FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM MARCH 11, 2021 • THE QUEENS COURIER 3
Mayor salutes community’s COVID-19 pandemic response
BY BILL PARRY
Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the Queens
Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona
Park last week to celebrate the community
initiatives implemented to support the
growth and recovery of art and cultural
institutions across the city during the
Th e mayor praised numerous programs
taking place at the Queens Museum.
For example, the cultural food pantry
La Jornada has distributed 19,000 meals in
the last year at the Queens Museum. Plus,
the Hecho Local Product Development
Workshop creates a space where immigrant
women can learn new skills to create
businesses and support their families.
Th is program works in partnership
with the museum’s gift shop, Th e August
Tree, and uses sewing machines donated
by Materials for the Arts in Long Island
“Th is is an example of supporting our
immigrant brothers and sisters, of making
sure that we are supporting people’s livelihoods.
It doesn’t happen in the middle of
a pandemic, unless there’s a helping hand
for so many people,” de Blasio said. “Th is
is an example of giving opportunity, creating
that one door that opens and for these
women will keep opening because of their
talent and their energy. And this specifi c
idea, this initiative, Hecho Local, to bring
out the expertise and talent of the community
and bring it to bigger attention is
something really wonderful. So, I wanted
to see this for myself. I am so happy to see
— this is part of how we recover.”
Councilman Francisco Moya, who represents
neighborhoods that were ravaged
by COVID-19 including Jackson Heights,
East Elmhurst and Corona, where he is a
lifelong resident, hailed the programs for
supporting local artists and for pushing
the area’s economy forward.
“Let’s continue to support institutions
like the Queens Museum and create job
opportunities for our communities so
Queens and all of New York City come
back stronger,” he said.
State Senator Jessica Ramos and Queens
Borough President Donovan Richards
also joined the mayor at the event.
“I really want to thank the elected offi -
cials who I know every day are fi ghting
for that recovery for all of us. And want
equity and fairness in where the resources
go. Th ey want to make sure that resources
go to Queens. Th is we know,” de Blasio
said. “But they also want to make sure that
every community is a part of this recovery.
We are going to create something different
in New York City. We do not want
to go to the status quo before the pandemic.
I want to be really clear. We do
not just want to recreate what was there
before the pandemic, because it wasn’t
Four-alarm fi re rips through six stores in Jackson Heights
BY JACOB KAYE
A ferocious fi re burned through a row
of over half a dozen stores in Jackson
Heights for nearly six hours last week.
Th e FDNY fi rst got a call around the
blaze inside the basement of Prince Kebab
& Chinese Restaurant, located at 37-56
74th St., around 10:50 p.m., on Th ursday,
March 4, according to authorities.
Responding units arrived about four
minutes later to fi nd the fi re quickly
spreading throughout the entire
Th e fi re then began to spread to six occupancies
structurally connected to the eatery.
Th e fi re department called in more
units as the blaze was upgraded to a fouralarm
fi re, prompting response from 168
fi refi ghters.
“I have never seen a fi re spread with
so much speed and face,” said Chris
Anderson, who happened to witness the
fi re. “I hope it doesn’t wipe out the block
Area residents worried about the eff ect
of the smoke on the community.
“Th is is unbelievable. Th e smoke isn’t
good for me or my family,” said Devi Singh.
Th e FDNY got the fi re under control
around 4:10 a.m., according to the authorities.
Seven fi refi ghters suff ered minor
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell
injuries in the fl ames and were transported
to local hospitals in stable condition.
Additional reporting by Lloyd Mitchell.
A four-alarm fi re ripped through six businesses in Jackson Heights on Thursday, March 4, 2021.
Photo courtesy of the mayor’s offi ce
Mayor Bill de Blasio praised COVID-19 recovery initiatives at the Queens Museum.