site’s opening along with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and a slew of government officials.

The 85,000-square-foot facility will provide affordable space to more than two dozen local small and mid-sized manufacturing businesses.

The 113-year-old factory site was renovated with $11 million in investments from the state.

The industrial center is spread over three buildings and spans an entire city block. It will be leased to woodworkers, artisans, custom fabricators and other entrepreneurs.

Officials estimate it will provide about 80 jobs at the facility.

Read more about the industrial center in this week’s Leader-Observer.

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Young constituents donate hair to Butterflies by Blaq

On Tuesday, Councilman Adrienne Adams hosted a hair donation event where young people donated their locks to a local nonprofit.

Thanks to free haircuts and styling from Aracelis Unisex hair salon, every young person was able to donate hair to Butterflies by Blaq, which provides high-quality wigs to children with medical conditions.

The group was formed in 2012 by Erna Blackman, a former volunteer at American Cancer Society, to assist children coping with hair loss.

At the event, Saaya Kanhoye, 14, donated 14 inches of her hair. Her 9-year-old sister, Shaila, donated 35 inches of hair.

“Hair donors like Shaila and Saaya are important to us because longer hair donations are the building blocks of wig creation,” Blackman said. “Most of the girls that request our services now want longer hair. Although we accept and are grateful for 10 inches, the desired lengths are 12 inches or more.

“We love it when we meet young people who feel the need to give back,” she added. “People helping people makes the world a better place.”

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Historic Neir’s Tavern saved at the last minute

File photo

UPDATE: Neir’s Tavern was saved thanks to a last-minute handshake deal between Loy Gordon and the building owners, Henry and Ken Shi.

Read more about the circumstances of their deal in this week’s Leader-Observer newspaper!

Woodhaven, and New York City generally, was met with some tough news this morning.

In an email sent to his subscribers, Neir’s Tavern owner Loycent Gordon announced that the 190-year-old legendary establishment will close its doors on Sunday, January 12.

Gordon informed longtime supporters of the tavern that he will step down as owner, and has no one to replace him.

“I’ve been unable to obtain an affordable long term lease to reach our goal of the 200th anniversary in 2029,” he wrote.

Gordon said he had been operating month-to-month with unaffordable rent and insufficient sales to overcome net loses. And due to increasing personal obligations, he wrote, he no longer has the time to overcome the increased business challenges.

“Everyday I pray I would find a way to dedicate more time to overcome these challenges until yesterday I had to face the truth,” he wrote. “But I have no more money after Sunday.

“I’m sorry I let you down,” Gordon added. “But I’m grateful for all the memories we’ve created together saving Neir’s Tavern the last 11 years I’ve been here.”

After learning the shocking news, our friends at the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society released the following statement:

On Twitter, fans of the historic institution expressed sadness that the bar would close. Some called for more media attention, and others are asking for help to save it.

Loycent Gordon, center, with Ed Wendell of the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society, left, and State Senator Joe Addabbo, right.

In May 2016, supporters hosted a rally to call for the landmarking of Neir’s Tavern. Though they ultimately failed, they made the point that it’s important to reserve historic links to any community’s origins.

As Ed Wendell noted in his February 2019 column in the Leader-Observer newspaper, Neir’s was around even before the neighborhood was called Woodhaven. It opened in October 1829 as The Blue Pump Room.

Neir’s was located across the street from the Union Course Race Track, which Wendell said drew more than 70,000 people to the neighborhood.

Throughout its 190-year history, it has had many notable moments, including Mae West’s first professional appearance and its prominence in the film “Goodfellas.”

Neir’s Tavern organized a celebration for its 190th anniversary

Just this past September, Neir’s celebrated its 190th birthday with a block party, featuring music, games, a bouncy castle, food and more.

Wendell wrote that the celebration served as a kickoff to the 10-year countdown for the establishment’s 200th anniversary.

Sadly, Neir’s Tavern won’t get to reach that milestone, barring a last minute “miracle,” as Gordon wrote in his email.

Again, Sunday will be its last day. We hope it receives a proper sendoff from Woodhaven and beyond.

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Property tax exemption workshop tomorrow

New York State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) will be hosting the first of a three part event series with Department of Finance to assist homeowners in reducing their property taxes and to aid tenants in applying for a rent freeze.

The first event will be held at Battalion Pentecostal Church, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 7. Please review the flyer above, which lists all of the necessary documents needed in order to receive assistance.

To RSVP, call Senator Sanders’ Office at (718)-327-7017 or (718)-523-3069.

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