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Friday April 18, 2014

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What is Wrong with this Picture?

It is a TALE OF TWO AGENDAS

A few weeks ago, on March 28, President of the Borough of Queens, Melinda Katz, along with her World's Fair Committee, announced at a Press Conference that Queens institutions would Announced  a Commemoration of 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs Anniversary with a summer of events throughout the Borough.

She also announced a movement to repair the aged New York State Pavillion.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for What is Wrong with this Picture?

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Crowley Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the New York World’s Fair with House Resolution

1964 World’s Fair Recognized for Outstanding Achievements and Lasting Legacy in Queens and Across the Country

Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, announced the introduction of H. Res. 552, a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 New York World's Fair and recognizing its lasting legacy in not only technology, industry and entertainment, but in the hearts and minds of Americans.

“The 1964 World’s Fair is a source of pride for the people of Queens and throughout the City of New York,” said Rep. Crowley.  “That’s why I am introducing a resolution that honors the legacy of a key moment in our country’s history. With its themes of peace and progress, the fair reflected our nation’s diversity, showcased the very best in American ingenuity and lifted up our country during a tumultuous time.”

The fair opened on April 22, 1964 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and was attended by more than 51 million people. Leaving behind key landmarks such as the Unisphere and New York State Pavilion, the fair’s presence has remained strong in the borough. Many of its structures are still used today by Queens institutions like the New York Hall of Science, Queens Zoo, Queens Theater and Queens Museum.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for Crowley Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the New York World’s Fair with House Resolution

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Political Junkie Asks "Where Did the Money Come From"

Answers or non-answers will appear here in the future.

Often we ask, "Where did all the money go"? That could be at the end of the week when we find our pockets empty.
It often happens at this time of year when we have to dig deeper to send a payment to cover our income tax bill.
But this year, as the news is reporting, we won't be asked for any additional tax $$$ even though we will be able to afford programs such as Universal Pre Kindergarten. In addition to that the Doe Fund will be used to keep our streets cleaner.

There is no doubt that most of us will be delighted with the news especially because these are two programs where  voters can see the results directly in their neighborhoods.

Let's ask Governor Cuomo.  Where did the $$$ or Pre-K come from? It's a plan promised to be funded for five years without any additional taxes, even from the "rich".  How does Albany "find" the money so quickly, even quick enough to get the budget completed "on time".

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for Political Junkie Asks "Where Did the Money Come From"

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US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Talks to NYPD's PAL  4/11/2013

A role model, Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor says "I grew up playing in the streets of the Bronx. I just got lucky."

"One day, I found myself laying in the grass and looking up" Justice Sotomayor told a gymnasium filled with Police Athletic League (PAL) supporters gathered on Friday, April 11, 2014 at the PAL Duncan Center on West 52nd Street in Manhattan for the First Annual PAL Awareness Luncheon.

Justice Sotomayor made a special visit to the meeting of PAL supporters because of her long friendship with District Attorney Robert Morgenthau (Chairman of PAL), who she affectionately called "Boss" during her talk, and  others like PAL Board member John Catsimatidis.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Talks to NYPD's PAL  4/11/2013

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Greek Community Leadership Breakfast with Comptroller Scott Stringer 4/11/2014

More than 5,000 Greeks have settled in Astoria during the past year

New York City Comptroller, Scott Stringer, hosted a breakfast for Greek community leaders in his Board Room at 1 Center Street in Manhattan.

The Comptroller is considered a friend of the Greek community and wanted to recognize Greek Independence Day.

During the Comptroller's comments, he said that "The Greek community symbolizes the backbone of the working people of our city."

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for Greek Community Leadership Breakfast with Comptroller Scott Stringer 4/11/2014

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Two Astoria Businesses Organize an Easter Party for Kids Thursday, April 17, 2014, at The Candy Bar on Ditmars Blvd.

Private Island® Entertainment, The Candy Bar Team up to create a special Easter Event for Hour Children

Two Astoria-based businesses, Private Island®  Entertainment LLC and The Candy Bar have teamed up to facilitate an Easter Party for children. The event will be for Astoria-based Hour Children. The party will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, 2014, at The Candy Bar, 19-31 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria, N.Y.

“This event will benefit children who might not otherwise have a joyous Easter celebration,” explained Randy Klein, owner of The Candy Bar. Children participating are involved in the Astoria, N.Y.-based charity, Hour Children (www.hourchildren.org), of Astoria, N.Y., are scheduled to attend the Easter party, she noted

Hour Children acknowledges the important hours that shape the life of a child with an incarcerated mother. The organization’s mission is to end the cycle of intergenerational incarceration and help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their children successfully rejoin the community, reunite with their families and build healthy, independent and  secure lives.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for Two Astoria Businesses Organize an Easter Party for Kids Thursday, April 17, 2014, at The Candy Bar on Ditmars Blvd.

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SUNY Chancellor Speaks at Long Island City Meeting on Her Views About Early Education, and Why it is Important to SUNY.

OurLIC Video Conversation with SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher participated in a Cradle-to-Career community briefing held by Zone126 at the Variety Boys & Girls Club.

The Chancellor discussed her experience with assisting children to reach their full promise through community based programs.

OurLIC NEWS participated in the meeting and presents a VIDEO of the Chancellors comments along with full video coverage of the meeting. Presentations are made by Zone126 as well as all other organizations attending the briefing.   This article is work-in-progress. Please check back.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for SUNY Chancellor Speaks at Long Island City Meeting on Her Views About Early Education, and Why it is Important to SUNY.

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Commissioner William Bratton Speaks at Astoria Civic Association. Distinguishes between Prevention and Enforcement in Police Work

Bratton says the cost of compliance to new laws and court order will be extremely high in both dollars and manpower. Changes have had an effect on NYPD morale.

