Nas from Queensbridge

Queens Today


News, events, sports and politics from the world’s most diverse urban center

FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2018

Weather in Queens (NWS): Today: Sunny 76°, Night: Clear 65°

SATURDAY: 85° Sunny, Night: 74° Clear

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THE LEDE: Happy Friday! The 2018 World Cup is in full effect with three games kicking off at 8 am, 11 am and 2 pm today. It’s a sign of the woeful times for taxi drivers and owners: a bankrupt yellow cab magnate put 139 medallions up for auction yesterday in Queens. Meanwhile, suicide rates in some parts of Queens outpace the rest of the city and Councilman Donovan Richards took the NYPD to task for operating an opaque gang database. But here’s some good news: There are a ton of great events taking place throughout the borough this weekend. Three different parks will air hit movies on giant screens, the Amateur Astronomers Association host a stargazing event at Hunters Point and Skate Night beckons inline skaters and roller rink veterans in Arverne. And finally, Queens’ own Nas drops a much-anticipated album today.

TWEET OF THE DAY: “Thanks for everyone’s concern —doing fine now. Wish I could say the same for the children and parents at the border.”

Rep. Joe Crowley after fainting at a demonstration in support of families separated at the border



139 Taxi Medallions Were Up for Auction in Queens Yesterday

A taxi magnate facing bankruptcy put 139 taxi medallions up for auction in Queens yesterday. The auction demonstrated how ride-hailing apps, like Uber and Lyft, have squeezed yellow cab drivers and owners. Many of the medallions up for grabs at the auction originally sold for roughly $1 million. Today, a medallion sells for between $160,000 to $250,000, the New York Post reports.

Suicide Rates in Parts of Queens Outpace Most of the City

According to a recent report by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Flushing-Clearview and West Queens regions had two of the city’s highest rates of suicide among women between 2011 and 2015. West Queens also had the most suicides among men (96) over that time period. The city’s report did not indicate what motivated so many people in these regions to take their own lives.

Public Safety Committee Chair Richards Condemns NYPD’s Opaque Gang Database

The NYPD’s opaque gang database includes 17,441 New Yorkers — but no one seems know exactly why. According to an NYPD presentation obtained through a FOIL request and reported by The Intercept, people may be added to the database for vague reasons like “staying out late,” “changes in behavior” and playing video games. That lack of transparency alarmed City Council members who confronted NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea at a hearing Wednesday. “There are close to 18,000 people on this database and there’s not transparency or a process to know if you’re in the database,” said Public Safety Committee Chair Donovan Richards.

It’s Outdoor Movie Weekend in Queens — Check Out These Films

Several Queens parks will screen hit flicks this weekend. On Friday, Grease is the word at Astoria Park’s drive-in movie night. The same evening, CinemaLIC presents Moonstruck at Hunters’ Point. And on Sunday, bring the family to Lewis H. Lattimer Museum House for a  Father’s Day showing of Zootopia.

Or Simply Soak in the Stars Above Hunters Point South Park

Join the stargazers from the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York City as they observe the celestial bodies shining through the city’s light pollution. Association members bring telescopes to their free stargazing sessions every Friday.

Richards Is Ready to Roll Tonight at Cardozo Playground

Councilman Donovan Richards is throwing it back to the disco days and roller rink nights with Skate Night at Cardozo Playground in Arverne tonight. The skating will begin at 4:30 pm and last until 7:30 pm. Bring your blades and get ready to roll.

Nas’ New Album Drops Today

Queens’ most accomplished rapper released his latest album this morning — and it was produced by someone you may have heard of. Nas teamed up with rapper/producer/provocateur Kanye West for God’s Son the Brave Prince of Life: My Journey, Pt. 1. West produced the entire album and last night, Nas, who grew up in the Queensbridge Houses, hosted a surprise listening party in his home borough.

Flushing’s World Fair Expo Kicks Off Today at the Sheraton LaGuardia

The three-day Flushing’s World Fair begins this morning at 10 am inside the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel. The tourism expo will feature presentations by experts in tourism, international food and social media. The event will also introduce the “Passport to Flushing” initiative to promote tourism in the diverse neighborhood. Marty Markowitz, the former Brooklyn borough president and current vice president of borough promotion for the City’s tourism bureau, will open the event today. The expo was organized by Asian Americans for Equality and the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce.



LONG READ: “The Wounds of a Drone Warrior” — How trauma affects drone operators far removed from their targets The New York TImes Magazine

ANOTHER LONG READ: When loved ones die, what do we do with the digital reminders they’ve left behind? Boston Magazine

VIRAL: Artistic Cycling — gymnastics on a moving bike — has taken the internet by storm

YUM: It’s World Fair Weekend in Flushing — a 3-day expo featuring fun and flavors from around the globe


NATIONAL NEWS: New York AG sues Trump Foundation alleging ‘extensive’ lawbreaking BBC . . . Justice Dept. report say Comey was ‘insubordinate’ in handling of Clinton email case but found no FBI bias The New York Times

INTERNATIONAL DISPATCHES:  Vladimir Putin and Muhammad Bin Salman sat together at the World Cup opening match Business Insider . . . Trump shrugs of Kim Jung Un’s human rights abuses The Guardian



3 pm to 4 pm: Drag Queen Story Hour with Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer at Broadway Community Library

4:30 pm to 7:30 pm: Skate Night at Cardozo Playground hosted by Donovan Richards

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm: Recovery Talks — Community Listening Forum on Addiction and Recovery

7 pm: Dance Lessons with Global Mashup #5 — Peru Meets Texas at Flushing Town Hall

7:30 pm to 10:30 pm: CinemaLIC presents Moonstruck at Hunter’s Point South Park

8 pm: Concert for Global Mashup #5

8 pm to 10 pm: Stargazing on the Waterfront at Hunters’ Point South Park


8:30 pm to 10:30 pm: Drive-In Movie: Grease in Astoria


9 am to 10 am: NYRR Open Run at Astoria Park

9 am to 10 am: NYRR Open Run at Highland Park

11 am: Bike New York — Learn to Ride: Kids at Louis Armstrong School

12 pm to 5 pm: Queens International Children’s Festival at Jamaica Performing Arts Center

5 pm to 8 pm: Kool & the Gang at Flushing Meadows Corona Park

6 pm to 12 am: The Queens Night Market is open for business behind the Hall of Science

4 pm to 8 pm: Father and Daughter Dance at Curtis J. Norton Community Life Center

8 pm to 11:59 pm: Saturday Night Community Dance at Italian Charities of America


11 am to 4 pm: Rhythmic Gymnastics and Dance Gala in support of Pediatrics Cancer Clinic at Memorial Sloan Kettering

12 pm to 5 pm: Queens International Children’s Festival at Jamaica Performing Arts Center

3 pm: Father’s Day Film Screening: Zootopia at Lewis H. Lattimer House Museum

6:30 pm: Roger Daltrey Performs ‘Tommy’ with Members of the Who and the New York Pops at Forest Hills Stadium


QUEENS SPORTS: Councilman Barry Grodenchik weighed in on the woeful Mets:

“Lest anyone think I have forgotten about the @Mets I just want to point out that they are 4-21 over their last 21 games. For those of you without a calculator that is .190 baseball. They stink worse than Flushing Bay,” he wrote on Twitter.

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