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Queens Today


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


Weather in Queens (NWS): Today: 81° Sunny, Night: 75° Clear

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THE LEDE: Welcome to Wednesday, June 20. Today is World Refugee Day, a day of particular importance to immigrants’ rights advocates hosting events throughout Queens and New York City. To learn more, visit the Panorama of Possibilities panel tonight at the Plaxall Gallery in Long Island City.

Yesterday, the Mayor and the NYPD issued a new marijuana enforcement policy and Queens leaders are split. Queens DA Richard Brown commended the policy, while Council Member Rory Lancman called it a “missed opportunity” to remedy the disproportionate enforcement against people of color. In Long Island City, homeowners at an affordable co-op face steep tax increases and over at JFK, a Mexican airline announced a $99 daily flight to Mexico City. Attention attorneys: the Queens County Bar Association offers an important 1-CLE workshop today. And music-lovers, rejoice: Borough President Melinda Katz announced the lineup for her annual Katz Concert Series. Finally, the Queens Council on the Arts hosts its monthly Creative Conversations event tonight in Jamaica

TWEET OF THE DAY: “The Mets have scored more runs tonight than they did in deGrom’s last eight starts combined” — SNY’s Steve Gelbs after the Mets finally gave ace Jacob Degrom some run support



DA Brown Applauds NYPD’s Approach to Marijuana Enforcement

Yesterday afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill announced a new marijuana enforcement policy that will instruct NYPD officers to write summonses rather than make arrests for weed-smoking in most cases starting Sept. 1. However, the new policy will still empower the NYPD to arrest anyone on probation or parole, anyone with a criminal warrant and anyone who doesn’t have ID. In a statement, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown commended the revised approach: “By choosing this sensible path, by which only the presence of limited aggravating factors will justify an arrest, the Police Department will continue to have the ability to control the activity without the majority of those committing the offenses being arrested and put through the system.”

But Council Member Lancman Blasted Condemned the New Policy

District 24 Council Member Rory Lancman condemned the new weed policy, telling the Daily News Tuesday that the “new” approach is not so new. In fact, Lancman said, the enforcement policy will still disproportionately affect people of color who are already entangled in the criminal justice system at a rate far higher than white New Yorkers. “It perpetuates all the inequalities that already exist in the criminal justice system,” Lancman said.

Low-Cost Airline Will Offer Daily Flights From JFK to Mexico City for $99

The sprawling metropolis of Mexico City has transformed into one of the hippest, most popular destinations for US travelers. And Mexico’s Viva Aerobus has responded to the surge in US visitors by breaking into the New York City market. The economy airline announced Tuesday that it will provide daily flights from JFK to Mexico City for just $99.

Affordable LIC Co-op Hit With Increased Taxes and Steep Property Value Assessment

A massive middle-income co-op in Long Island City is about to become significantly less affordable unless Mayor Bill de Blasio takes action, Politico reports. Citylights, the 522-unit co-op, was originally built about 20 years ago to facilitate affordable home ownership for middle-income New Yorkers. But an 87 percent increase in property tax assessments over the past year and the upcoming end of a housing tax break may leave residents reeling.

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

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 the SUNY Queens Educational Opportunity Center. Participants will meet at 6 pm then travel as a group to the Queens Community Board 12 meeting in Jamaica. “Creative Conversations” is a monthly dinner meeting that enables local artists and community members to network, organize and advocate for opportunities.

Attention Attorneys: Earn 1 CLE While Learning About Challenges Faced By Young Parents in Foster Care

Today at 1:15 pm, the Queens County Bar Association will host a 1-hour, 1-CLE workshop entitled “Where I Come From Doesn’t Determine Where I Will Go” at their headquarters at 90-35 148th St. in Jamaica. The workshop features a four-person paneled moderated by Rise Magazine Content Supervisor Rachel Blustain. Since 2012, Rise has facilitated a special project that enables young parents raised in foster care to write and speak about their experiences and advocate for change.

Borough President Katz Introduces Free Concert Series

Melinda Katz’s annual concert series will bring Rock, Bach, Bruce and Jazz to Queens parks all summer long. The Katz Concert Series kicks off with a 90-minute performance by Alive N Kickin’ at Rockaway Beach along 94th St. at 6 pm on July 8. Other acts include Dr. K’s Motown Revue, the Queens Symphony Orchestra, Lady and the Vamps and Bruce Springsteen cover band Tramps Like Us.

Celebrate Jerusalem at a Free Concert Tonight in Forest Hills

Renowned musician Yoel Sharabi and his band will entertain music-lovers and honor the 70th anniversary of the founding of the modern state of Israel during the Celebrate Jerusalem Concert at 6 pm tonight in Forest Hills’ MacDonald Park. Hosts include Borough President Katz, the Queens Jewish Community Council, the Jewish Community Council of New York and Council Member Karen Koslowitz. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets. In case of rain, the free event will take place at the Forest Hills Jewish Center.



LONG READ: 1 in 5 New Yorkers Who Wear Religious Clothing Have Been Pushed on the Subway, according to a new study by the NYC Commission on Human Rights, reports Buzzfeed News

ANOTHER LONG READ: In ‘The End of Civil Rights,’ The Atlantic’s Vann R. Newkirk II analyzes the potential legacy of Attorney General Jeff Sessions

VIRAL: England fans erupted after striker Harry Kane’s stoppage time goal won their opening match in the 2018 World Cup

YUM: As the summer heat intensifies, QNS.com lists Queens’ best frozen dessert shops


NATIONAL NEWS: Trump and Republicans will meet amid furor over family separation Reuters . . . ProPublica obtained chilling audio of children wailing for their missing parents inside a immigrant detention camp along the US border

FOREIGN DISPATCHES:  Dozens feared dead after Sumatran ferry crashes BBC . . . Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping met for the third time since March The Guardian


QUEENS SPORTS: Jacob DeGrom’s 1.51 ERA through 15 starts this season is lower than Dwight Gooden’s 1.66 ERA through 15 games during Gooden’s legendary 1985 Cy Young season



9:15 am to 12:15 pm: Su Casa Hosts a  Senior Media Production Workshop in Flushing

10 am: Community Board 13 Cabinet Meets in Queens Village

1:15 pm to 2:15 pm: SSCI Training Series: Where I Come From Doesn’t Determine Where I Will Go at the Queens County Bar Association in Jamaica

6 pm: Celebrate Jerusalem Concert at MacDonald Park in Forest Hills

6 pm to 8 pm: Queens Council on the Arts Hosts Creative Conversations in Jamaica

6:30 pm to 8:30 pm: Back to the Lab Photography Book Club in Long Island City

6:30 to 8:30 pm: Panorama of Possibilities World Refugee Day panel in Long Island City

7 pm: Community Board 12 Meets at Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center in St. Alban’s

7:30 pm to 10 pm: Palindrome Artists Showcase in Woodside

7: 30 pm to 9:30 pm: Networking in Creative Arts at Innovations in Creative Arts in Jamaica

8 pm: “Vulture,” A Queens County Bird Club Presentation in Douglaston

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