Maker Faire 2012 featured a fiery volcano. Photo by Jennifer Morrow.

World Maker Faire Coming to Flushing Meadows

The East Coast’s largest celebration of invention, creativity and curiosity is making its way to Queens later this month, bringing the “Maker Movement” within walking distance of the No. 7 train.

The New York Hall of Science, located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, will host The World Maker Faire on Saturday, Sept. 22 and Sunday, Sept. 23, featuring everything from an exhibit on sustainable architecture to a live presentation hosted by Adam Savage, the former host of “Mythbusters,” as well as other special events that are sure to delight the borough’s tech heads.

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Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Catalina Cruz and advocates for more women in office rallied in Diversity Plaza Sunday. Photo courtesy of Amplify Her.

Jackson Heights Event ‘Amplifies’ Voices of Women Running For Office

With just a few left before Thursday’s primary election, women candidates from Queens joined more than 100 supporters at Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights Sunday to demonstrate their support for progressive women running for office.

The event was hosted by Amplify Her, an organization created to address women’s underrepresentation in the New York City’s elected offices.

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Pedestrian safety advocates say Northern Boulevard is the borough’s new “Boulevard of Death.”// Google Maps

Death and Injury Persist On Queens’ Most Dangerous Streets

Despite the many successes of the New York City’s Vision Zero initiative, preventable deaths and injuries continue to plague Queens’ streets.

A few in particular stand out.

At least 32 have been injured or killed on Northern Boulevard and 22 more have been injured or killed on Jamaica Avenue, according to city data on traffic accidents.

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Assembly Member Ari Espinal (left), Council Member Francisco Moya (center) and car wash worker Ernesto Salazar called on the Department of Labor to end the tip credit. // Photo courtesy of Francisco Moya

Moya, Workers’ Rights Advocates Demand End to Tip Credit

Workers’ rights advocates and labor unions joined Council Member Francisco Moya at City Hall Tuesday to demand an end to the “tip credit” system, which enables employers in various industries to pay less than minimum wage.

“The livelihoods of restaurant servers, car wash workers, nail salon employees or any tipped worker should not be dependent on tolerating sexual harassment and discrimination but our two-tiered minimum wage system incentivizes silently suffering these indignities,” Moya said. “It’s time for New York to join the seven other states that have eliminated the tipped credit and provide tipped workers with the stability that comes from being guaranteed a living wage.”

A tip credit is the amount of tips earned by an employee that the law allows his or her employer to count as a credit against the minimum wage requirements for that industry, according to the New York State Department of Labor.

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Assembly Member Ari Espinal introduced three new bill designed to solidify hate crime laws and end private prisons and probation. // Photo courtesy of Ari Espinal

Espinal Moves to Ban Private Prisons

Assembly Member Ari Espinal introduced a slate of bills designed to solidify hate crime laws and erode privatization in the criminal justice system this week.

One bill, known as the Michael Sandy Act, would prevent defendants charged with a hate crime from arguing that they themselves are members of the same protected class as the victim.

The bill is named for Michael Sandy, an black gay man who was killed in 2006 by four white men who attempted to rob him. One of the defendants said he was also gay and thus immune to charges of committing a hate crime against another gay man.

The Private Prison Elimination Act would prohibit the state from leasing or granting state-owned property to be used for the operation of private correctional facilities.

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Latino Lawyers Association of Queens County President Catalina Cruz (in blue blazer) received the endorsement of NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer in the race for the District 39 Assembly seat on Monday. // Photo courtesy of Catalina Cruz

Stringer Backs Latino Lawyers President in Quest for Assembly

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer visited Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights Monday to announce his endorsement of Catalina Cruz in the race for the District 39 Assembly seat.

Cruz, the president of the Latino Lawyers Association of Queens County, came to Queens as an undocumented immigrant from Colombia at age 9. She eventually became a U.S. citizen and graduated from CUNY School of Law. She has represented low-income tenants facing eviction from their rent-stabilized apartments and served in various levels of government.

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The hone at at 33-13 98th Street in Jackson Heights.//Map data: Google.

Landlords Hit With Major Fines For Illegal Transient Conversions

Two Queens landlords were hit with major penalties totaling tens of thousands of dollars for the illegal conversion and transient use of their buildings.

The Department of Buildings issued their monthly enforcement action bulletin last week and two of the largest fines went to Queens property owners.

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