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.”


Zone 126’s 2018 Youth Summit

At this roundtable discussion, teens discussed their hopes and their value as individuals.

At this roundtable discussion, teens discussed their hopes and their value as individuals.

The 2018 Youth Summit drew more than 250 teenagers on Saturday, January 27 at Long Island City High School.

It was evident from the enthusiasm that the efforts of Zone 126 paid off.

“The vision for today is for teens to use the summit as a platform to plan and learn, then inspire them to take the power of their future in their own hands,” said Tony Lopez, executive director of Zone 126.

The forum was a collaboration of nonprofit partners who work with teens to come to the same place, meet with each other and work with them. Groups like Let’s Get Ready, Little Flower Yoga, Global Kids and enACT all held interactive sessions with the students.

The six-hour summit included everything one could imagine, from a general session with panelists, guest speakers and motivational moments, to small group workshops, where teens shared their everyday challenges and wildest dreams.

The Queens Cup Cocktail Competition


Do you believe in Magic? Attend the 5th Round of the Queens Cup’s Cocktail Competition on January 29 and we will make you a believer!

The Bonnie at 29-12 23rd Avenue is hosting bartenders from all over Queens to create magical concoctions. Redwood Empire American Whiskey, made by Graton Distilling Company, is helping to make this event happen and is the source of all the local bartenders’ competing inspiration.

Stop on by after 7pm to witness and taste these mystifying libations from your favorite Queens bars including, The Sparrow Tavern, Diamond Dogs, Sweet Afton and many more!  Read more

Musical Storytime with Arthur Flowers!

Join us on Saturday, January 27th from 1-2pm for a special musical story time with guest author Arthur Flowers as he reads and performs Brer Rabbit Retold: Illustrated Tales with Spoken Word and Music, with the Kalimba/Mbira instrument.

The Brer Rabbit Stories were originally oral tales told by slaves from the American South. In this powerful rendering for children and adults, writer and griot Arthur Flowers re-tells them as wisdom tales for a contemporary audience, bringing them back to us as one of the sturdy roots of African-American literature.

Arthur Flowers then takes his stories back into the realm of the oral, with a musical spoken word performance in collaboration with a group of young Indian musicians. This genre-defying cross-media project pushes the boundaries of narrative art – inviting the reader (and listener) to explore through sight and sound, text and imagination.

Flowers is a Delta-based performance poet and writer, teaches at the English Department of Syracuse University in the United States. A native of Memphis and co-founder of The New Renaissance Guild, he considers himself heir to the western written tradition as well as the African oral one. He has written fiction as well as non-fiction, including Another Good Loving Blues and Mojo Rising: Confessions of a 21st Century Conjureman.

For more information about Flowers and the event visit

Melinda Katz to host “State of the Borough” at Frank Sinatra HS

unnamedThe borough president is bringing her annual address to Astoria.

BP Melinda Katz is hosting her “State of the Borough,” a speech in which she lays out her accomplishments and sets her agenda for the year, at Frank Sinatra School for the Arts.

Here’s a summary of her previous addresses in 2016 and 2017.

Usually, Katz hosts these speeches in big lecture halls at a college in Queens. But this time she’s taking it to a smaller auditorium, so if you want to hear her speech in person, RSVP now!

We recommend taking public transportation (N/W lines should work just fine) to get there on time.