Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Autumn Treasure and Bake Sale Oct 16-17th

SATURDAY, October 16th
9:30 A.M. TO 3:30 P.M.
SUNDAY, October 17th
11:30 A.M. TO 3:30 P.M.






KG's 2-year Water Main Project

On August 31 Dom Pistone, Al Brand and Murray Berger of KGCA met with representatives of the NYC Department of Design and Construction and of Maspeth Supply Company, the contractor, for a briefing on the upcoming Water Main Project [QED996] in Kew Gardens; also present were members of Community Board 9. Except for the five streets from Mowbray Drive to Union Turnpike, north of the LIRR, virtually all streets in Kew Gardens will be affected; Austin Street from Lefferts Boulevard to 82nd Avenue/Onslow Place, however, is also included in the Project.

The project will cost about $9.5 million (all City money) and is scheduled to begin sometime in October and continue for two years. The precise schedule of where and when the project will start and where it will proceed has yet to be determined; Maspeth Supply is looking for a store or other suitable site in Kew Gardens for a field office. All work will be done between 7:00am--3:30pm, 8am-4pm or 9am-3pm, depending on location. Printed notices will be sent to affected homeowners on blocks to be worked on. No cars should be parked on the street the night before and during the day of the construction; the work will go faster if the contractor does not have to tow parked cars. Access to your own driveway will be limited and probably unavailable during the day; access will be restored at the end of the day. DDC estimates that excavation will be done at the rate of 200-250 feet a day, which in some areas of Kew Gardens is one block, or one-half block on the longer blocks. Sidewalks are not expected to be worked on except around hydrants; any sidewalk damage will be repaired by Maspeth Supply.

At some point, the water to affected houses will be turned off for up to eight hours; notice will be given the day before. It was suggested that homeowners turn off the main valve at the water meters until notified that water has been turned on in the street, Hydrants will be opened to flush out sediment until the water runs clean. It is not anticipated that there will be a gray water problem. Homeowners with special serious needs (such as home care dialysis) that would be adversely affected by a water shutoff should contact the project manager/resident engineer in advance.

We were told that when the project is finished, all water in the Kew Gardens affected area will be City reservoir water and that there should be noticeable improvement in water pressure, since the new pipes will be 8" or 12" in diameter, replacing smaller diameter pipes that are likely to be even smaller now because they were diminished by years of corrosion. The old pipes were cast iron and the new pies will be cement-lined. One caveat: the feeder line from the water main to a house may be corroded or diminished from age, which would limit the increase in pressure. Also the new pressure could conceivably cause a breakage in the old feeder pipes and the repair or replacement would be the homeowner's responsibility.

The contractor will repave the cuts made in the street and/or sidewalks including handicapped access ramps if they are disturbed, but the streets will not be completely repaved, only the excavations. The excavations recently under way have been done by National Grid, the gas company, because any gas lines in the way of the new pipes had to be moved; National Grid is responsible for repaving any cuts they made. Complaints about National Grid work that is unsatisfactory should be made to 311 and to Karen Koslowitz, our City Council Member. A number of catch basins were recently replaced as well (we don't know by whom!) for the same reason. If you become aware of a catch basin that clogs up and may need replacement, please call 311 and then call Community Board 9 with the tracking number that you will receive from 311.
For the two "official" pages of City info (and more detailed advice), posted by the Department of Design and Construction, with a revised map showing streets affected, click below:

Monday, September 27, 2010

REZ Reading Series featured in Queens Chronicle!