Commission William Bratton spoke at an Astoria Civic Association meeting April 8, 2014.  He was among friends, since he had worked closely with the Civic Association Chairman, Peter Vallone, Sr., when Vallone was the First Speaker of the City Council. At the time, Vallone was the architect of "Safe Streets,Safe Cities." Bratton, then head of the Transit Police, credited Vallone with creating the turning point in NYC's historic downturn in crime that has lasted through all Mayoral administrations since David Dinkins.

Bratton also discussed a number of other topics, including the impact of the three new City Council initiated laws, and the Federal Court's decision in 2013.

OurLIC NEWS was at the event and presents full video coverage with this article.

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VERY SPECIAL VIDEO: Chef Nick Guitart Builds Opendoor Restaurant...HIS WAY!

OurLIC presents video and photo documentary of the Chef who built his own restaurant with his bare hands...his way! Watch the whole story through OurLIC archives.

This is a story that began as dream...and a Community Board meeting in September 2009 and continued until a restaurant named Opendoor opened in March 2013.

Chef Nick Guitart did it his way!

OurLIC NEWS documented the design, development and construction of Opendoor Restaurant as it was happening, at each step. Photography and a special Video are presented with this article.

Opendoor Restaurant is located in the trendy Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, New York, which lies directly on the East River, and is known for its breathtaking views of several miles of the Manhattan skyline. When Nick Guitart discovered Long Island City, with its combination of gritty and new, of trendy and old neighborhoods, it was love at first sight.

He knew it was the place for his new restaurant opendoor.

As LIC folks know, LIC is famous for the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign that you can see from Manhattan. The sign was originally on top of a Pepsi bottling plant and luckily was preserved when they took down the plant in 1999. Just so there would be no mistaking where opendoor’s allegiances were,  chef-owner-operator Nick Guitart  designed and built a 25-foot long replica of the Pepsi sign--from the back! the LIC side! Nick’s Pepsi sign is mounted on the wall in the middle eating section of the restaurant. The understated red neon glow of the sign warms the restaurant and customers love it! Many people come in because they have heard about Nick’s great sign!

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for VERY SPECIAL VIDEO: Chef Nick Guitart Builds Opendoor Restaurant...HIS WAY!

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NY State Comptroller DiNapoli Weekly Newsletter for the Week Ending April 6, 2014

For the Week Ending April 6, 2014

DiNapoli Report Finds Medicaid Costs for Treating Asthma Rising

New York’s asthma–related Medicaid expenditures rose more than 26 percent in the last five years, as the state’s overall annual asthma bill topped $1.3 billion for medical costs and lost productivity, according to a report released Friday by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

DiNapoli: Preschool Special Education Contractor Overcharged Taxpayers $875,000

TheraCare Preschool Services Inc, a downstate provider of preschool special education services, overcharged state taxpayers by more than $875,000 for improper staff bonuses and executive compensation over a three-year period, according to an audit released Wednesday by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

DiNapoli Releases Bond Calendar for Second Quarter

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli Tuesday announced a tentative schedule for the planned sale of obligations for the state, New York City, and their major public authorities during the second quarter of 2014.

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli Friday announced his office completed audits of the Town of Andover; Town of Caledonia; Village of Lyons Falls; North Shore Public Library; and the Town of Westerlo.

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli Friday announced his office completed audits of the East Moriches Union Free School District; Orchard Park Central School District; Oysterponds Union Free School District; and the Salem Central School District.


Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for NY State Comptroller DiNapoli Weekly Newsletter for the Week Ending April 6, 2014

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VIDEO: Assembly Member Aravella Simotas and United Community Civic Association  (UCCA) Host Annual Town Hall Meeting           April 3, 2014

On Thursday evening, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and the United Community Civic Association (UCCA) hosted a Town Hall Meeting at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. Over 100 residents were at the meeting to ask question and make commentaries.  Elected officials, respresentatives from approximately 30 agencies of government, Queens Community Board #1, and ConEdison were available to answer questions.

In addition,  Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Senator Jose Peralta, and Councilmember Costa Constantinides spoke to the attendees.

The meeting was moderated by both Assemblymember Aravella Simotas as well as RoseMarie Poveromo, President of UCCA.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for VIDEO: Assembly Member Aravella Simotas and United Community Civic Association  (UCCA) Host Annual Town Hall Meeting           April 3, 2014

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OurLIC VIDEO REPORT: Residential Design, Development & Construction in NYC - 2015

There is optimism about residential real estate development in NYC, with some reservations including the hope that the new city administration can learn the lessons from the prior administrations; and, that employment trends will increase at the same rate as rental costs increase in the city.

The Design, Development & Construction Committee of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce held its Sprint 2014 meeting at Holy Trinity Cathedral Ballroom on April 3, 2014.  Four panelists told a group of approximately 200 gathered, that they were optimistic about residential real estate development in NYC, with some reservations including the hope that the new city administration can learn the lessons from the prior administrations; and, that employment trends will increase at the same rate as rental costs increase in the city.

Panelists include:

MODERATOR: Louis Katsos, President, Jakmar Associates and Adjunct Professor, Cooper Union

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for OurLIC VIDEO REPORT: Residential Design, Development & Construction in NYC - 2015

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Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund To Celebrate 23rd Anniversary May 10th

Event to Honor Michael Psaros, Mario Frangoulis and George Venizelos and will feature a superstar concert with Frangoulis, Sister Sledge and Valantis!

The Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund will honor Michael Psaros, Co-founder and Co-Managing Partner of KPS Capital Partners, LP, International Classical  Crossover Artist Mario Frangoulis and George Venizelos, FBI – Assistant Director in charge of the NY Field Office, at its 23rd Anniversary Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Saturday, May 10, 2014. A superstar concert will also be headlined by Frangoulis, Greek singing sensation Valantis as well as Sister Sledge (“We Are Family”).

For 23 years the HTSF has awarded scholarships to over 850 students totaling over $2 million. It also endeavors to provide a once in a lifetime experience for these scholars by creating an unforgettable evening for them where they are recognized before a crowd of over 1200 people.  

