Iran deal activists rally outside Congresswoman Grace Meng’s Forest Hills office

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A group of concerned activists rallied outside Congresswoman Grace Meng’s Forest Hills office last week to call on the elected official to reverse her opposition to the Obama Administration’s nuclear pact with Iran.

The group believes the multinational plan would limit the ease and accessibility Iran has to the materials and ability to make a nuclear weapon, ultimately preventing an eventual war. The plan was negotiated between Iran, the United States and five other world powers.

Leading the charge was Rochelle Santos, who organized the rally on the behalf of MoveOn.org, a political activist group that helps citizens organize rallies and start and manage petitions.

“I wanted to bring up some of the reasons why it’s much safer for America to have the treaty than to not,” Santos said.

She highlighted that 14,000 of Iran’s 20,000 centrifuges will be destroyed, and the country will not be allowed to build new ones. Iran would also have to give up 97 percent of its enriched uranium. She also noted that, under the agreement, it would potentially take one-year for Iran to build a bomb. Currently, it would only take them three months according to Santos.

“In that time, everything would be inspected,” she said. “We could see if there was any cheating on the deal.”

Read the full story at the Forest Hills Times.

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Queens Memory Project to collect memories from Forest Hills residents

queensmemoryprojectResidents of Queens can now take part in a project that aims to preserve their most cherished memories. In partnership with the Queens College Libraries’ Department of Special Collections and Archives, the Queens Library is hoping to record the histories of various people from the diverse borough.

So far, the Queens Memory Project has collected around 300 oral histories from Queens residents as well as gathered more than 1,800 images and audio recordings.

Residents of all ethnicities and backgrounds will be able to document their lives while living in the borough through historical and contemporary photography, maps, news clippings and interviews. The library will be hosting events around Queens where residents can bring their item and then have it scanned by organizers who will add it to the database. The memory project will also add the scans to the Digital Public Library of America.

The Queens Library at Forest Hills, located at 108-19 71st Avenue, will host two Queens Memory Project events. The first will take place on Monday, October 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The next event will occur on Saturday, October 31 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. To increase outreach from the local Filipino community, the event will also be held in conjunction with My Baryo, My Borough.

Those who have a scanner at home can actually upload images onto the website.

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Forest Hills Barnes & Noble to be replaced by Target

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Neighborhood efforts to save the local Barnes & Noble have gone unnoticed by Muss Development, the landlord of the property at 70-00 Austin Street. The New York Daily News is reporting that the longtime neighborhood bookstore will be replaced with a small-scale Target by mid-2016.

After the community first heard of Barnes & Noble closing due to high rent issues, a petition signed by 5,794 people attempted to save the bookstore. However, Target and Muss Development recently signed a 15-year lease for the 20,795 square-foot property.

Although Muss Development Principal Jason Muss told the Daily News that the move is a natural fit for the high-traffic, residential area, those who signed the petition argued that the bookstore was also a perfect gathering place and an educational resource for the community.

But there is even worse news for fans of Barnes & Noble. The Fresh Meadows and Bayside locations are also closing down, which means there won’t be a Barnes & Noble left in Queens unless the company can find a new location.

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Forest Hills Council Member Koslowitz Kicks Off Participatory Budget Process

Council Member Koslowitz is once again gearing up for Participatory Budgeting (PB) in her district. The leader of the Queens delegation in the city council is apparently taking participatory budget process quite seriously. PB is a City Council initiative whereby council district residents decide and vote on projects within the district. The Koslowitz council district is composed of Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Rego Park and parts of Richmond Hill. In 2015, over 1300 residents participated in the process. In the coming weeks, community members will come together at public assemblies to discuss local needs and develop proposals for fiscal year 2016-2017.

ONE MILLION DOLLARS IN FUNDS

One million dollars was allocated by Council Member Koslowitz for 2015 PB. A million dollars will once again be dedicated for PB in 2016. In the 2015 PB process, the community voted to fund security cameras; “On the Go! Real-time“ subway information kiosks; and electrical upgrades to provide air conditioning systems in three of our local schools. These winning projects will be implemented later this year.

Look for specific dates for the public assemblies in the coming weeks. If you would like to take part in this exciting process, please contact Alex Anderson in Council Member Koslowitz’ office at 718-544-8800 or alanderson@council.nyc.gov.

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Free Jazz Thursdays wraps TONIGHT

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As the summer starts to wind down, take every opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy something new. The annual Jazz Thursdays Concerts will wrap tonight with a performance by Richard Boulger and his After Hours band.

The stage for the returning performers will be located on 70th Road between Austin Street and Queens Boulevard. Conveniently located amidst Forest Hills’ restaurant row, diners will be able to listen to jazz as they chow down on their meals.

For those who just want to listen to music, there will be seating available. The concert runs from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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Santana brings Latin flavor to Forest Hills Stadium

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The legendary Carlos Santana made his way to the iconic Forest Hills Stadium stage, donning a fedora hat, a black shirt and white pants as 10,000 fans cheered.

Part of the guitarist’s tour to support “Corazon,” his first album featuring exclusively Latin music, the venue was transformed into a large dance party under starlit skies, which were complemented by a multi-colored light show.

His repertoire featured a mix of longtime favorites and new hits, including “Oye Como Va,” “Smooth,” “Maria, Maria,” “Saideira,” “Black Magic Woman,” “Tequila,” “Jin-go-lo-ba” and “Corazon Espinado.”

Back in the 1970s, Santana called Queens home, but last Friday’s concert marked his first appearance in the borough.

Read the full story in the Forest Hills Times

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E, F, M and R train services to be affected by track work

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Subway goers, plan on having you’re morning and evening commutes go slower over the next few weeks. The rush hour delayed service, which started on Monday, will last until Friday, September 4.

The E, F, R and M subway lines will be impacted due to track work along Queens Boulevard. Between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. as well as 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., expect less frequent service on all four lines from Monday to Friday.

For the F line, some Jamaica-Bound lines will run local between 21st Street-Queensbridge and 71st Avenue during 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. At that same time, some Jamaica Center-bound E trains will run locally from Queens Plaza to Jamaica-Van Wyck.

Manhattan and Brooklyn trains aren’t expected to be affected.

For more information, head to the MTA’s website.

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