A book feast for Queens literary buffs
by AnnMarie Costella, Chronicle Reporter
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Aaron Adler of Kew Gardens reads poetry during Rez’s April session. PHOTO BY CAROL LACKS" hspace=0 src="http://images.zwire.com/local/Z/Zwire2731/zwire/images/41896_G153.jpg" width=330 vspace=2 border=1>
Aaron Adler of Kew Gardens reads poetry during Rez’s April session. PHOTO BY CAROL LACKS
American academic Charles Eliot once said, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors and the most patient of teachers.” Three years ago, Deborah Emin discovered something about Kew Gardens that she found alarming — in an area where so many people love to read, there wasn’t a single book store.
Motivated by the desire to make reading not just a pastime but an event, and recognizing that the need could not be filled elsewhere in the area, she created the Rez Reading Series. “Our ultimate goal is to be as imaginative and inventive as possible in order to infuse our community with those qualities so the interaction between the series and the audience can only be one of growth and mutual assistance,” said Emin, who is Rez’s program director. The series brings authors to the community and allows them to read their works to audience members. Each event has a theme and they are held seven times a year. A question and answer session follows each reading, during which attendees can get to know the writers better and afterwards they can purchase their books and mingle with other members of the community and enjoy some refreshments. Rez originally held its meetings in the Church of the Resurrection on 118th Street, but this fall has moved to the Center at Maple Grove Cemetery. The change of scenery has allowed it to create some interesting new events. In October, for example, the group will hold a Halloween session during which participants will read the works of authors who are buried in the cemetery. “This will occur in a truly ghoulish way, guaranteed to help the audience believe the voices of the dead can be heard,” Emin said. Although Rez operates without funding and is not able to pay any of the authors, they are still able to get participants. “It’s based on me writing impassioned letters to authors and asking them to read for us,” Emin said. “I let them know that we have people who are hungry and eager to hear them talk and to talk to them.” Emin runs the series with two other volunteers — Mandy Gor and Carl Bellenas. “It is truly a labor of love for all of us,” she said. In the future they would like to record and archive the sessions, so that people could get the audio streamed directly to their computers — something Emin believes would be particularly helpful for elderly readers. Rez’s next reading will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 28 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Center at Maple Grove Cemetery, located at 127-15 Kew Gardens Road. The group asks for a $5 donation to cover the cost of refreshments and the printing of event posters. The session will feature three authors from Forest Hills: Arthur Bebell will read from his memoir “Shadows of the Past,” Teri Coyne will read from her novel “The Last Bridge” and Justin Martin will read from his forthcoming untitled biography on Frederick Law Olmsted. The event will also feature Deborah Fried-Rubin, a poet from Queens College and Douglas Rogers of Brooklyn, who will be reading from his Zimbabwe memoir, “The Last Resort.” For more information about upcoming Rez events, visit the group on Facebook or email Emin at deminlit@yahoo.com.

Spirits Alive!

A Exciting Educational Walk Through Time
An Event for the Whole Family

Join us for a unique walking tour, Spirits Alive at Maple Grove Cemetery on Saturday, October 9, 2010 from 2:00pm-4:00pm. (83-15 Kew Gardens Rd.,
Kew Gardens, NY 11415, off Lefferts Boulevard)

Spirits Alive 2010 boasts a cast of twenty three people from all walks of life, from Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley to young students from Immaculate Conception School. Actors, in period costumes will recreate the lives of some of the Maple Grove’s most illustrious and historical figures, including movie director Irving Rapper, Civil War Surgeon Dr. Dennler, noted playwright, author and poet Don Marquis, rhythm and blues singer LaVern Baker, stage, film and television actress Theresa Merritt and many more.

This year we will be introducing a new historical figure, Lucia Cataldi, the World War II war bride from Napoli, Italy and special guest President Theodore Roosevelt who will speak about his close friendship with Elizabeth and Jacob Riis.

Visitors will receive easy-to-follow maps and programs.
$5 per adult, Members and children under 12 FREE!
Contact Information: (917) 881-3358,

Friday, September 24, 2010

GROW – Generate Resources of Worth!

Grow Richmond Hill! is a coalition of social, civic and cultural organizations active here in the Indo-Caribbean and South Asian communities of Queens. This, our first event, is an outdoor, awareness Community Fair on Saturday September 25, 2010 from 12 noon to 4 PM at 103-44 120 Street (off Liberty Avenue), Richmond Hill, NY 11420. 

The sponsoring organizations are The Rajkumari Cultural Center, Richmond Hill Economic Development Council, Indo-Caribbean Alliance, Jahajee Sisters, South Asian Lesbian and Gay Alliance, South Asian Youth Action, and The United Hindu Cultural Council Senior Center. The fair is sponsored in collaboration with Assemblyman Rory Lancman. 