Past HTSF honorees have included: Tina Fey, Olympia Dukakis, Gilles Marini, FOX News anchor Ernie Anastos, CBS News Anchor Alexis Christoforous, Fox-5 meteorologist Nick Gregory, Constantine Maroulis, Cat Cora, Marilu Henner, Melina Kanakaredes, and actor Frank Dicopoulos, many of which will be in attendance.

General Chairs are humanitarians and business leaders Margo & John Catsimatidis. John is Chairman of the Red Apple Group, HTSF and Publisher of the Hellenic Times and currently hosts CATS Roundtable on AM Radio 970 Sunday Morning 9-10am.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund To Celebrate 23rd Anniversary May 10th

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An Art District is Born for New York City...in Astoria.  3/28/2014

Kaufman Art District

Hal Rosenbluth, Kaufman Astoria Studios, Talks with OurLIC about the DREAM behind Kaufman Art District.

The Kaufman Arts District, named and designated on March 28, 2014 by the NY City Council at a ceremony, is bounded by 31st Street to the west, 34th Avenue to the north, Steinway Street to the east and 37th Avenue to the south.  The founding partners of the Arts District are Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Museum of the Moving Image and the Queens Council on the Arts.

Within the Kaufman Arts District is the Museum of the Moving Image, the only museum in the City dedicated to the art and history of film, television and digital media; The Astor Room, a restaurant that is housed in the former Paramount commissary with much of the original interior still intact; Studio Square NYC, an enormous 30,000-square-foot outdoor beer garden that is also used for film and TV shoots; the Queens Council on the Arts, a non-profit organization that supports and develops artists and arts organizations throughout Queens; the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, a public school founded by Tony Bennett; UA Kaufman Astoria Cinemas, a 14-theater multiplex; the Theater Development Fund’s Costume Collection, a repository of costumes available for use by theater, film and television productions; and the Astoria Performing Arts Center.

OurLIC discussed the new Art District with Hal Rosenbluth, President of Kaufman Astoria Studios in a VIDEO CONVERSATION presented with this article. At the end, Rosenbluth responds to a question about NYC needing people who DREAM, says:

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for An Art District is Born for New York City...in Astoria.  3/28/2014

Kaufman Art District

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Kaufman Art District
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Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President, Announces Commemoration of 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs.

Queens to Celebrate major anniversaries this year the 50th and 75th anniversary of World's Fair.

John Catsimatidis calls on Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo to at least discuss a commitment to a NEW World's Fair in NYC for 2018 or 2020

In 1939 and again in 1964, Queens hosted the World’s Fair. Both were historic events for Queens, the city and the world. WWII had ended, and only a short few years later, the United States had entered a race for outer space and rocketry with Russia.  The United States was a clear worldwide leader. People wanted to know what we did and how we did it.

The World's Fair in 1964 attracted over 50 million people over a two year period to Queens.  The Unisphere became a symbol of the technological progress and leadership of the United State. By 1969, a mere five years later, that technology took the US to a moon landing in July.

Fast forward to 2014, Queens Borough President, and a committee representing institutions and city / state government announced that Queens would celebrate both World's Fairs by special events at the Cultural Institutions and parks throughout borough as a way to promote Tourism, and re-brand Queens as a destination becasue of its diveristy and attractions.


Queens Borough President, Melinda Katz, and a committee announced on March 28 that during the next six months, various Queens entities — including Louis Armstrong House Museum, New York Hall of Science, Noguchi Museum, NYC Parks, Queens Botanical Garden, Queens Center, Queens Historical Society, Queens Museum, Queens Theatre and The Port Authority of NY & NJ — will hold commemorative events, such as exhibits, plays, concerts and even a beer festival saying that "People will come to enjoy Queens parks, eat in the restaurants, and stay in the hotels."

Many people who came to the World's Fair decided to live in Queens, ultimately making it the most diverse place in the world.

Borough President Katz also announced a commitment to refurbish the New York State Pavillion. On April 22nd, the Pavillion will open for the first time in decades.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President, Announces Commemoration of 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs.

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Hockey Mom is Against the Bag Tax.  It Goes Before NY City Council Today - 3/26/2014

How will this fee be enforced? Is the city going to send tax agents into every supermarket, grocery store and bodega to count the bags?

As a candidate for District 22 City Council Member, I spoke out against the proposed bag-fee legislation with candidate Craig Caruana at a press conference covered by NY1.

This proposed fee is just another tax on the hard working people of New York City, who are already some of the highest taxed people in the country. And as we have seen with the attempts in the past to raise the bottle deposit fees, this is just another avenue for future tax increases.

This is another attempt to nickel and dime (more if you double bag your groceries) the good people of New York who have seen declining wages, fewer hours, fewer jobs and increasing taxes over the last few years. People's budgets are already stretched thin and this is just an unnecessary burden.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for Hockey Mom is Against the Bag Tax.  It Goes Before NY City Council Today - 3/26/2014

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TODAY IN HISTORY: SPECIAL OurLIC VIDEO REPORT:  PS229 Sixth Grade Students and Their Teacher, Caroline Roswell,  Make The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Relevant to Today

In 2011, Caroline Roswell (Gruss) brought her sixth grade students to Mt. Zion Cemetery to participate in the 100th Anniversary of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911.

On March 25, 1911, one hundred years ago, 145 young Italian and Jewish immigrant women and men died in a tragic workplace fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Manhattan.    The tragic fire is important not only because of the loss of life, but because several workplace safety and union laws were enacted to prevent  employers from creating or neglecting  dangerous circumstances for workers in the workplace.

Important, also, is the fact that immigrant workers at the turn of the century were pouring into America...a place where they could "work for a better life"....not unlike today.

