Rep. Grace Meng hosts supply drive for Puerto Rico

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From January 15 until February 5, Congresswoman Grace Meng is hosting an emergency supply drive to help the people of Puerto Rico following the devastating earthquake that recently struck the island.

Meng is collecting basic necessities such as water, first aid kits, flashlights, non-perishable foods, batteries, baby formula, diapers and feminine hygiene products.

Supplies can be dropped off at her Flushing district office at 40-13 159th Street, Suite C. Drop-off hours at Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico have been devastated by the earthquakes that have hit the island, and my heart aches for all who have been impacted,” Meng said. “Even more heartbreaking is that these earthquakes have struck as many residents continue to recover from Hurricane Maria.”

“We must not sit by and allow our fellow Americans to suffer,” she added. “We must assist them in their time of need.”

Civic leader Lorraine Sciulli to be honored with street renaming

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Longtime Middle Village civic leader Lorraine Sciulli will be honored this week with a street renaming ceremony.

On Thursday, December 19, at 10 a.m., 77th Street and 62nd Avenue will be renamed in her memory.

Sciulli was largely involved with the Juniper Park Civic Association and Community Board 5 for many years.

She passed away in December 2017.

Community Board 5 meeting set for December 11

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Community Board 5 is scheduled to meet for the final time this year on Wednesday, December 11 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Christ the King High School.

The board hear updates from the chairperson, district manager, local elected officials and various CB5 committees.

There will be a holiday get together (with food!) after the meeting.

As a reminder, CB5 is collecting wrapped toys or gifts for young children (newborn to 5 years old) in low-income families who are enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children’s Food Assistance Program (WIC), located at 55-05 Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood.

The board asks donations to indicate boy or girl and the age range on the gift wrap.

PS/IS 49 hosts Take a Veteran to School Day

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Last week, Spectrum and HISTORY co-hosted Take a Veteran to School Day at PS/IS 49 in Middle Village.

The outreach initiative connected veterans to fourth-grade students to hear their stories of service.

State Senator Joe Addabbo joined the activities for a Q&A session as well. Addabbo is a member of the Senate’s Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee.

“It gives the students a chance to speak directly with a veteran and learn about what it takes to be in the military, the different roles someone can have while serving the country, and to hear some incredible stories,” he said.

Adam Falk, senior vice president of State Government Affairs at Spectrum, said more than 10,000 veterans work at Charter.

“By sharing their remarkable stories of service with students, we ensure tomorrow’s leaders understand and appreciate their devotion to our nation,” Falk said.

CEC 24 to host Chancellor Carranza at town hall

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Community Education Council (CEC) for District 24 is hosting Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza on Tuesday, December 17 at 6:30 p.m.

The town hall will take place in the auditorium at PS 58 School of Heroes, located at 72-24 Grand Avenue in Maspeth.

Parents are encouraged to attend, as the chancellor will address issues and concerns regarding local schools and students.

District 24 includes the following neighborhoods: Corona, Glendale, Ridgewood, Elmhurst, Long Island City, Maspeth and Middle Village.

One of the most persistent problems facing the district is severe overcrowding, despite the construction of new additions to school buildings.

Another topic sure to dominate the discussion will be the proposal to eliminate Gifted & Talented (G&T) programs, as well as reforming the admissions process for the city’s specialized high schools.

Last year, when DOE officials presented at the mayor’s plan to reform admissions to the elite high schools at a CEC 24 meeting, parents booed and chanted “keep the test.

Carranza, in particular, has been the target of a flurry of criticism from many parents over his push to desegregate public schools.

The town hall will provide a venue for parents, officials and others to voice their concerns directly to DOE leadership.

On-site translation service will be available at the town hall.

Middle Village residents join pol to highlight animal welfare bills

State Senator Joe Addabbo was joined by animal rights advocates in Albany recently to boost awareness for a group of legislative proposals aimed at proving a better life for animals in the state. Among those bills is a piece of legislation that would ban the practicing of declawing animals.

“I appreciated speaking with a number of constituents who came to Albany from Middle Village, Glendale and other areas to fight for the rights of animals to be safe, loved and free from cruelty,” said Addabbo. “Our cats, dogs and other companion animals become loving members of our families and deserve that same kind of respect. Unless you count barking, meowing, chirping and other unique creature communication methods, our animals don’t have real voices of their own to stand up for themselves and they depend on us to speak up on their behalf.”

State Senator Joe Addabbo Jr., and Middle Village's Christina Gdisis

State Senator Joe Addabbo Jr., and Middle Village’s Christina Gdisis

One of the residents that joined Addabbo from Middle Village was Christina Gdisis, who volunteers as a District Leader for The Humane Society of the United States.

“I applaud Senator Addabbo for supporting bills that make such a big impact on the animals and people of our state,” she said. “The Humane Society of the United States provides me with opportunities to make important connections with legislators who make progressive changes for the welfare of animals. I’m happy Senator Addabbo and I can work together on these bills in our community”

The bills are, according to Addabbo’s office:

S.5084 would prohibit the declawing of cats or other animals in New York State, unless deemed medically necessary. The inhumane practice of declawing involves multiple amputations of the last bone of the cat’s digits. This ban would prevent negative health and behavior effects that could harm the animal, as well as decrease the number of animals surrendered to local shelters.

S.3201 would improve enforcement of animal cruelty by placing animal crimes under the penal code, which would provide greater accessibility of these statutes for law enforcement personnel, rather than keeping it under the state’s Agricultural and Markets law. This legislation would provide our police, judges and prosecutors with the tools they need to uphold laws that protect animals.

S.5944 would prohibit housing policies that discriminate against specific dog breeds. This proposal would help to ensure that responsible dog owners are not forced to choose between obtaining housing for their families and abandoning their beloved pets.