Grow Richmond Hill! features exciting social, artistic and cultural activities, highlighting the programs each unique organization offers for enhancing the lives of our people, and the day’s feature of  music, dance, drama and spoken-word - Tassa, Chutney, Bollywood, Bangra, Hip-Hop, Poetry and Folk Arts performances by Indo-Caribbean and South Asian Community Artists.  Folks will also have a chance to learn kick-boxing and chess, and join in painting a mural with Visual Artists.  

Representatives and activists of all the organizations will share and discuss the resources, services and opportunities offered free (or at low cost) to youth and adults:

Youth Education Programs (in-school and after-school)
·      Math, English, Science, Reading and Writing;
·      Martial Arts, Fitness and Chess
·      Training in Music, Dance, Drama, Creative Writing,
·      Visual Arts, Photography, Media And Technology Skills;

Inter-Generational Programs
·      Community events with elders passing on their memories
    of cultural traditions to younger generations;
·      Social Services that provide counseling for youth and families
    facing concerns about housing, immigration, economic problems, domestic
    violence, substance abuse, gender issues and reproductive justice. 
·      Dialogue on how we can improve quality-of-life and economic
    infrastructure development of public spaces in Richmond Hill,
    the heart of our community.

Grow Richmond Hill! is aimed at enriching and empowering the lives of our people, and building bridges of cooperation and goodwill between Indo-Caribbeans and South Asians who now share Richmond Hill and the neighboring districts.

For more information please contact:

Vishnu Mahadeo  347 323 6019  –  President   Richmond Hill EDC    RichmondHillEDC@gmail.com
Pritha Singh 718 846 5431  –  Founder    Rajkumari Cultural Center    Prithasingh@gmail.com
Faudia Baijnauth 718  820 0241  -  Community Liaison, Assemblyman Rory Lancman's District Office  faudia.baijnauth@gmail.com.

Nature's course at Willow Lake

Tuesday, September 21st 2010, 10:12 AM
WILLOW LAKE Preserve is about to get a little more wild.
The city is reforesting part of the area around the smaller of the two lakes in the southern end of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The move is expected to attract more birds, butterflies and other critters to the 106-acre site.
Officials are hoping it will also attract more visitors to organized nature walks in the area. The next one is on Saturday.
About 14 acres will be cleared of invasive plants to make way for trees, shrubs and wildflowers, city officials said. The planting will occur next year.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2010/09/21/2010-09-21_natures_course_at_willow_lake.html?r=ny_local/queens#ixzz10SCrnE00

New York's Tornado Clean-Up Will Take Weeks

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The clean-up from last week’s tornadoes in Brooklyn and Queens will take several more weeks, city officials said Thursday.
The tornadoes and severe storm that struck last Thursday resulted in over 3,000 reports of downed trees across Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Residents made nearly 8,000 calls to 311 to report tree damage. Almost 6,000 of those came from Queens. Since then, the city has delegated multiple agencies to manage recovery efforts, starting with clearing streets for emergency and civilian vehicle traffic.

At a press conference to update the media on storm recovery efforts, the city’s Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Bruno said the city is working as quickly as it can to remove fallen trees and other debris.

Read the entire story HERE. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Help the American red Cross of Greater New York Win $25,000 from Pepsi Refresh Project! 


The American Red Cross in Greater NY responds to on average 7 disasters a day (mostly fires and building vacates). Unfortunately, most of these disasters occur in low income communities. In order to better equip these vulnerable neighborhoods to better manage an emergency or disaster situation, the NY Red Cross would like to collaborate with community centers in these areas to offer free emergency preparedness classes and supplies to 2500 people. Classes will teach attendees how to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters by following a 3-step “Be Red Cross Ready” protocol.  Additionally, each attendee will be equipped with an “emergency supply starter kit” at the end of the session.

Click HERE for more info!

