2017-12-20 / Front Page

CB 1 Meets For Last Time In 2017

By Thomas Cogan

The Community Board 1 cabinet meeting for December at Kaufman Astoria Studios had a roster of speakers.

Many of the presentations were related to holiday activities, some of them covering safety, others charity.  Current activities at two adjacent Astoria institutions, the Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park, were reviewed.  An Hour Children speaker announced a building purchase on 12th Street.  The Queens Public Library also made a report, which follows here.  

Tienga Smith of the QPL announced that the public library has things of interest for the young and old, perhaps to the surprise of the latter.  For the kids, there’s a robotics club each Wednesday in the craft room of the branch at 37-44 21st St. in Long Island City.  It lasts from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.  Participants can, in collaboration, design, build and program various robots, in an experience designed to build confidence and creativity.  Teens and pre-teens can invite their friends, but groups must pre-register.  To do that, call 718-752-3700.

Perhaps appealing to both young and old is Google Expeditions, a one-day presentation Thursday, December 28, noon to 6:00 p.m.  It is an augmented reality program designed to bring three-dimensional items to life before your eyes.  There are four different sessions:  dinosaurs back from extinction: journey into space; traveling through the human body; and a deep dive to the ocean floor.  There’s no registration, she said, simply drop in anytime between noon and 6:00.  Virtual Reality:  3D Art & Digital Sculpting is an attraction that is coming to an end Friday, December 22, but anyone interested in it while there’s time can get in contact with Tienga Smith, again with Queens Library at LIC, 718-792-3700.

The festive season always brings a visit from the fireman, preaching safety.  Michael Jones of the FDNY had a few battery-driven holiday candles to show.  He recommended them as substitutes for any candle that burns fire.  For those who insist on using fire-burning candles, especially scented ones, never leave them burning overnight, he said. Trees:  artificial Christmas trees should be checked for fireproof verification; should be by Underwriters Laboratory (and shouldn’t be bought in a 99-cent store).  Real ones should be checked for sufficient needles strength. If the needles come loose when pulled moderately, the tree is dangerously dry.  An acceptable one should be stood in three-to-five gallons of water, having first been trimmed of bark at the base.  And please, he insisted, throw the tree out by Epiphany, January 6, or, for Epiphany celebrants, shortly thereafter.    

Jones said the Red Cross has a program for installation of several thousand smoke detectors in the city, especially for the elderly, who might have trouble installing them in high spots.  He said that mostly everyone, younger or older, needs to install the newer, better smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, which would probably replace alarms bought or received more than a decade ago.  For Red Cross installation information, call 1-877-2767.

Shannon Murphy of the Noguchi Museum was present to promote the exhibition of the late Uruguayan sculptor, Gonzalo Fonseca, whose exhibition opened at the museum, 9-01 33rd Rd., in late October and closes Sunday, March 11.  Fonseca, who lived from 1922 to 1997, left architectural school to become a student of the Uruguayan painter, Joaquin Torres-Garcia (1874-1949).  In later years he traveled extensively, studying centuries of civilizations and their buildings. By the late 1950s, he’d moved to New York and turned to sculpture.  His contacts with Noguchi became frequent, since the latter’s aesthetic was close to his.  Fonseca’s works, many of them huge and in natural and manufactured stone, include an experimental play structure for a park in the Bronx and a 40-foot high cement tower for the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

Audrey DiMola of the Socrates Sculpture Park said that the park’s current fall exhibition runs until March.  As it does every year, the event features several works by first-time exhibitors.

Kelly Phelan of Hour Children, 36-11 12th St., Astoria, said the group has bought a building on the same block and is moving many activities for children into it.  Hour Children is devoted to the welfare of children with incarcerated parents.  Phelan said she is currently getting the kids ready to take part in the construction of a mural in which they will appear.  The mural project is expected to commence in January.  Hour Children’s efforts are widespread, since the institutions where the parents are incarcerated range in location from upstate New York to parts of the city.

Amanda Nasner, Queens manager of external affairs for the Bureau of Homeless Services, told the meeting that it might seem mean to say we should refuse to give money to homeless supplicants on the street, but it’s better to leave them to those appointed to their care, such as BHS personnel, who provide for them in an organized rather than a random way.

Ivan Martinez of The Floating Hospital, 41-40 27th St., said TFH’s Candy Cane Lane program, dedicated to children living in shelters, will end its 12-day run Friday, December 22.  Besides the fun part of it indicated in its name, Candy Cane Lane seeks winter clothing contributions also, though it insists the clothing be new, not used.  While there’s time, the contact number with TFH is 718-784-2240.

 

 

 

 

 

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