Here are the participatory budgeting proposals for 2018

Costa_PB_2018They’re all in!

In the 2018 cycle of participatory budgeting for District 22, residents and delegates came up with 12 projects to improve the neighborhood.

Here are the 12:

  • Redo children’s play area at Astoria and Steinway libraries: $300,000
  • Gate refurbishment at MS 126: $250,000
  • Hydroponics lab at Long Island City High School: $250,000
  • Security system at Young Women’s Leadership SchooL: $450,000
  • Research library at PS 17: $250,000
  • Auditorium audio/video system at PS 122: $125,000
  • Technology updates at Long Island City High School: $350,000
  • STEM lab at IS 141: $300,000
  • Tech lab at IS 10: $150,000
  • Lighting at Astoria Houses Community Center: $150,000
  • Toolshed at Two Coves Community Garden: $35,000
  • Road repair and resurfacing in the district: $250,000

The top winners, up to $1 million, will be funded.

Voting will run from April 7-15. Residents in the district ages 14 and up can participate in voting.

Here are the voting locations and times:

  • Office of Councilman Costa Constantinides, 31-09 Newtown Ave., Suite 209:
    • Monday, April 9 to Friday April 13, 10am – 5pm
  • Bohemian Hall, 29-19 24th Avenue
    • Sunday, April 8, 12pm – 5pm
    • Wednesday, April 11, 6pm – 9pm
    • Sunday, April 15, 12pm – 5pm
  • Urban Upbound, 4-25 Astoria Boulevard
    • Sunday, April 8, 12pm – 5pm
    • Thursday, April 12, 6pm – 9pm
    • Sunday, April 15, 12pm – 5pm
  • Queens Library – Steinway Branch, 21-45 31st Street
    • Saturday, April 7, 12pm – 5pm
    • Saturday, April 14, 12pm – 5pm
  • Queens Library – Astoria Branch, 14-01 Astoria Boulevard
    • Saturday, April 7, 12pm – 5pm
    • Saturday, April 14, 12pm – 5pm
  • North Queensview Community Room, 33-64 21st Street
    • Monday, April 9, 6pm – 9pm
    • Sunday, April 15, 12pm – 5pm
  • Community Board 1, 45-02 Ditmars Boulevard
    • Tuesday, April 10, 6pm – 9pm
  • MAS Ibn Sina Center, 46-01 20th Avenue
    • Friday, April 13, 6pm – 9pm


Meet QCYD’s new executive board members

QCYD 2018-2019 Executive Board

Last week, the Queens County Young Democrats met at the Powhatan Democratic Club in Astoria to elect its 2018-2019 executive board.

Its new president, Adrian Drepaul, is the first Indo-Caribbean president in the club’s history.

QCYD, the youth arm of the Queens Democratic Party, focuses on political mobilization, voter and issue education, and professional development.

Here is QCYD’s new executive board:

  • President: Adrian Drepaul
  • Executive Vice President: Dori Ann Pliska
  • Vice President of Political Affairs: Antonio Alfonso
  • Vice President of Diversity and Outreach: Rianna Young
  • Vice President of Membership: David Aronov
  • Communications Director: Breeana Mulligan
  • Secretary: Charlotte Martin
  • Treasurer: Joy Chowdhury

Silent Disco Pajama Party

On Friday, March 9th at 10 PM bring your teddy and get ready! Button up your PJs, zip up your onesie, or put on your slippers for our cozy pajama party at Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden at 2919 24th Avenue! 3 live DJs will be spinning your favorite songs all night while you dance and sing in your most comfortable clothes. This will be a night to remember, so don’t fall asleep on this offer, tickets are limited! The best part? When you get home you can jump straight into bed!

Your 3 live DJs will be spinning all night: 
DJ 1 (Green): Top 40 Dance Hits
DJ 2 (Red): 80’s, 90’s & 2K Throwbacks
DJ 3 (Blue): Hip Hop, R&B

Your experience includes: 
• A pair of Quiet Events headphones
• Glow in the dark gear
• 3 live DJs battling for your attention

Special Notes: 
• 21+ to party
• Rain or Shine
• Limited tickets available at the door
• Dress code: Pajamas!

