2016-10-19 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Historic Site For School

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette.
October 12, 20I6
Lorraine Grillo
President, New York City School Construction
Authority
30-30 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101

Dear President Grillo,

I write regarding the proposed construction of a new middle school in Sunnyside, Queens located in the district I represent in the New York State Senate.

As you are aware, I have long been an advocate for new schools to be constructed in western Queens to keep up with the growing demand, and have joined the residents of Sunnyside and Woodside in celebrating the announcement of a new educational institution being created in a growing community that truly needs it.

This new school, to be built at the site of the former Clarence Stein Sunnyside Community Garage, will reduce overcrowding in existing schools and provide families and their children with a new space where they can learn and excel.

Some residents, however, contacted my office to voice concern over the proposed construction plan, specifically regarding the proposed demolition of the existing structure at that site, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These residents expressed a desire to see some aspect of the historic structure remain a part of the new school building.

I respectfully request that your office review the proposed construction plan to see if there is a way to unite what is best about our community’s past with what is best for our future in the design for the new school our community is exceedingly grateful to receive.

Thank you in advance for your consideration. Sincerely,

Michael N. Gianaris
State Senator

SHAREing And CAREing

To The Editor:

On November 9th, 2016 at Riccardo’s by the Bridge SHAREing and CAREing will celebrate its 22nd year as a local, grassroots organization supporting families stricken by breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.

For the past 18 years. I have served side by side with our President, Anna Kril, in supporting the cause and continuing to help bring about awareness to our Astoria and Queens communities. To say that along our travels there haven’t been challenging times would unfortunately be an understatement. But without all of your support throughout the years, many, if not all, of these families would not have benefited by your generosity, and the organization’s daily hard work and efforts in dealing with their ordinary daily lives unable to cope.

This year our goal is an aggressive one. It’s to try and reach $150,000. We understand this task is a difficult one to achieve. I believe that achieving our goal is possible, but only with the continued support and generosity from each of you in supporting SHAREing and CAREing’s basic cause: quality of life!

With that being said, I’m am asking once again for each of you to please join with me in supporting my personal commitment to SHAREing and CAREing, along with this year’s Honorees and Special Award Recipients to personally and corporately support our Annual Benefit and Gala event by taking a journal page, individual seating, or a table.

Thank you in advance, and I look forward to personally meeting and greeting each and every one you and your guests at this year’s annual gala event at Riccardo’s by the Bridge, on Wednesday evening, November 9th at 6:00 pm.

I also would like to extend my well wishes to each of you in the upcoming holidays and festivities, in the event we miss each other. I wish you and your families very happy holidays with excellent health and prosperity in the New Year!

As always, if there are any questions, please don’t hesitate, feel free to contact me.

Joseph Pistilli
Chairman of the Board. First Central Savings
Bank
CEO, Chairman of the Board. Pistilli Realty
Group.

Dine In Queens

To The Editor:

I don’t know for sure, but I guess all humans taste alike to bears. Plus, I suspect these large, furry mammals don’t have very discerning taste buds, but more on that later.

Right now let’s focus on local palates. Next week is the start of Dine in Queens, our annual promotion highlighting the tremendous culinary diversity that makes our borough unique and awesome. It’s not uncommon to stroll down a commercial street in the borough and sample a dumpling, wonton, kreplach or momo. They are great as a snack or a main course. And whether on Roosevelt, Jamaica, Woodside or Jackson Avenues, you can probably find one – or several – of these tasty treats.

Food unites! We all eat, so for the next three weeks, please take advantage of the $28 three-course specials offered by more than 100 restaurants. In addition to fine dining, you’ll support the local economy. For the most part, our establishments are not chains or franchises; they are small businesses that employ local people, sponsor Little League teams, and play positive roles in civic issues.

The restaurant business can be tough, but it’s a way for immigrants to climb the ladder to success: busboy to server to chef to proprietor. QEDC’s mission is help these folks get to the ownership level. This month, we also kicked off the 11th annual StartUP! Business Competition (ongoing through January, 2017); we have the Entrepreneurial Assistance Program commencing soon (there is still time to register for this comprehensive business-planning class); and of course the Entrepreneur Space is perfect for potential food manufacturers. We continue to operate MiQ (Made in Queens), our LIC pop-up shop featuring crafts and delectables made in the borough. Some of our best-selling items are candies, drinks, and cookies. Be sure to check out MiQ from now until the end of the year as it’s a great spot to find gifts for the upcoming holidays.

Back to bears. Unlike humans, they’ll try anything when they have the munchies. If they come across a campsite, we’re all on their menus, especially after a long winter asleep in their dens. They probably wouldn’t find much interest in Dine in Queens, but we’re different. We enjoy the nuances, spices and flavors, despite the fact that great dishes actually have a lot in common. Dumplings, wontons, kreplachs, and momos have similar structures – little doughy balls stuffed with meat, cheese, fish or vegetables.

Different, but essentially the same. As we brace for a contentious few weeks before the 2016 presidential election, we need to keep that thought front and center...and on our plates.

Enjoy Dine in Queens. Avoid hungry bears.

Seth Bornstein
Executive Director
Queens Economic Development Corp.

Living The Dream

To The Editor:

From Bollywood to Hollywood, I hope: There is a lot of talk about diversity in acting these days, especially in light of last year’s Academy Awards, where there were no people of color nominated in the acting categories.

Let us not forget that diversity, not only in acting, does not just refer to black and white, but should also include all shades of brown, yellow, and other minorities.

I am an Indian-born actor and model who has come to the United States to pursue my dream of acting on stage, on television and in film. Casting agents have told me that I can play Indian, Pakistani, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Hispanic. While that would appear to be a good thing, on the streets of New York, sometimes I feel that I am stereotyped as the “immigrant of the day,” whether that be Middle Eastern, Mexican or whatever. So, as liberal and multicultural as New York is, people should not forget just how hard it is to actually make it here and assimilate totally into American culture. As the saying goes, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”

I love this country, and have had the opportunity to study at the acclaimed Neighborhood Playhouse, which stresses the teachings of the great Sanford Meisner, and has turned out such talents as Gregory Peck, Diane Keaton and Robert Duvall, to name a few. I have worked in many theater productions, such as “Iphigenia,” “The Normal Heart,” “Lovers and Other Strangers,” “Hurly Burly,” “Gaslight” and others.

Unlike many young actors, I am extremely interested not only in American pop culture in general, but specifically in the history of American film. I have made it my goal to watch every American film that has won the Academy Award for Best Picture. I have achieved that goal and with the help of my American friends, I have been exposed to all of the classic American films, and to actors such as Bette Davis, Clark Gable, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

I have been fortunate to do many television and print commercials, including Budweiser, Absolut Vodka, Canon Camera and many more. I have also acted in film and in TV series such as “Broad City” for Comedy Central and “The WhistleBlowers” for Spike TV.

So let us not forget that in this age of some anti-immigrant rhetoric, there are thousands of us here in New York from every country in the world who are trying to pursue our dreams in a peaceful, dignified, hardworking way. Wish me luck, and I hope you will see me on stage or in film soon.

Karan Choudhary

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