Spend your weekend at the Ridgewood Reservoir

Join NYC H2O for an upcoming weekend of events at the Ridgewood Reservoir.

On Saturday, September 5th at 3 p.m., NYC H2O and artist Colleen Tighe will host a virtual afternoon sketching session. The focus will be on the natural oasis.

The session is open to everyone aged 13 and over. Participants will need pencils, paper, colored pencils, pen and/or watercolor.

The class will take place over Zoom. Register here.

The following day, NYC H2O and the Parks Department will remove invasive plants from the path around the Ridgewood Reservoir.

For this project, volunteers will pull invasive weeds and plant native flowers on the causeway between Basins 2 and 3.

Meet in the parking lot on Vermont Place on the Brooklyn side. Due to COVID-19 precautions, only 25 socially-distanced volunteers are permitted to work at a time.

Register for the event here.

Queens Jobs Recruitment Fair set for August 26

Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee is hosting the borough’s seventh jobs recruitment fair on August 26.

The virtual event will connect job seekers to available employment opportunities.

Employers who will participate include:

  • The Child Center of New York
  • Constructive Partnerships Unlimited
  • The Council for Airport Opportunity
  • LIFE Camp Inc.
  • Mercy Home
  • Metro One Loss Prevention
  • MetroPlus Health Plan
  • New York Life
  • Quality Services for the Autism Community
  • Queens Centers for Progress
  • The United States Census Bureau
  • WATCH GUARD 24/7
  • The Young Adult Institute

The event will run from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Livestream the virtual jobs fair here.

Leasing has launched at The Strand

Credit: Aufgang Architects. The Meshberg Group

Camber Property Group and Valyrian Capital have begun leasing for The Strand, a new mixed-use development near the Ridgewood/East Williamsburg border with 132 units.

Leasing for the rental property, located at 178 Woodward Avenue, is being handled by Corcoran New Development.

The Strand features a variety of residences, including 33 studios, 71 one-bedrooms, 25 two-bedrooms/ two-baths, and three three-bedroom/two-bath apartments.

The pricing starts at $2,050 a month for a studio and up to $3,985 for a three-bedroom.

The amenities are plentiful at The Strand, including two landscaped rooftop decks, a co-working lounge, fitness center, a media and gaming lounge, an inner courtyard, on-site parking for cars and bikes, and Stainless Steel appliances.

In terms of location, The Strand is located three blocks from the Jefferson Avenue L train stop, as well as the B38, B57 and Q53 buses.

Citi Bikes are also available throughout the neighborhood.

Corcoran is providing perspective residents with face masks, hand sanitizing stations and an in-person or virtual experience from first viewing through lease signing.

Nolan notches win in Democratic primary

Nolan, right, has likely secured another term in Albany.

Longtime Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan has secured the Democratic nomination for re-election in the 37th Assembly District.

In a district overwhelmingly dominated by Democrats, her victory all but ensures she will go back to Albany for two more years.

In a statement following the absentee ballot count, Nolan said she won by a margin of over 1,500 votes.

She was challenged by two first-time candidates, Mary Jobaida and Danielle Brecker. After primary night, Nolan got 52 percent of the vote, while Jobaida got 33 percent and Brecker received 14.5 percent.

“Voters know that I have been successful in passing significant legislation for the families of our district,” she said. “There is a need in Albany for the voices of older women and mothers, and our district recognized my experience in serving our communities.

The 37th Assembly District includes parts of Ridgewood, where Nolan has lived for many years.

Register now to volunteer landscape at the Ridgewood Reservoir

Calling all environmental stewards!

Volunteer with the Parks Department and NYC H2O on Sunday, August 2 as they remove invasive plants from the path around the Ridgewood Reservoir.

You know the deal: the reservoir is home to 175 species of plants, but many are invasive and need to be pulled.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, the project will only have 25 socially distanced volunteers working at a time.

Sign up for the volunteering here.

Volunteers will meet in the parking lot on Vermont Place across the street from the reservoir.

Vincent Maltese, neighborhood activist, dies at 86

Vincent Maltese, second from the left, at an event at Christ the King in 2013.

Vincent Charles Maltese, a neighborhood activist who was a prominent member of the Conservative Party and the brother of former Republican State Senate Serf Maltese, died on Sunday. He was 86 years old.

Born on the Lower East Side in June 1934, Maltese was accepted to Stuyvesant High School, and later completed his high school education at Seward Park High School.

Maltese worked as a self-taught car mechanic, a salesman and a truck driver before working as a sales agent for Prudential Insurance for 14 years.

He then entered a career in law enforcement. At the age of 38, Maltese took the test to become a court officer, and passed with a 99. He was quickly promoted from captain to lieutenant, and eventually to sergeant.

While working, Maltese continued his college education at Adelphi, Hofstra and St. John’s University.

Maltese ran for president of the Queens chapter of Parents & Taxpayers and won. He was elected district leader of the Conservative Party, which he helped co-found in 1962.