10th Annual Downtown Forest Hills Walking Tour by Historian Jeff Gottlieb

Historian Jeff Gottlieb at the start of the tour on Austin St & Continental Ave, in the heart of historic Downtown Forest Hills! On the left-hand site is a remarkable century-old Tudor business establishment, designed in conjunction with the Forest Hills Gardens. The same holds true with the charming late 1920s Austin Hall & Tudor Hall, designed with shops at street level & apartments above. The former Corn Exchange Bank is on the right.
To read the entire article from the Rego Forest Preservation Council Blog click HERE. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Things to do in Kew Gardens This Fall

Hi! There is so many good things to do in Kew Gardens in the Fall!

*TAKING PICTURES 1970-2010: Selections in black and white and color"
Photographs by Laraine Anne Fletcher
A reception for the photographic exhibit will be held on Friday, Sept. 10th at 8:00 p.m. at "The Gallery" of Ascend Spa, located at 82-62 Austin Street, Kew Gardens (one half block from the LIRR Kew Gardens Station).On view until November.

Laraine Anne Fletcher was born (1940) in Brooklyn, grew up in Ozone Park and currently resides in Kew Gardens. She attended Richmond High School, received a B.A. from Adelphi University and a Ph.D. from SUNY Stony Brook. She has worked professionally as an archaeologist in Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua and currently heads the Anthropology Department at Adelphi. She has also been a photographer since 1970. Her last exhibit, "México Profundo," was held at the Swirbul Library Gallery, Adelphi University, Garden City.
She began taking pictures with the reliable Pentax Spotmatic , using only available light with the classic 50mm f/1.4 lens, shooting almost exclusively in black and white and trying to Robert Capa's advice that "If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough". The switch to digital came within the last decade and, with that, an interest in color, form, and, finally, the use of the zoom lens with greater frequency. This eclectic exhibit reflects some 40 years of picture taking in black and white and color, and covers a wide variety of themes.

*KEW GARDENS (almost) FALL MUSIC FESTIVAL: Sunday, September 12, 12:30pm to 6:30pm The Kew Gardens Musicians will be playing for the 52nd time since November 2003 at Kew Gardens Cinemas Park on Austin Street, off of Lefferts Blvd, All types of music, instrumental and singing.

gather at Maple Grove, Victorian Administration Building, 83-15 Kew Gardens Road, Kew Gardens
A personal evening of remembrance of loved ones begins with a bagpipe led procession, followed by celebrations and reflections by Father Philip J. Pizzo and Mama Donna at our Story Stones, a visit to our 9/11 Memorial and a sunset Lantern Festival. After writing endearments and good wishes, glowing lanterns are launched on the lake, symbolically helping the loved one’s journey. (Co-sponsors Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery and Maple Grove Cemetery)

* FALL LANDSCAPE PAINTING, Saturday, September 25, 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM (in case of rain will be rescheduled) The Center at Maple Grove, 127-15 Kew Gardens Road, Reservations are necessary. $8, $5 seniors, members FREE,
Capture the glorious colors and shapes of fall at Maple Grove! Bring your own art materials for a day of outdoor

* REZ READING SERIES, Tuesday, September 28, 7:30 PM, The Center at Maple Grove, 127-15 Kew Gardens Road, $5 suggested donation
The REZ Reading Series, Kew Gardens' monthly reading series led by local publisher Deborah Emin, offers a warm and friendly atmosphere to listen to excellent writers read from their works, all genres. If you enjoy literature and poetry, please join us! The theme for this month is Neighbors & Notables and several local writers will be reading.

* SPIRITS ALIVE, Saturday, October 9, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM, RAIN OR SHINE
Victorian Administration Building, 83-15 Kew Gardens Road. In case of rain, Spirits Alive will be held at The Center at Maple Grove, 127-15 Kew Gardens Road, $5 per person, members and children under 12 FREE
Join us for an interactive walking tour through time. Costumed actors will recreate the lives of some of the cemetery's most illustrious and historical figures. Visitors will receive easy to follow maps and programs.

* openhousenewyork Weekend, Sunday, October 10, Walking tours at 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM & 2:00 PM, RAIN OR SHINE, The Center at Maple Grove, 127-15 Kew Gardens Road, Public invited FREE OF CHARGE
America's largest architectural and design event held in all 5 boroughs of NYC. Public invited to tour places and spaces of architecture, design and historic merit. Maple Grove Cemetery, established in 1875, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2004 and the very beautiful Center at Maple Grove is a LEED building (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Carl Ballenas, Maple Grove’s Historian, will be leading tours.