People often refer to the "diversity" of Queens, and the growth of immigrant families here.  You can see the faces of children from immigrant families in schools and neighborhoods throughout the borough.  It is no different than 1911.  People are leaving other countries because they want to work for a better life in New York City and America.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for TODAY IN HISTORY: SPECIAL OurLIC VIDEO REPORT:  PS229 Sixth Grade Students and Their Teacher, Caroline Roswell,  Make The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Relevant to Today

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The FACT About NYC's New PAID SICK LEAVE...Including Part Time and Temporary Employees

FACT SHEET from Department of Consumer Affairs

The new City Council passed a NEW PAID SICK LEAVE Bill, which was signed by Mayor de Blasio on March 20, 2014 after much controversy.

The Law makes provision of five sick days for temporary, part time, and full time employees working for companies with FIVE employees or more. The defining element is 80 or more hours per year, and covers residents and undocumented workers.  Government AGENCIES are excluded from the requirements of the law.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for The FACT About NYC's New PAID SICK LEAVE...Including Part Time and Temporary Employees

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SPECIAL VIDEO REPORT: Hillary Rodham Clinton Honored by American Jewish Congress; Asks 'Would Iranians Rather End  Up like North Korea... or South Korea.' 3/19/2014

American Jewish Congress 2014 Stephen S. Wise Honoree, Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks out on the US Commitment to Israel, and the impact of sanctions on Iran.

On Wednesday, March 19, 2014, the American Jewish Congress presented Hillary Rodham Clinton with its prestigious Stephen S. Wise Award.

Sounding very impressive and "presidential",  the formidable Mrs. Clinton made it absolutely clear, to hundreds gathered at Cipriani in NYC, that there is an "unshakeable bond between the United States and Israel" saying "America will always have Israel's back through every up and down.  That's what we do. That is who we are."

In asking the question "Would Iranians rather end up like North Korea...or South Korea", the former Secretary of State for the United States of America summoned up the history, talents, and greatness of the people and Civilization of the Iranian people; and, contrasted it to "the distortions that have seized the dreams and aspirations of the Iranian poeple", leaving it with a failing economy that has taken place as a result of the sanctions that have taken a toll on Iran.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for SPECIAL VIDEO REPORT: Hillary Rodham Clinton Honored by American Jewish Congress; Asks 'Would Iranians Rather End  Up like North Korea... or South Korea.' 3/19/2014

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GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE Sunday 3/30 2:00 pm -4:00 PM

Greeks Celebrate their Independence on March 25th.

In Astoria, the largest population of Greek people outside of Greece celebrated at the Federation of Hellenic Societies on Friday evening March 14th...Hosted by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and three elected officials of Greek family background.

Updated with Greek Independence Day Parade VIDEO 3/30/14

Few people have given the world as much as the people of Greece. Their contribution to Western Civilization is enormous...including the ideas from the greatest thinkers and philosophers Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates.

From earliest technologies to FREEDOM, Democracy, and Religion, the Greek people have been innovative and passionate about their lives, food, athletics, government, and family values.  They have been especially passionate about independence.  After a rebellion, Greeks won their independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829. It is celebrated on March 25th.  This year, in NYC, the large Greek Independence Day Parade on 5th Avenue (Sunday March 30th) will mark the day.

On March 14, 2014 three people of Greek and Cypriot origin, now elected officials, hosted a celebration with Melinda Katz (aka Katzamopulous), President of the Borough of Queens, to recognize leaders of the community and celebrate that which makes the Greek people great leaders in the world...Integrity, leadership, education, community and family, athletics, respect, beauty, family, and love of food.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE Sunday 3/30 2:00 pm -4:00 PM

Greeks Celebrate their Independence on March 25th.

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Greeks Celebrate their Independence on March 25th. to Arthur@CityEntree.com

SPECIAL OURLIC REPORT: SAFE STREETS, SAFE HOME.  NYPD and Community Leaders Respond to Increase in Crime in Astoria

NYPD 114th Precinct Responding with increased presence of patrolman, seen on Ditmars Blvd and 30th Avenue.

Peter Vallone Jr, Three term City Council Member and former Chair of the City Council's Public Safety Committee, says:

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for SPECIAL OURLIC REPORT: SAFE STREETS, SAFE HOME.  NYPD and Community Leaders Respond to Increase in Crime in Astoria

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Z-Hotel Owner, Henry Zilberman (53), the Long Island City Real Estate Developer and Entrepreneur, Dies March 1, 2014

Z HOTEL OWNER

Henry Zilberman, owner of the Z Hotel , died unexpectedly on Saturday, March 1, 2014.  He was 53 years old.  He is survived by his wife, Susan and two daughters, Meredith and Tali.  He was buried in Israel.

Zilberman came to Long Island City, and is most well known for building the Z Hotel and the Vere Condominium.

As an entrepreneur, Zilberman lived the great American immigrant dream.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for Z-Hotel Owner, Henry Zilberman (53), the Long Island City Real Estate Developer and Entrepreneur, Dies March 1, 2014

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William Bratton, NYC Commissioner of Police, Tells PAL Business Luncheon that Murders are Down from 53 in 2013 to 42 this Year as of 2/26/2014

He is glad to be back. Says crime is down in NYC during the first two months, and that he is building on the legacy of Ray Kelly.

This article is work in progress.  Please check back.

John Catsimatidis, candidate for Mayor of NYC and Member of the Board of Directors of PAL, Chaired the meeting.

Go to Full OurLIC Article, Video and Photos for William Bratton, NYC Commissioner of Police, Tells PAL Business Luncheon that Murders are Down from 53 in 2013 to 42 this Year as of 2/26/2014

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New York Senate Votes Down DREAM ACT.

OurLIC Calls for the NY City Council and Mayor de Blasio to Reinstate the Hon. Peter F. Vallone Scholarship

In April 2013, Bill de Blasio, then Public Advocate called on the City Council and Mayor Bloomberg to reinstate the Hon. Peter F. Vallone Scholarship. He said then that it was "...the right thing to do, it is critical to New York City's future."

