FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.queenscourier.com FEBRUARY 28, 2013 • THE QUEENS COURIER 11 DIVING INTO ACTING Astoria Park pool to become performance space Photos Courtesy of the NYC Parks & Recreation Interior Rendering of the Amphitheater Business Checking with a little something extra. Free with an opening deposit of Nexus 7 32GB Plus, get up to $ 1 0 0 when you open a new business checking account.1 Open a Flushing Bank Free Business Checking account today and receive a Nexus 7 32GB tablet with an opening deposit of $15,000 or more.2 Visit your local Flushing Bank branch, call 800.581.2889, or go to www.FlushingBank.com for details. 1 New account with new money only. A new business checking account is defined as any new business checking account that does not have any authorized signatures in common with any other existing Flushing Bank business checking account(s). 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Business Checking • No monthly maintenance fees • No minimum balance required $15,000 or more2 Family of slain Guardsman to fi le suit BY ANGY ALTAMIRANO firstname.lastname@example.org Cecilia Reyes announced a $20 million notice of claim to fi le a lawsuit against the city, the NYPD and the offi cer who fatally shot her son, Noel Polanco. On February 14, a Queens grand jury determined no criminal charges would be fi led against Hassan Hamdy, the NYPD offi cer who shot the 22-year-old National Guardsman in October during a traffi c stop on the Grand Central Parkway. “I want him without a job,” Reyes told NY1. “I’m calling on the commissioner. I want this cop off the street. I don’t want to see him hurt anyone else.” “The family feels they did not get justice in the state system of criminal justice,” said Sanford Rubenstein, the lawyer for Polanco’s family. Along with the lawsuit, the family has requested that the U.S. Attorney’s offi ce begin a criminal investigation based on federal civil rights violations. “She Reyes wants this police offi cer to be held accountable and she doesn’t want another family to go through what her family is going through,” said Rubenstein. BY ANGY ALTAMIRANO email@example.com With its local arts community booming, the Astoria Park pool will now take a dive into becoming the fi rst outdoor performance space in the neighborhood. “Artists in Astoria will fi nally have a fi tting performance space,” said Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., a musician himself who is glad the plan is fi nally moving forward and has provided over $4.5 million in funding for this project. Plans to convert the neglected and deteriorating diving pool into an amphitheater began around two years ago when Vallone and Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski announced the transformation. “It will be one of the most beautiful in New York overlooking the river and skyline,” said Vallone. The amphitheater will be located at the Astoria Park diving pool and will evoke ancient Rome and Greece with outdoor performances surrounded by nature and monuments. “Astoria has been lacking in performance spaces for a long time, but turning this eyesore into a beautiful amphitheater will give our Queens artists a backdrop to match their talents,” said Vallone during a community board meeting last week. Construction of the outdoor performing arts space is said to begin in about a year-and-a-half and will include pouring concrete into the pool, creating a new main entrance, installing new security fencing and gates, and other improvements. The diving board will remain and be refurbished. The new space, which is located next to Astoria Park’s Olympicsized swimming pool, will be open to theater groups, schools and community organizations. Along with this new outdoor space, Vallone is now looking for available indoor space in Astoria where artists’ works can call home in a creative and professional environment.
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