Family Fun Day at Rainey Park

Join the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition on Saturday, June 3rd for an afternoon of free activities and fun.

There will be crafts, face painting, cotton candy, balloon art, a children’s performance and puppet show, and more.

Stop by Rainey Park at Vernon Boulevard and 34th Avenue from noon to 3 p.m. for some fun!

Details for LaGuardia Community College’s 2018 Commencement

LaGuardia Community College President Gail Mellow

LaGuardia Community College’s class of 2018 is set to walk the stage on Tuesday, June 5 at the Barclays Center.

Nearly 2,000 graduating students will receive their associate’s degree from the college.

LaGuardia CC’s President Gail Mellow, as well as student speaker Karina Ramos-Caraballo, will deliver speeches to the class of 2018.

The keynote speaker at the commencement will be Shaun King, an advocate, writer and journalist. King gained attention for his passionate activism and columns on police violence and criminal justice.

He has launched social media campaigns bringing light to a number of incidents across the country. Learn more about Shaun King here.

The alumni speaker is Ruben Diaz Jr., who currently serves as the Bronx borough president.

City to begin master planning at Sunnyside Yard, angering local politicians

Last week, the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) announced they will begin master planning for the proposed (and massive) Sunnyside Yard development.

A team of consultants was hired to undertake the 18-month plan, led by architect Vishaan Chakrabarti’s Practice for Architecture and Urbanism.

EDC also appointed a new director of Sunnyside Yard: Cali Williams, a 10-year EDC veteran with a master’s degree in city planning from MIT.

Finally, they announced that a steering committee, made up of local leaders and planning experts, will guide the vision for the master plan.

The committee, led by Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and Amtrak Chair Tony Coscia, will be chaired by LICP President Elizabeth Lusskin and YMCA of Greater New York CEO Sharon Greenberger.

This latest update from the city angered local elected officials, who say they were not consulted about this. Here’s a joint statement from Congressman Joe Crowley, State Senator Mike Gianaris, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, Assemblyman Brian Barnwell and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer:

“We are deeply alarmed by the city’s decision to move forward to build a massive residential and commercial development in Sunnyside Yard without seeking adequate community input or establishing sufficient infrastructure and transit options for local residents who will be impacted by the project.

If the city accelerates the Sunnyside Yard project without seeking community input, it will only further contribute to the affordability and public transit crises that have created chaos for New Yorkers. We urge the city to cease development of this project until our voices and concerns have been fully considered.”

Remember that local residents and activists have already rallied against the proposed development project.

TOMORROW: LIC Partnership annual real estate breakfast

Join the Long Island City Partnership tomorrow morning at the Ravel Hotel (8-08 Queens Plaza South) for its annual real estate breakfast event.

Start at 7:30 a.m. for a networking breakfast, followed by a panel discussion from 8 to 10 a.m.

The panelists include Chris Doeblin, owner of Book Culture; James Orsini, COO of VaynerMedia; David Sharfstein, co-founder of Fifth Hammer Brewing Co.; and Charlie Stewart, co-president and CFO of Atlice USA.

Register for the event here.

CEC 30 meeting this Monday

CEC 30 is meeting on Monday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m., at PS 148 in East Elmhurst.

The agenda includes a Q&A from the Office of Pupil Transportation, the superintendent’s report from Dr. Philip Composto, and public agenda and speaking time.

For more information, visit cec30.org.

TF Cornerstone talks development in LIC

TF Cornerstone is teaming up with C4Q (Coalition for Queens) and GMDC (Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center) on a 1,000-unit development proposal on the Anable Basin in LIC.

Backed by NYC EDC, the plan seeks to transform the area into a mixed-use district with commercial and light industrial uses.

Jon McMillan, director of planning at TF Cornerstone, talked about the project with the LICity Blog on Wednesday.

He explained that this shift in building use is important. Pros of the plan include the freeing up of the subways by making people’s commutes walking distance from their homes, more employment opportunities and the preservation and creation of affordable housing.

Jon McMillan, Director of Planning for TF Cornerstone

The plan also includes the creation of an intermediate school that will seat about 600 students, performing arts and cultural space and environmental remediation and habitat restoration on the waterfront.

Many community members, including Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, are weary of the plan. They participated in a protest against the plan earlier this year. The protesters argue that this plan uses public land and adds to the overdevelopment of the area.