What to bring:
• Valid ID
• You MUST have a credit or debit card for the check-in process. If the headphones are NOT returned, there will be a $100 charge to your credit or debit card after the event.
• No need to print your ticket, just show the code on your phone or they will have your name at the door.

How it works:
When you arrive you’ll receive a pair of special wireless headphones. You can adjust the volume and choose between up to three DJ’s with a flip of a switch. Each headset has a color LED that shows what channel you are listening to. It’s super social; you’re in control of the music! There’s no loud music that you have to talk over. Plus, there’s no ringing in your ears when you leave!

Tickets are $10 online (+$2.00 fee) and $15 (+2.30 fee) and can be purchased here!

APAC Presents Intersecting Identities

LSBerk small

On February 21st, 23rd & 27th the Astoria Performing Arts Center and Beehive Dramaturgy Studio will host a reading series called “Intersecting Identities”. At 7 pm each night, three plays will explore how friction among overlapping cultural identities complicates how we interact with the world and understand who we are. The Astoria Performing Arts Center, located 30-44 Crescent Street, will host performances of the plays “Dessert”, “Purgatori0″, and “The More They Stay”.

Tickets are free with reservation and are available here!

“The Slate” on the market for $24.5 million


Real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield announced that an eight-story, 31,693-square-foot mixed-use building in Astoria has been put on the market.

“The Slate,” located at 28-18 Astoria Boulevard, has an asking price of $24.5 million.

The newly-constructed building has 28 one-bedroom residential apartments, several of which has a terrace or balcony.

The commercial unit on the ground floor is a medical office called Walk-In GYN Care.

Other building amenities include a gym, dog run, common outdoor area, underground parking, rooftop deck, laundry room and wheelchair accessibility.

Though it’s currently operating as a rental building, the property will be delivered as a fully-operating condo, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

“With its proximity to the subway and Astoria Ferry, in addition to its easy access to Manhattan, the Slate is an ideal residential location,” said Stephen Preuss of C&S. “The high-quality property offers a remarkable opportunity to acquire a luxury condominium building with residential and commercial units.”

Pols on Ditmars construction project: “A slap in the face of Astorians”

Screen shot via Google Maps

Screen shot via Google Maps

The N/W line’s Ditmars Boulevard station will undergo a 14-month construction project, officials told Community Board 1 members earlier this week.

While the station won’t fully close from April 2018 to June 2019 as part of the MTA’s Station Renewal Initiative, construction materials will be stored on 31st Street.

This means residents, commuters and business owners will have to endure congestion, noise, traffic and lack of parking throughout the project.

Don’t forget the area is also a cab hub, with taxis waiting at all hours for straphangers needing a ride.

Worst of all, the station updates won’t improve service, signals, the track or accessibility.The project isn’t going over well with local politicians.

“Our subways must serve everyone, including people with disabilities, seniors and parents with strollers,” said Councilman Costa Constantinides, State Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas. “This announcement of a 14-month construction project is a slap in the face of Astorians.”

“Without needed accessibility or service updates, we cannot support this plan,” they added. “If the MTA doesn’t comprehensively address infrastructure along our subway lines with long-term improvements including modernized signals and accessibility upgrades, it will continue to fail Astoria residents.”

The elected officials are planning a rally on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in front of the station.

Simotas to P&G: Change the Tide Pods

Hoylman, Bobbi Wilding, Russ Haven & SimotasAssemblywoman Aravella Simotas is among many state lawmakers who called on Procter & Gamble to change the liquid detergent “Tide Pods” in the wake of the dangerous “Tide Pod Challenge.”

The viral challenge has resulted in injuries and deaths when teenagers eat the small pods that are “packaged like candy.”

According to Simotas and State Senator Brad Hoylman, there were more than 10,000 poisoning incidents involving young children in 2017.

The lawmakers want P&G to implement the following:

  • Child-resistant wrappers for Tide Pods
  • Clear warning labels on the packets
  • Uniform colors to make the packets less visually appealing.

“As a legislator and a mother, I am angry that convenience and marketing have been exalted over the safety of children and people with dementia,” Simotas said. “Even though the industry has adopted voluntary standards, they are not working and it’s now clear why we need a law to lessen the risk of poisonings.”