4 times • MARCH 26, 2015 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.timesnewsweekly.com Queens children’s author visits students at Glendale school BY ANTHONY GIUDICE email@example.com @A_GiudiceReport Students at Glendale’s P.S. 91 Richard Arkwright School got a special treat on March 20 when children’s author Dee Ardelean came to read the first installment of her new short story series, “Pup: A Series of Short Tails.” Principal Victoria Catalano was extremely happy to have Ardelean at the school because it was the kick-off event for a series of authors coming to P.S. 91. “This is the first one of these that we’ve done,” she said. “It’s kind of exciting since we’ve never done this before.” Catalano connected with Ardelean through one of the first-grade teachers, Janet Stojic. Stojic and Ardelean were childhood friends and grew up together in Ridgewood, so when she heard Catalano was looking for an author to come to the school, she reached out to Ardelean, who gladly accepted. “It is important to give back to the community,” Stojic said. “It is important to acknowledge people who grew up in the neighborhood and what they have done and to grow a sense of community.” Ardelean currently lives in Astoria and really loved growing up in Ridgewood. “You are exposed to so many places of the world. There is a lot of culture here,” she said of her hometown. “I enjoyed it a lot.” Ardelean started out by reading her book, which was the first one she has ever written, to the entire first-grade class who laughed along to the story. After the reading was over Ardelean answered questions from the students and asked them what they thought of the story and what might happen in the next book. “I thought I would pass out but it was easy,” Ardelean said with a laugh. “I am very thankful.” This was her first time doing a book reading and had a mix of emotions. “I was amazed when they reached out to me to come and read to the students,” she said. “I was both excited and nervous at the same time. It was a real honor being asked to come. I just felt thrilled.” Ardelean has had a connection with writing since an early age. “I always wrote stories while I was growing up,” she said. “It was a place I could get lost in and it made my imagination go crazy. I could express myself better.” To become a writer, “I did it all independently,” she explained. “It is a lot of work, but I enjoy it. I get to be really creative with everything I do.” Before the first-graders left the auditorium, they were each given a signed copy of Ardelean’s book as a souvenir. Both the kindergarten and second-grade classes also got to attend a reading session and received copies of the book. Catalano asked Ardelean if she would come back and do this again for some of the older grades, and the author agreed. Ardelean announced that she is working on a chapter book for older kids. Evelyn Santoro, the school’s librarian, set up the entire event and was excited to hear that Ardelean would come back and read more of her work for the students. The school also cannot wait for the next author to come and visit. “It’s really great to have an actual author come to talk to the kids,” Santoro said. Photo by Anthony Giudice Dee Ardelean, children’s author with her first book at P.S. 91 Richard Arkwright School on Friday, March 20. L train riders fed up with delays, look to Cuomo for help BY ANTHONY GIUDICE firstname.lastname@example.org @A_GiudiceReport Service problems along one subway line serving Ridgewood has some riders asking, “What the L?” In recent weeks, the L train has suffered from hour-long delays, overcrowded platforms and other service problems. Riders Alliance member Alexis Saba shared her experience with transit delays. “On March 17, I waited forever on the L train before we actually left,” she said. “When we finally left, the train crawled to Bedford, and were told that a rail was out and that Bedford was the last stop—and I couldn’t physically get out of the Bedford station due to the crowds.” The Riders Alliance, a grassroots organization of public transportation riders that pushes for better service and affordable rates, has invited disgruntled subway riders to visit its website and share their “subway horror stories.” As previously reported, the organization plans to present the horror stories to Governor Andrew Cuomo in hopes of enticing him and members of the state Legislature to fully fund the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) five-year capital plan. Delays like this are nothing new for the MTA. According to the Riders Alliance, in February, the MTA NYC Transit and Bus Committee Meeting Report showed that subway delays had increased 45.6 percent from 2013 to 2014. With the most recent MTA rate hike, riders are now paying $2.75 for a single fare and $116.50 for a monthly MetroCard, and they are getting worse service, the Riders Alliance charged. “What we’re hearing from riders is that they feel like we’re paying more and more for less and less,” Deputy Director for the Riders Alliance Nick Sifuentes said. The MTA’s capital plan of $32 billion will build, repair, maintain and enhance current MTA infrastructure. But the plan faces a $15 billion shortfall, and if this gap is not filled, it will result in increased transit fares, further reductions in service and more repair issues in coming years, the Riders Alliance believes. “I know the L train horror stories all too well,” state Senator Martin Malave Dilan said. “Frustrated riders write or call my office frequently, some send photos of overcrowded platforms with lines running up the stairs and riders dangerously close to spilling over onto the tracks.” “The current budget proposal leaves the MTA unable to address these and many issues,” he added. “The MTA capital plan is $15 billion in the red. This year’s proposed $1.6 billion capital allocation will have little effect and the Senate majority’s proposal to reduce it only makes matters worse. It’s irresponsible to ignore these shortfalls. For the daily commuters on the L, it’s inconceivable.” John Maier, co-chair of the Public Transportation Committee of Community Board 5, feels that “We are at a funding crisis.” With little funding from the government, all expenses have to be paid by the commuter. “Something needs to change,” he continued. “The system needs a lot of help.” The city’s budget plan is due on April 1, so commuters, elected officials and the MTA must wait to see if any additional funding will be funnelled in to seal the $15 billion gap in the MTA’s budget plan. TIMES NEWSWEEKLY (USPS 465-940) is published weekly by Schneps NY Media LLC, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361. Periodicals postage paid at Flushing, NY. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Times Newsweekly/Ridgewood Times, P.O. Box 863299, Ridgewood, N.Y. 11386-0299.
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