The LES native served on the Ridgewood Community Board of Directors, which operated the Peter Cardella Senior Center. He was a member of the Italian Charities of America, serving as vice president for 30 years.

He was also on the board of the Italo-American Federal Credit Union, and a member of First Avenue Boys, the Scafidi Belmonte Mezzagno Benevolent Society, and the Bella Italia Mia.

Maltese was notably a founding member of the Triangle Fire Memorial Association and served as chairman of the board. He lost a grandmother and two aunts to the 1911 fire.

Mass cards and notes of condolences may be sent to his family address at 199-05 33rd Avenue Bayside, NY 11358.

Holden explains why he vote “no” on the budget

File photo

On Tuesday night, the New York City Council passed an $88 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2021.

The budget process was particularly difficult this year given the billions of dollars the city is losing in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic lockdown.

Among the more contentious parts of the budget was the decision to cut nearly $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion operating budget.

For weeks, activists have marched and protested calling for defunding the NYPD by at least $1 billion. While the budget falls short of that, it reduces overtime pay for police officers, transfers school safety to the Department of Education and cancels two cadet classes.

In the late hours on Tuesday night, 37 members voted for the budget, while 12 rejected it. Councilman Bob Holden was among those who voted no. Here’s why.

“As one of the very few Council members who has lived through several crime waves in our great city, I am very concerned that the protest-driven moment to defund the NYPD will lead us toward another high-crime era,” he said.

“While the intention of diverting more funds toward education and services for those who need it most sounds noble, supporters of this movement seem to be unaware of the billions this city has already wasted with no tangible results.”

Ultimately, nine members of the City Council voted no because they believe the cuts don’t go far enough. Eight members said no because they opposed cuts to the NYPD.

Holden noted that the budget has soared $25 billion under de Blasio’s tenure.

“So will taking $1 billion from the NYPD accomplish anything other than appeasing this movement while damaging the morale of police officers?” Holden said. “As legislators, we cannot create policy based solely on what’s trending at the moment.

“We must maintain balance, order and logic while holding public safety as the highest priority,” he added.

Free mask giveaway in Ridgewood this afternoon

Councilman Bob Holden’s office is hosting a free mask giveaway this afternoon.

The event will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in front of Community Alliance Initiative, located at 60-35 Myrtle Avenue.

Holden’s office says participants should also bring an empty hand sanitizer bottle that can be refilled.

Participants should also wear a mask and practice social distancing during the giveaway.

Ridgewood incumbents leading primary races, except Miller

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After Tuesday’s Democratic primary, most incumbent legislators representing Ridgewood emerged in the lead.

With tens of thousands of absentee ballots to count, it’s hard to say who will win these primary contests. But after in-person votes were tallied, it appears most incumbents are on the verge of victory––with one exception.

Assemblyman Mike Miller, who has represented District 38, which includes portions of Glendale, Ridgewood, Ozone Park and Woodhaven, since 2009, is current losing to challenger Jenifer Rajkumar.

Rajkumar, an attorney, adjunct professor and former Cuomo administration official, received 2,624 votes, or 52 percent, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

Miller only has 1,300 votes, roughly 28 percent of the vote. A third candidate, queer poet and educator Joey De Jesus, won 1,108 votes, good for 22 percent.

Though absentee ballots still have to be counted, Miller is 1,300 votes behind Rajkumar, which will be tough to overcome on absentees alone.

Ridgewood’s two congressional representatives, Grace Meng and Nydia Velazquez, emerged victorious from their primary battles.

Meng defeated two challengers with 15,181 votes, nearly 61 percent of the vote in her Queens district. Velazquez, whose district includes parts of Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn, won 32,965 votes, a whopping 80 percent of her district.

State Senator Michael Gianaris, who also reps parts of Ridgewood, easily dispatched challenger Iggy Terranova with 14,114 votes, making up about 74 percent of the vote.

Ridgewood’s other Assembly representative, Cathy Nolan, is out in front of two challengers, Mary Jobaida and Danielle Brecker, with 4,314 votes, or 52 percent.

In the race for Queens borough president, former Ridgewood Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley is currently in second place with 31,781 votes, or 28 percent.

She’s trailing Councilman Donovan Richards, who has 41,915 votes, good for 37 percent.

Ridgewood man sentenced up to 15 years in prison

A 30-year-old Ridgewood man has been sentenced to five to 15 years in prison after fatally stabbing his female roommate in the apartment their shared in September 2016.

Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter found Render Stetson-Shanahan, of Stanhope Street, guilty of manslaughter in the second degree in February. He was sentenced over Skype.

“The defendant in this case showed no mercy when he repeatedly plunged a knife into this young woman’s body,” District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “The victim’s heart was punctured along with her lung and a major artery.”

Carolyn Bush, 26, was found in the apartment bleeding profusely from numerous stab wounds, the DA said, after being stabbed multiple times in her neck and torso.

She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.