McMillan said he was surprised by the community’s negative reaction to the plan because some of the aspects that the community is calling for are already part of the plan.

TF Cornerstone plans to reach out to existing businesses and community members to see how they can incorporate them and involve them in the plan.

The proposals at 44th Drive need to undergo rezoning, meaning they will be reviewed by the community board, borough president and ultimately the City Council.

If all goes according to TF Cornerstone’s plan, their first building will open by 2022.

Community Board 1 to survey Ravenswood

Community Board 1 is launching a survey of Ravenswood residents, business owners and stakeholders.

The survey will ask about how community members feel about growth, housing and new development. Given the changes in Astoria and Long Island City, many residents have felt left out of the decision-making process.

The survey will give residents a chance to voice their concerns.

The survey will be available online in English, Spanish and Bengali from April 4 through April 30 on CB1’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages. Stakeholders can visit www.nyc.gov/queenscb1 to participate in the survey.

It can also be found using the mobile code shown on the flyer above.

For more information, contact Community Board 1 at 718-626-1021 or cb1qsurvey@cb.nyc.gov.

Enjoy spring break at Dutch Kills Playground

What better way to spend your spring break than at your local park!

Central Astoria LDC is hosting its “Spring Break Fun in the Park” event at Dutch Kills Playground on Crescent Street and 36th Avenue tomorrow from noon to 3 p.m.

There will be face painting, balloon art, children’s performances, crafts and canvas painting.

Best of all, the event is free!

Let’s hope the weather holds up for this fun-filled event.

Stargazing in Long Island City

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On Saturday, March 31st from 7:30pm – 9pm join the Kuiper Kat’s Astronomy group for the first stargazing session of the season at Rafferty Triangle.

The primary focus of Kuiper Kat’s Astronomy is to engage and educate the general public in astronomy, telescopes, amateur stargazing and our universe in the hope of cultivating an interest in STEM and STEM-related science.

An Inside Look at the exciting new programs at the Variety Boys and Girls Club 

Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens is  a neighborhood center that offers programs for the children in the Astoria/LIC community. VBGCQ provides a safe, active and positive environment where kids can make friends and explore and develop their passions.

The Club has partnered with local businesses to create exciting new classes, such as…

The Skanska class at the Boys and Girls Club is a virtual design class which allows children to learn about architecture in a class setting. Children at the club are taught how to virtually engineer things such as houses and tiny towns with the help of SKANSKA’s many volunteers.

The Stem program at the Boys and Girls Club helps the children become multifaceted in many subjects such as science, technology, engineering, and math. The stem program is an innovative way for children at the club to enhance their scientific knowledge.

Recently, members of the club’s earth science class and SKANSKA virtual design program participated in a weather channel experiment. Council Member Costa Constantinides stopped by the class and was excited to see “the future science leaders” in action.

The NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration Club made cups for drinking in space after learning about capillary action, surface tension, adhesion, and cohesion.

Recently children involved with this NASA / Steam program learned about walking on space and were even tasked with creating spacesuits for their “astro potatoes”.

The Steam program, much like the Stem program, helps children to become more knowledgeable of subjects such as science and math but it also focuses on things such as art.

Art Club celebrates Women’s History Month with an homage to Georgia O’Keefe.

The comic club allows children to express themselves by creating characters with their own stories. The children also learn how to improve their drawing skills.

The film club teaches children how to produce their very own shows. These children learn to produce many shows throughout the year and are currently in the process of shooting a documentary known as “ Why Me?” which focuses on how middle school students react to bullying in their school.

 

Children at the Boys and Girls club are also members of improv and drama classes where they learn how to write, rehearse, and improvise scenes.

Club Kids in these “next level” programs are learning how to creatively express themselves are making sure that they have fun in the process. These Club Kids are most certainly future science leaders in the making.

 

Variety also offers Swim Classes, Adult Lap Swim, Family Swim, and a children’s JV and Varsity Swim Team, in our beautiful indoor pool. Soccer classes, basketball classes, Capoeira, and dance classes are held in their large gym and in their dance studio.

STEAM Classes are on Saturdays in Engineering, Coding, Cooking, Film Production, & Lego Robotics.

During the weekdays, from 2:30-7pm, the club offers the largest after-school program in Western Queens. They care for nearly 200 children.  They also provide the after school programs held at IS10Q and Academy of the City, and the dance program at PS171Q.