The Unisphere || Credit: Beyond My Ken

QUEENS TODAY

Weprin’s Anti-Hazing Bill passes the Assembly and awaits Senate vote

An anti-hazing bill introduced by Assemblyman David Weprin passed the State Assembly on May 16 and awaits consideration by the Senate. Weprin’s bill would prohibit physical contact in any organization’s initiation ceremony. The bill was prompted by the 2013 hazing-death of Queens resident and Baruch College fraternity pledge Michael Deng. Deng died after fraternity members repeatedly struck him on the head while he carried a 20-lb. bag of sand blindfolded. The bill has received support from the organization Stop Hazing.

Holden presses city to protect one-family homes and prevent illegal conversions

Councilmember Robert Holden is urging the City to protect his district’s one-family homes and enforce laws against property owners who illegally convert their one-family homes into two- or three-family residences. According to residents of Maspeth and Middle Village, property-owners are building illegal basement apartments to attract more renters. The issue is a key concern for several constituents who discussed the conversions at a town hall meeting earlier this month. Holden said he has raised the issue with the Department of City Planning.

Network with other entrepreneurs and other professionals at tonight’s Bayside Business Association event

The Bayside Business Association will engage entrepreneurs and local businesspeople as part of a networking and educational seminar tonight at 6 pm. Memory development expert Matthew Goerke, a consultant to various celebrities, will advise attendees on how to improve their own memories and business-owner Michael D’Onofrio will address time-management strategies. The event takes place at 6 pm in the bar Bourbon Street at 40-12 Bell Boulevard

Construction worker finds noose hanging from Queens home

Construction worker Jawuan Blake encountered a disturbing prop when he visited a home in Broad Channel on Saturday — a noose hanging from the side of the house. Blake said that the noose was likely hung there as a racist threat. He was part of a team working on the house, which was affected by Hurricane Sandy, as part of the Build It Back program.

Family shelters need working kitchens, Senator Stavitsky says

State Senator Toby Ann Stavitsky has joined the organization Elmhurst United to demand that all facilities that house homeless families come equipped with working kitchens. Stavitsky introduced a Senate bill mandating the inclusion of kitchens inside family shelters on Thursday. She has advocated for better conditions inside hotels, like the Pan Am in Elmhurst, that contract with the Department of Homeless Services to shelter homeless New Yorkers. Her bill would prevent most hotels from hosting homeless families.

Pedestrian struck and killed on Queens Boulevard

Carlos Gavilanes, a 47-year-old Queens resident, was struck and killed by a car on Queens Boulevard early Monday. Gavilanes was crossing the wide street when a Honda Civic driven by a 24-year-old woman hit him. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. There were no arrests.

Advocacy group will advise parents seeking special education for their kids

IncludeNYC, an organization that advocates for the rights of children with special needs, will advise parents interested in seeking special education services for their children tonight in Flushing. Advocate Ruth DiRoma will host the free information session at 6 pm inside the Queens Valley School of the Arts.

Taste of Sunnyside brings neighbors and flavors together

An array of local food vendors and hungry neighbors will converge on Sunnyside for tonight’s Taste of Sunnyside 2018 Festival. The event will take place in the PC Richard’s parking lot at 50-02 Queens Blvd in Woodside from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Queens’ 18-year-old soccer star starts for France’s biggest club

Timothy Weah started his soccer career in Queens and now he starts for Paris St. Germain, one of the world’s biggest clubs. Weah, 18, first played for Rosedale Soccer Club before moving to Ridgewood-based Blau-Weiss Gottschee, part of the US Soccer Development Academy. He signed with Parisian powerhouse PSG last year and earned his first start with the French Ligue 1 champions on Saturday. Weah, the son of former World Player of the Year and current Liberian president George Weah, will return to the US to play for the national team later this Spring.

Queens Council on the Arts hosts renowned photographer tonight

The Queens Council on the Arts will host photographer Jonathan Higbee as part of its Back to the Lab speakers series tonight at 7 pm. Higbee’s work has been exhibited around the world and his photos have been featured by various major media outlets including Vice, NBC, Daily Mail, Buzzfeed. The talk will be held in the QCA headquarters at 37-11 35th Avenue in Astoria.

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