In its May 1, 2013 edition page 15, the Queens Gazette reported that "Elected Officials, Advocates Call to Reinstate Vallone Scholarship." A similar article appeared in the May 2nd edition of the Queens Chronicle on page 13.  Yet another appeared in the Queens Courier.

Then Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio, stood with other elected officials to ask Speaker Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg to reconsider the action taken to defund the program that had been in place since 1997.

At the time, de Blasio said

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OurLIC Calls for the NY City Council and Mayor de Blasio to Reinstate the Hon. Peter F. Vallone Scholarship

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MTA Announces 22 Weekend Interruption for 7 Subway Line.  Full OurLIC VIDEO

Elected Officials, Business people and Community Leaders Hold Rally. Full OurLIC VIDEO Coverage 1/17/2014 PLUS IMPACT STUDY INTERVIEWS by OurLIC NEWS

COUNCIL MEMBER JIMMY VAN BRAMER, ELECTED OFFICIALS, BUSINESS OWNERS, CULTURAL GROUPS & QUEENS RESIDENTS RALLY AGAINST 22 WEEKENDS OF DISRUPTIONS ON 7 LINE

On January 17th, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer was joined by elected officials who represent neighborhoods along the 7 Line, business owners, cultural and community leaders to call on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to stop disrupting the lives of Queens residents and implement a service schedule that gets people to work as well as to and from Western Queens reliably.

The MTA recently announced it will be disrupting service along the 7 Train for 22 weekends. These disruptions will begin February 28th and are projected to continue throughout the year. As a result the disruptions threaten to cripple businesses and cultural groups throughout Queens as well as negatively impact the lives of thousands of riders who count on the 7 Line to get to work, school and vital medical appointments over the weekend.

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New 'Dining Guide LIC' Launched for Astoria, Sunnyside, and Greater Long Island City

Beta Test of New Technology to present Restaurants

OuLIC / CityEntree have launched a new service at DiningGuideLIC.com, including new technology to present restaurants in a fresh, new way.  CityEntree Recommended MARCH restaurants are available to view.

This is the first step in highlighting restaurants in Greater Long Island CIty, Astoria, and Sunnyside. The service and technology are being powered by CityEntree, and restaurants from the area will also be promoted on the CityEntree service.

The plan is to produce the service as part of Neighborhood Life on OurLIC, and present the restaurants on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis. The system is fully geocoded and will be available to provide service based on the immediate location of the user on a cellphone or tablet. It will also be tied to promote tourism for the area.

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Tony Vaccaro. Reflecting at 91

Tony Vaccaro. Photojournalist, Photographer, Historian, Veteran of WWII Reflecting. At home. Conversation with Arthur Rosenfield

Tony Vaccaro is a world renowned photographer and photojournalist. Now living in Long Island City, Tony first earned his credentials on the battlefields of World War II.  He was recently invited by the country of France to visit Normandy and speak at a special event. 

OurLIC met with Tony on his 91st birthday, shortly after his return to his home in Long Island City.  In a conversation with Arthur Rosenfield, Tony reflects on a variety of topics.  The video conversation is presented with this article in two parts.

Tony Vaccaro has over twenty Honor Decorations and Awards

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Featured Sponsor

TALK TO DONNA FUREY ABOUT MEDICAID INCOME AND RESOURCE LEVELS FOR 2014

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Progress Made by Mayor Bloomberg's Executives to Help Small Business Owners Avoid Fines and Fees

New information and tools, legislation, review of top violations to prevent fines and fees, plus new fee structure presented at meeting between City Agencies and Non-Government Organizations and Chambers of Commerce that work with small business.

As reported in OurLIC and discussed at the Long Island City / Astoria Chamber of Commerce meetings for the past 18 months, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has had an objective to make NYC more "business friendly" for small businesses, without diminishing the improvements in NYC quality of life that the Mayor has acheived throughout his administration. Similarly, the City Council has acted with the Mayor, and passed a series of legislative acts that support this objective for the City's restaurants and small businesses.

After a year of dedicated work on this, today a team of Bloomberg Senior Advisors, Assistant Commissioners, Senior Inspectors and others from the Bloomberg Administration presented the latest information, tools, structure, and strategy to ease regulations and fines in order to help achieve the objective of making NYC more business friendly for small business owners.

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Economic Snapshot Shows that Queens has Rebounded Strongly from Recession

Thomas DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller, documents growth of Queens.

Queens County has rebounded strongly from the Great Recession over the past two years with employment now at a record level of nearly 500,000 private sector jobs, according to an economic snapshot of Queens released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“Queens is a classic New York success story that is well-positioned for the future,” DiNapoli said. “Superstorm Sandy impacted thousands of Queens residents, but the borough is on the recovery path. With a strong economy, a fast growing and diverse population, and several large projects on the horizon, Queens is booming. ”

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Contract Awarded for Phase II of Hunters Point South. Includes 1,193 Apartments, with 796 Units being Affordable to Moderate- and Middle-income families.

TF Cornerstone to build Hunters Point South

In May 2013, the New York City Economic Development Corporation issued an RFP for the development of the Phase II or Hunters Point South, the peninsular between the East River and Newtown Creek where the City initially intended to put the Olympic Village.

On Thursday, December 5th, the NYCEDC announced that it was awarding the contract to TF Cornerstone, a developer already very familiar with Long Island City.  This latest project will create 1,193 apartments, with 796 units being affordable to moderate- and middle-income families. One hundred of those apartments will be reserved for low-income seniors. The remainder will be market rate.

Senator Michael Gianaris released the following statement regarding the launch of the Hunter’s Point South Phase 2 development.

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Kaufman Astoria Studios Cuts Ribbon on the FIRST Dedicated Backlot on the East Coast

"The Backlot is an exciting new development for the film and television industry in New York as well as for this area of Astoria. It will draw more world-class productions to New York and gives these productions much needed outdoor space to create temporary sets that can stay up for as long as they need to shoot," said Hal Rosenbluth, president of Kaufman Astoria.

