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Queens Today


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THE LEDE: Happy Thursday and Welcome to Summer! Today marks the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Soak up the sun paddling a kayak off Hunters Point or celebrate the start of summer at Socrates Sculpture Park. It’s a big night for former Christ the King basketball star Rawle Akins, who hopes to hear his name called in tonight’s NBA Draft. Community Board 3 meets tonight with Council Member Costa Constantinides and Assemblymember Michael DenDekker both scheduled to speak. Meanwhile, Community Boards 5, 12 and 13 announced that they plan to work together to address common issues. Finally, students and friends remember “Doc,” a scientist turned beloved teacher who died in a Bellerose Manor house fire.

TWEET OF THE DAY: “Today and every day, New York City stands in solidarity #WithRefugees.It’s now more important than ever. #WorldRefugeeDay” — New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson  



Community Boards 5, 12 and 13 Set to Join Forces to Address Common Issues

Each month, the Queens Community Board chairpersons gather for the Borough Board Meeting with Borough President Melinda Katz. But typically, their collaboration ended when they left Borough Hall. Earlier this month, Community Board 13 Chair Clive Williams decided to challenge to his peers to work together to tackle common issues, such as veterans affairs. Williams attended a Community Board 5 meeting chaired by Vincent Arcuri and discussed his mission to foster more teamwork. “Why aren’t we talking to each other?” Williams said he asked Arcuri, according to QNS.com. “As a matter of fact, why aren’t chairs talking to each other? Because we have pretty much many of the same challenges, the same problems in our communities.”

Constantinides and DenDekker to Speak at Community Board 3’s Outdoor Meeting

Community Board 3 will meet tonight at 7 pm for a special outdoor session at Northern Boulevard Playground located at 93rd Street and Northern Boulevard. Council Member Costa Constantinides and Assembly Member Michael DenDekker are scheduled to speak.  

Maloney Challenger Patel Is Playing ‘Fast and Loose’ With Election Laws

Hotel industry executive Suraj Patel, who is challenging Rep. Carolyn Maloney, in the Democratic primary next Tuesday, may have violated election laws by diverting funds set aside for a potential general election campaign to fuel his primary campaign, the New York Post reported Wednesday. Campaign Finance records show that Suraj Patel spent all but $40,000 of the $1.2 million he has raised so far. However, he had earmarked $200,000 for the general election. Using that money for the primary campaign could violate election law, a campaign finance lawyer told the Post. In response, Patel’s campaign manager Sam Haass disputed the notion. “The campaign is ensuring that primary expenses are covered with primary funds,” Haass said. “When we file our next FEC report, that will be clear.”

Bellerose Manor House Fire Kills Rocket Scientist-Turned-Beloved Teacher

The death of Audrey Hebling, 82, in a Bellerose Manor house fire earlier this week has prompted friends, students and peers to reflect on her life. And what a life it was. Hebling was a technology pioneer who earned a doctorate degree before building satellites for NASA and developing crystals in the early days of TV. Hebling then transitioned to teaching at Luther High School in Brookville, Long Island where students affectionately referred to her as “Doc.” “I was fortunate enough to have Doc as a teacher when I was a student here,” Lutheran principal John Buck told the Daily News. “I’ll never forget her ability to have incredible patience with us as we learned and made mistakes. She was just incredibly loved by the student body.”

Former Christ the King Hoops Star Rawle Alkins Prepares for Tonight’s Draft

The NBA begins tonight at 7 pm in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and few are more excited — and uncertain — than Rawle Alkins, a former star at Christ the King in Middle Village. Experts predict that the explosive 6’4” combo guard will go in the early second-round, possibly by Sacramento at Pick 37. On Tuesday, Alkins spoke with Sports Illustrated about his “Life as an NBA Draft Sleeper,” which has entailed jetting around the country and working out for various pro teams. “One day I’m on the East Coast, next day the West Coast, and then the day after that I’m back on the East Coast,” Alkins said. “It’s a grind. But hopefully by Thursday night it’s all worth it.”

Lend Your Voice, or Your Ears, to the QCA’s “Creative Conversation” Tonight in Far Rockaway

In an effort to convene local artists, organizers and community stakeholders, the Queens Council on the Arts will host its monthly “Creative Conversations” tonight at 6 pm at Far Rockaway Cultural Performing Arts. “Creative Conversations” is a monthly dinner meeting that enables local artists and community members to network, organize and advocate for 

Paddle Along the East River at Hunters Points’ Gantry Park

Ecological organization HarborLAB will host free kayaking session in the East River off Hunters Point tonight from 3 pm to 10 pm as part of its Summer Solstice Paddle event. The organization invites New Yorkers of all ages to learn how to care for their waterways and to experience the “mellow after-work and after-school decompression” activity.

Or Celebrate the Solstice at Socrates Sculpture Park

Tonight is special for artists and performers throughout Queens. So, to mark the official start of summer, the Noguchi Museum, Free Style Arts Association, and The Blue Bus Project will gather in Socrates Sculpture Park from 5 pm to 8 pm to conduct artmaking. Storyteller Satya Celeste will transform a grove of trees into a communal art piece. And young performers and musicians from 696 Build Queensbridge and the Secret Society Dance Company will perform along the waterfront. Join them at this free celebration.



LONG READ: A ‘Cruel Birthday Present’ for Immigrant Children: Unaccompanied minors are protected until they turn 18. ICE can arrest them after that, writes Documented

ANOTHER LONG READ: Mike Pence visited the Syracuse area and said the Trump administration doesn’t want to separate children from their families, reports Syracuse.com

VIRAL: Senegal’s head coach celebrated the team’s game-winning goal with intense, furtive fist pumps that are getting the meme treatment

YUM: The celebrated Queens Night Market returns to Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Saturday. The market delicious food has earned rave reviews from The New York Times


NATIONAL NEWS: The US quit the UN Human Rights Council’ The Guardian . . . Disney agrees to pay $71.3 million for Fox Entertainment, outbidding Comcast Los Angeles Times

FOREIGN DISPATCHES: Pope Francis criticized Trump’s family separation policy Reuters . . . Canada legalizes recreational marijuana BBC


QUEENS SPORTS: Former Christ the King hoops star Rawle Alkins talked with Sports Illustrated about his Life as an NBA Draft Sleeper ahead of tonight’s draft


9 am: Metro Boys and Girls Club of Queens Annual Golf Outing in Garden City

10 am: Community Board 9 Cabinet Meeting in Kew Gardens

10:30 am to 11:30 am: Land Use Hearing at Borough Hall

3 pm to 10 pm: Summer Solstice Nighttime Paddle at Gantry Plaza State Park in Hunters Point

5 pm to 8 pm: Summer Solstice Celebration at Socrates Sculpture Park

5 pm to 9 pm: Cigar Factory Art Show Opening in Long Island City

6 pm: Mass Incarceration and Social Re-Entry Lecture at Jamaica Library

6 pm to 8 pm: Queens Council on the Arts Creative Conversations in Far Rockaway

7 pm: Community Board 3 Meets in Jackson Heights

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