Saturday, October 16, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM, (rain date October 23), Maple Grove, Victorian Administration Building, 83-15 Kew Gardens Road, $5 per person, Members FREE (suggested age:12 years+) Carl Ballenas, Maple Grove’s Historian, will be leading this tour.

Saturday October 16, 5:00 PM—7:30 PM (rain date October 23), Victorian Administration Building, 83-15 Kew Gardens Road, $5 per person, Members and children under 12 FREE
This FAMILY EVENT includes Scary Stories, Games, Face Painting, Arts & Crafts and a Children’s Costume Parade.For those who would like to participate in the Carved Pumpkin Contest (separate categories for adults and children), please drop off your uniquely carved pumpkin, with candle, by 6:00 PM. Prizes Awarded at 7:15.PM.

* REZ READING SERIES, Tuesday, October 26, 7:30 PM, The Center at Maple Grove, 127-15 Kew Gardens Road $5 suggested donation (see September 28th for more info about REZ) Theme: Voices of the Dead: Reading the Work of Writers Buried at Maple Grove Cemetery. We will be reading writers rather than having writers read to us for this Halloween celebration of the writers buried at Maple Grove. And we do intend for it to be spooky!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Notice: No Yoga In the Park Labor Day Weekend

All, please be advised that the Yoga In the Park program will not have it's usual Saturday morning class this weekend due to Labor Day Weekend. The program will resume Saturday, September 11th.

REZ to be hosted by the Center at Maple Grove Sept 28th

This year we will kick off the REZ reading series at the lovely Center at Maple Grove! We have a great line-up of neighbors and notables who will come to read their works and sell autographed copies of their books, so please mark your calendar for this wonderful event!

See what we have in store below:


Now on Facebook!

Neighbors & Notables

The Center at Maple Grove Cemetery
127-15 Kew Gardens Road, Kew Gardens, NY 11415

Tuesday, September 28
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Arthur Bebell
Born in Brooklyn, Arthur Bebell joined the military during World War II and worked as a military photographer. He has lectured before the prestigious Nigerian International Medical Conference and introduced biofeedback and hypnosis strategies for migraines, stress and malignant hypertension, among other ailments. He will be reading from his memoir, Shadows of the Past.

Teri Coyne
Former stand-up comedian, Teri Coyne is an exciting new voice whose dark, edgy, page-turning debut novel The Last Bridge (Ballantine Trade Paperback, 2010) delves into the lengths one woman will travel to escape her past. The Last Bridge has garnered critical praise from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and The Huntington News, and was selected as a Target Breakout Book.

Deborah Fried-Rubin
Deborah Fried-Rubin is a second year graduate student in the Queens College MFA program, pursuing her interest in poetry after many years of practicing law. Last year's recipient of Queens College's Silverstein-Peiser Award for Poetry, Deborah lives on Long Island with her husband and three children.

Justin Martin
A graduate of Rice University in Houston, Texas, Justin Martin is currently writing a biography of Frederick Law Olmsted, the pioneering landscape architect of Central Park. Martin has previously written two biographies, Greenspan: The Man Behind the Money (chosen as a notable book by the New York Times Book Review) and Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, which was the basis for an Academy Award nominated documentary.

Douglas RogersDouglas Rogers is an award-winning author, journalist, and travel writer. He has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and National Geographic Traveler, among others. His Zimbabwe memoir The Last Resort was published Crown/Random House in 2009. The New York Times described it as “The best account yet of ordinary life – for black and whites – under Mugabe’s dictatorship.” He now lives in Brooklyn.

Q&A will be held after readings and autographed books offered for sale. Refreshments available; $5.00 donation encouraged.
For further information email deminlit@yahoo.com or telephone (718) 575-5417. And don’t forget to visit us on Facebook!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Local pols rap city plan to move inmates

Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 10:46 AM
THE LAST jailbirds to nest in this Kew Gardens prison were a family of red-tailed hawks.
Now, a city plan to move hundreds of inmates from Rikers Island to the Queens House of Detention is ruffling the feathers of local officials.

Read more