Councilman Costantinides kicks off participatory budgeting

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Talk about leading by example.

Councilman Costa Constantinides kicked off the start of participatory budgeting in his district by casting his ballot for his favorite projects over the weekend.

Participatory budgeting allows residents ages 14 and up to vote for their favorite local capital projects. This year, residents came up with 19 different proposals, including a new library and STEM lab at the Young Women’s Leadership School, basketball court renovations at Ditmars Park and an accessible entrance for the Astoria branch of the Queens Library.

To find the full ballot and a list of voting sites and times, click here. Residents can cast their ballot until April 2nd.

Elderly man robbed inside elevator

RMA 816-17 ROBBERY 114 PCT 3-25-17 (1)An 83-year-old Astoria man was robbed inside the elevator of his own residential building on Saturday afternoon, according to authorities.

Police say that at approximately 6:42 p.m., two men got inside an apartment building near 21st Street and 36th Avenue. They followed the 83-year-old victim inside an elevator at the lobby.

Once the door closed, police say one of the suspects showed a knife and told the victim, “Don’t make a noise.” Meanwhile, the second suspect took the man’s cell phone and $20.

They left the apartment building. Luckily, the victim walked away physically unscathed.

Anyone with information in regards to this robbery is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

Central Astoria LDC hosts International Cultural Fest

Central Astoria International Cultural FestThe Central Astoria Local Development Coalition is hosting its International Cultural Festival next month.

Revelers will enjoy music and dance from around the world.

You’ll get to see cultural performances from Argentina, Colombia, Greece, India, Japan, Poland, Spain, the Middle East and Tibet.

The festival will be on Sunday, April 23 at noon on Steinway Street between Broadway and 31st Avenue.

 

 

Police arrest cop impersonator

Police_Line_Crime_Scene_2498847226Police have arrested a 59-year-old Queens man for impersonating a cop last month.

Authorities say that on the morning of Tuesday, February 28, John Williams entered New Milestone Preschool located at 27-18 Hoyt Avenue.

He displayed an NYPD identification card and attempted to solicit funds for charity, authorities say.

A further investigation showed that Williams did the same thing on January 28th, but this time on a private residence on 59th Avenue.

Williams was arrested and charged with two counts of criminal impersonation and fraudulent accosting.

Watch Moonlight for free this weekend

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The Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House is hosting a free screening of the Oscar winner for Best Picture, Moonlight, this Saturday at 5 p.m.

Moonlight tells the coming-of-age story of Chiron, a young black man growing up in a rough neighborhood in Miami.

The film explores themes of identity, masculinity, sexuality, love and family.

Directed by filmmaker Barry Jenkins, Moonlight features actors Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes, Andre holland, Jangle Monae, Mahershala Ali (who also won an Academy Award) and Naomie Harris.

The screening will be followed by a community discussion.

You won’t want to miss a chance to watch the best movie of the year. Check it out.

 

PHOTOS: Greek Independence Day celebration

IMG_1602Astoria celebrated Greek Independence Day last week at the Stathakion Center.

The event honored four Greek-American women who have contributed to different facets of our community. Here are the winners:

  • Jenny Emexizidis, a businesswoman currently with the Queens Medallion Group of Companies and Melrose Ballroom
  • Nomiki Kastanas, a media figure with National Greek TV
  • Ismini Michaels, a longtime educator and treasurer of the Greek Children’s Fund
  • Evgenia Soldatos, an assistant district attorney in Nassau County

Elected officials also spoke at the annual event, which drew hundreds of community members.

Take a look at a few photos from the event. To read more about it, click here.

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Astoria Park Alliance awarded for service and activism

Twitter/@APAlliance

Twitter/@APAlliance

The Astoria Park Alliance won big at last week’s 4th annual It’s My Park Awards Reception hosted by Partnerships for Parks.

The annual event recognizes NYC park volunteers who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to their local parks through service, activism and advocacy.

The Astoria Park advocacy group, and its president Martha Lopez-Gilpin, won the Golden Trowel award for Queens. Councilman Costa Constantinides was on hand to praise the Astoria group as well.