On December 3rd, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Kaufman Astoria Studios, cultural leaders and elected officials celebrated the grand opening of New York City’s first outdoor stage. Council Member Van Bramer, Chair of the New York City Council’s Cultural Affairs Committee, has played a pivotal role in working with Kaufman Astoria Studios  to create the block-long, 34,800-square-foot studio space which will allow productions to shoot exterior and special effects shots outside in a controlled environment.

"The addition of New York City’s first-ever outdoor sound stage puts Astoria on the map when it comes to producing blockbuster movies in the United States," said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Chair of the New York City Council’s Cultural Affairs Committee. "I am proud to have helped make this historic project a reality in the same neighborhood where I grew up. By expanding Kaufman Astoria Studios we are continuing the resurgence of the arts that has spurred a renaissance here in Astoria. From a dormant building in the late 1970’s, Kaufman Astoria Studios has built a world-class institution that has helped Western Queens become "Hollywood East".

"As the first dedicated Backlot in the five boroughs, film and television productions are now more likely to yell ‘action’ and choose Kaufman Astoria Studios and New York City as a location for filming," said Senator Charles Schumer. "Today’s ribbon-cutting is a tremendous milestone for the neighborhood, the city, and the thousands of people who work in New York’s booming film and television industries."

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SPECIAL OurLIC REPORT: Housing Roundtable Hosted by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney  November 12, 2013

Congeresswoman Maloney gathers information, background, perspective, and identifies issues one of three Housing Roundtables held in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Full Video Coverage with this article.

On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney met with community business and economic development leaders from real estate brokerage firms, banks, financial advisory services real estate developers, economic development corporations, civic associations, and others to gain feedback about housing and housing finance in preparation for action on a bill being authored by the House Financial Services Committee Chairman called the "PATH ACT."    The PATH ACT would eliminate FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC without replacing them.

Another proposal now pending in the Senate, "The Housing Financing Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013" would create a new mortgage re-insurance agency called the Federal Mortgage Insurance Company (FMIC) similar to the FDIC.to replace the catastrophic re-insurance role the taxpayers provided during the recent housing collapse.

Participants in the meeting included:

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LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Roy Hastick

There is a man, who, having the vision and leadership qualities to organize the Caribbean community of leaders and business people into a profoundly successful and influential organization known as the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has led the way for millions of people over more than 30 years.    

One-by-one, deed-after-deed, one proclamation after another proclamation, one achievement after another achievement,  this man has lifted the trade between Caribbean Countries and New York State, and lifted New York State's immigrant community representing 27 Caribbean nations.

Day-after-day, this one man, with the support of his wife, children, friends, and many in government, just never stopped. 

Roy Hastick is Founder and President of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Between TOURISM and TRADE, the Carribean is among New York City's major international partners.

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Alba Restaurant, a Traditional Italian Restaurant on Ditmars Blvd that Starts with Freshness and the Highest Quality Imported Ingredients.

Ask about dining in the private dining room in the rear of Alba.

Western Queens has put itself on the culinary map with some of the finest, most popular, and trendy restaurants and cafes. 

Alba Pizza & Restaurant on Ditmars Blvd, is a traditional, family style restaurant with an extensive menu and high value pricing that appeals to discriminating...and experienced... taste buds.

Everything that you expect from an authentic Italian restaurant starts with the freshness of imported ingredients.

Alba has been popular with pizza lovers for years.  But, Alba is also a full menu, traditional Italian restaurant with wine and beer service that has been owned and operated by the Barretta family since 1987. When you first meet Sal Barretta, he will tell you about the quality of the ingredients that he imports from Italy.

He is right...and you can taste the freshness with every delicious mouthful.

The hallmark of this restaurant is the quality and freshness of its ingredients, and the warm family service that makes you feel at home.

We watch for places like this that stick to the traditional formulas that people really appreciate....lots of familiar menu items, made skillfully with fresh ingredients, served in generous full portions at attractive prices.

Alba is now in second generation, with son Sal responsible for operations. But that doesn't mean that Sal and Maria have left. They are there every day.

On one visit to Alba Restaurant we watched Maria Barretta cutting large, fresh Mushrooms the way she would at home for her family.

This popular restaurant is located on Ditmars Blvd in Astoria, which places it in a neighborhood known worldwide for restaurants with top quality, authentic food. Surviving in this neighborhood for 30 years is a testimony to the quality of food, hospitality, service and high value provided by Sal and Marie and their son Sal.

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LIC Headquartered Guardian Data Becomes Certified for Hard Drive Destruction by National Association for Information Destruction (NAID)

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – In June, Guardian Data Destruction, Inc. became certified by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) for computer hard drive sanitization and physical destruction.

"“To support our continued growth with our full suite of onsite data destruction services it is imperative that we provide the client with a secure and standardized process so the experience is to the same service standard at any of their sites in the U.S.,' said Glenn Laga of Guardian Data Destruction. "Becoming NAID certified provides our clients with a third party, industry recognition that GDD meets NAID’s security procedures and validates to the client that GDD will execute a standard process at any of their location in the U.S.';

Guardian Data Destruction is a secure information destruction company based in Long Island City, N.Y. with locations in Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles and Seattle. They specialize in onsite data erasure or destruction, asset logistics, site decommissioning and asset disposition. By becoming NAID certified, Guardian Data Destruction can demonstrate its compliance with operational and security specifications.

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Why Consult an Elder Law Attorney?

Attorney Donna Furey is a Contributor to OurLIC specializing in Elder Law, Probate and Administration of Estates, Estate Planning and Protection of Assets, Medicaid Planning and Applications, Medicare and Medicaid Advocacy, Planning for People with Disabilities Guardianship

Why Should You Consult an Elder Law Attorney on Medicaid Issues?

Many people are reluctant to consult attorneys on legally-related matters due primarily to inexperience in working with attorneys.  This is doubly true with respect to issues related to Medicaid coverage of nursing home care for the following reasons:

The cost of consulting with an attorney.


Medicaid eligibility is seen as a non-legal matter that should be straight-forward and not require legal assistance.
Nursing homes often offer to prepare Medicaid applications for residents for no charge at all.
Discomfort with using a public benefits program.

Let’s discuss each obstacle to legal representation in turn.

COST

There is no getting around it.  Lawyers are expensive.  But the bottom line—since that is what we are talking about here—is that they are a lot less expensive than nursing homes.  In the New York City area, nursing homes generally charge $11,350.00 or more a month.  Unless your situation is very complicated, the legal fees will not approach this figure.  If the consultation with the lawyer saves even a month of nursing home fees, the legal costs will be more than justified.  At stake can be a lifetime of hard work and saving.

MEDICAID AS LAW

Certainly, public benefits should be available to those who qualify without having to resort to hiring an attorney.  Unfortunately, this aspiration and the reality of the Medicaid rules are far apart.  The eligibility requirements are defined in a conflicting set of state and federal laws, regulations, bulletins and practices that make it impossible even for attorneys to fathom unless they specialize in the field.  Your case may be simple and may not require the depth of knowledge needed to plan for a more complicated estate.  However, you cannot be sure of that without first meeting with a specialist.  Again, a lot is at stake and given the cost of nursing homes, it is not difficult for a qualified attorney to save the client more than the attorney’s fee.

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A Tale of One City

When HOPE becomes a path, a dream becomes a promise.

One man grew up in the neighborhood of Harlem in the 1950's and 60's... touched by the Civil Rights movement and the generation that started to break down the barriers.

The other man grew up in the neighborhood of Queensbridge Housing, a decade younger, with an inspiration given to him by his father to make things better.

Both men love NYC and the everyday people that walk our sidewalks, ride our subways, and want to succeed.

Both men, gifted and skillful, climbed to leadership in NYC from backgrounds of humility and modesty.

Both men want to make a difference for children and families in NYC that remain in a struggle to fight crime in their immediate neighborhoods, gain access to funds and financial counsel that is normal and common for others, find work to earn an income, and seek higher education.

Both men know the secrets that all mothers and fathers know. They lived it themselves as children and parents.

One man broke through in the Ministry and had the help of politicians, elected officials, friends, and generous donors who backed his vision. The other broke through in business and NYC community work especially with children and his church.

One man walked into the other man's office. When it came to discuss guns and new City Council legislation, one man said to the other, "I talk to the mothers. They tell me that it is sons killing other sons in their own neighborhood. It isn't sons going to 5th Avenue to shoot people.

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NYC Department of Planning Begins Study of Western Queens Transportation

On June 27th, the Department of City Planning for the City of New York kicked of a Western Queens Transportation Study.  Members of the Greater Long Island City leadership community were invited to participate in the Technical Committee along with various government agencies including the MTA.

OurLIC NEWS attended the meeting and presents a full video with this article.

Watch here for HIGHLIGHTS.

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Rockrose's Elghanayan and DouglasElliman's Kotler Speak at LIC BID Annual Meeting 6/26/2013

VIDEO Presented with this article.

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Prepare Yourself.   Welcome to the VIDEO WORLD of the Students at Information Technology High School's Video Academy in Long Island City!

OurLIC brings you inside the Video Academy and the evolving "Media Lab" at ITHS on 44th Drive and 21st Street.

A few months ago, OurLIC took an interest in Information Technology High School because it seemed that NYC's plan to place an APPLIED SCIENCES campus, Cornell Technion, a short distance away created an unusual opportunity for the students and the community.  The school's instructors, and its Principal, Joseph Reed, were interested in creating more awareness of the Information Technology High School, and were interested in gaining more support from the community.

After receiving permissions from the Department of Education, OurLIC produced a SPECIAL REPORT on Information Technology High School: OurLIC VIDEO CONVERSATION & TOUR:  Principal Joseph Reed, Information Technology High School.  Giving Students Access to Opportunity

After that article, we met with an instructor, Michael Vanderputen, to discuss the idea of creating a "Media Lab" at the school, and found that much of what was needed, already existed....especially the talent.

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Halletts Point Community Approved by Community Board #1 5/21/2013

Over 2,000 Units on East River

On May 21, 2013 Lincoln Equities Group, the Development Partner, presented a plan for "Halletts Point ~ A New Queens Community" to the Queens Community Board #1.  The plan was substantially approved.

Hallets Point is a peninsula on the East River that is located just north of the tip of Roosevelt Island, and just South of Randalls Island, forming a narrow tidal strait called Hell Gate.

Project Objects for the area of development include:

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OurLIC Announces New Community TV Platform at OurLIC.TV

Channels to provide news, information, entertainment, and public service for Greater Long Island City

On April 22, 2013, OurLIC launched a new community TV platform for Greater Long Island City. The service is available at OurLIC.TV

Like Cable or Broadcast TV, the idea of a community TV platform is that organizations and entrepreneurs can license a CHANNEL on contract.  The MIX of content on OurLIC TV CHANNELS will be of interest to residents and business people living in Hunters Point, Astoria, Sunnyside, Woodside, Dutch Kills, Roosevelt Island, and other relationally connected areas.

OurLIC.com has an established library of over 3,100 videos, and has been providing the Greater Long Island City neighborhoods with coverage of important events and conversations with important people since 2008. In many cases, the coverage of meetings has been complete and comprehensive. OurLIC NEWS has been the closest thing to community TV for some time. This is a natural extension of the OurLIC media services.

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SYMPOSIUM VIDEOS: Long Island City “Place-Making Economic Development & Corporate / Real Estate / Social Value Creation Strategies” for February 27 / 28, 2013

Full Video Coverage of Community Symposium made available by Sponsors: Alma Bank, 30th Avenue Business Association, and OurLIC NEWS.

In his Keynote comments, John Catsimatidis, CEO of Red Apple Group and candidate for Mayor of the City of New York, echoed the perspective of Peter F. Vallone, Sr. in his FIRST WORDS at the previous night's reception. Vallone had described a period in the history of Long Island City and Astoria when there was high crime.  He attributed the safer, more desirable neighborhoods to actions taken such as the formation of the Astoria Civic Association and the Boys and Girls Club.  Families appreciated that the community offered productive solutions for their children; and that the streets were made safe.  Catsimatidis made similar points with his views that education is the foundation for job qualification, especially in the trades. He talked about his own life. He said that "NYC is failing its children" by not preparing them properly. 

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OKEANOS Greek Seafood Restaurant Earns Recommendation from CityEntree

Put OKEANOS at the top of your "to go" list. It is on Ditmars Blvd in Astoria.

We are excited about the food at OKEANOS Greek Seafood Restaurant. It is delicious and world class, offering diners a great value.  Food is abundant and presented in an appetizing way.

OKEANOS is a CityEntree RECOMMENDED restaurant.

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OURLIC SPECIAL REPORT: NEIGHBORHOOD LIFE in Astoria, Sunnyside, Long Island City

The attractive neighborhoods in Greater Long Island City are changing. New trends emerge.

Lifestyle trends  are often subtle. Transformations in a community are slow.  They sneak up on us, and suddenly, something has changed...and things are different. What we say "WILL" happen, is suddenly a reality.

When trends become reality, it changes the way we look at everything that is important to us.   Trends in a community influence where we live and what we do....where we shop and what we eat. They influence travel, entertainment, investments, relationships and just about everything else.  It is not unusual in history for trends to emerge during recessions. People have ways of adapting. Even policy makers, Community Boards, and others manage to spot trends and adapt their thinking and decisions, once their meaning is understood. Even politics change, as new voters move into districts in large numbers. Shifts in population effect everyone and everything.

Since its beginning in 2008, OurLIC has been like a SCOUT...looking under the surface and behind the doors to explore and reveal the hidden virtues of "our" Long Island City community.   We've identified the new things and tied them together with the old to help make sense of change that has been part of the vision of the community for its own future. The camera has been an incredible tool to chronicle the changes. "Everything Important. Everyone Important. Every Day"....has brought the photos and videos from economic development to block parties and kitten adoptions.

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Conversation with Mayor Ed Koch

Mayor Ed Koch speaks out about Albany, Jerusalem, the flotilla attack, and himself during a video conversation with OurLIC on June 4, 2010.

When Mayor Ed Koch speaks, the world listens.

Mayor Koch saved the City of New York from bankruptcy and in doing so restored the pride of New Yorkers.  During his three terms as Mayor from 1978-1989, he restored fiscal stability to the City of New York, and he was responsible for placing the City on a GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) balanced budget basis.  He created a housing program which, over a ten-year period, provided more than 150,000 units of affordable housing financed by City funds in the amount of $5.1 billion.  He created for the first time in New York City a merit judicial selection system and selected some of the most outstanding public servants to serve in his administration.

Prior to being Mayor, Mr. Koch served for nine years as a Congressman and two years as a member of the New York City Council.  He attended City College of New York from 1941 to 1943.  In his last year of college, he was drafted into the Army where he served with the 104th Infantry Division.  He served in the European Theater of Operations, received two battle stars, the Combat Infantry badge, and he was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1946.  In that year, he also attended the New York University School of Law.  He received his LL.B. degree in 1948 and began to practice law immediately thereafter.

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ANNOUNCING

OurLIC Value Merchanding packages: OurLIC is BETA TESTING OurLIC COUPONS, CARDS, FLYERS, and IN-STORE promotional packages. These services offer Print and Redeem features; and, appear on OurLIC NEWS as well as the sponsor's OWN websites with proprietary OurLIC Syndication technology. Value Merchandising Programs are fully integrated into the OurLIC PROFILE system. They are very easy to manage and support from an Admin Control Panel. In addition, we will offer low cost commercial printing and facilitate distribution of Value Merchandising SPECIAL Offers in order to help merchants and businesses reach their target customers effectively.

Examples are viewable at OurLIC Discount Coupons, OurLIC FLYERS, and OurLIC CARDS. For more information on OurLIC programs, please use our Optin page or contact us directly at Arthur@CityEntree.com or 646-920-4652. We are also accepting special advertising sponsorships for the new OurLIC CALENDAR.

'OurLIC Business' integrates with BizWiz Services for Business-to-business.

BizWiz Logo

OurLIC for Business provides companies, business people, and professionals in Long Island City with a platform offering the newest tools, technology, and space to communicate, share, publish, distribute video, exchange ideas, collaborate, seek solutions, and to reach out to accelerate their success.

BizWiz, The Internet's Largest Business Network and Resource Marketplace, has been providing business-to-business services to help companies get connected to their markets and customers since 1995. It is a self contained system of services that can help any size company improve its business.

BizWiz is owned and operated by Rainbow Pages Inc., the owner of OurLIC.com. Join BizWiz

Sponsorship, Advertising, and Guide Profiles

If you are interested in special promotions on OurLIC.com or advertising in OurLIC Newsletters. If you would like to have your company or organization profiled in our GUIDE, or want display advertising, please contact Arthur Rosenfield at 646-920-4652 for rates.

If your company or organization is not in our searchable MARKETPLACE for business-to-business, OurLIC Business MARKETPLACE, please let us know the details.

$10.00 Off at REDKEN Saloon Salon in Astoria

Go to Offer #36266   |   Go to OurLIC Feature Profile
Guardian Data Destruction

Go to Offer #45321   |   Go to OurLIC Feature Profile
Additional OurLIC FLYERS not shown here.

 


Alma Bank, Settng a New Standard for Banking
Go to OurLIC Business Marketplace Profile of Alma Bank. or Alma Bank

BluePay
Go to OurLIC Business Marketplace Profile for BluePay Credit Card and Check Processing. | BluePay