During NHL playoffs, Queens IS part of Long Island

Local hockey fans support the Islanders in their quest to take home the NHL Stanley Cup

For the second straight year, the New York Islanders are in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup semifinals and fans in Queens say they have been waiting patiently for the team to achieve their recent success.

“I’ve been hooked on the Islanders since the early-90’s when my father had an employee with season tickets who took me to games,” said Joe DiGangi, owner of Mario’s Meats & Deli in Middle Village, himself an Isles season ticket holder now. “It’s been mostly downs but now it’s our time to boast.”

Before last season, the “Isles” had not reached the conference finals since 1993. They won four consecutive Stanley Cup titles between 1980 and 1983, then failed to make the playoffs through long stretches. In that time, the Isles’ crosstown rivals, the New York Rangers, won the cup in 1994, and the New Jersey Devils have won three cups since 1995.

Starting in the ‘15-16 season and ending with the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, the Isles played some home games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The move from the aging Nassau Coliseum on Long Island was panned by critics, who cited obstructed views and an arena unfit for hockey. But the short-lived relocation did bring the Isles closer to fans from Western Queens and Brooklyn. Next season, the team will move to the brand-new UBS Arena opening at Belmont Park.

The Isles started winning after the hiring of Barry Trotz as head coach. Since then the team has made the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, rallying their Queens fan base in the process.

Maspeth Federal Savings Bank, headquartered in Queens, has sponsored the Islanders for several seasons. The bank’s logo appears on the boards of the Isles home rink and in advertisements on the team’s website. “We’re so proud to sponsor the Islanders and wish them the very best of luck in their pursuit of the Stanley Cup,” said Thomas Rudzewick, the bank’s President & CEO.

Custom guitar builder Dean Gordon is a lifelong Isles fan. The Astoria resident even created a special “Isles guitar” that was raffled off to benefit the Islanders Children’s Foundation in 2017. “With the new ownership and management, I walk down the street and see Isles gear and fans,” Gordon said, “It’s fun being a part of a team making it’s stamp.”

Rego Park resident Sean McClain, a Zamboni driver, has maintained the Isles’ home ice in Brooklyn and on Long Island since 2016. “Seeing them successful is rewarding for all of us at work who make the ice surface that the pros play on. When the Isles win, it almost feels like we helped,” McClain said.

Katch, a gastropub in Astoria with many TV screens, regularly hosts the Queens chapter of the “Isles Meetup” watch parties. “The atmosphere has been electric,” said Andrew Bilder, who organizes the viewings. “There’s nothing like playoff hockey. I’m excited to watch the team go further alongside some really amazing people in a really awesome place like Katch.”

Ten-year-old Isles fan James Jano of Flushing has made a believer out of his dad, Chris, a Rangers fan for more than 40 years. “This team is showing me something,” the elder Jano, a school bus driver, said. “They have really captivated me to a point where I have actually been cheering for them eagerly. I found it very easy to wear my son’s cap.”

Joe Termine has an Isles flag hanging outside his home in Middle Village. “I’ve been a fan for 42 years and I went to one of the Pittsburgh playoff-games and one against the Bruins,” Termine said. “There are a lot of Islanders fans in Queens–more than most people realize.”

Vote for Gomez in D21

With New York facing a hard year, Ingrid Gomez took notice of the needs residents in neighborhoods like Corona, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Lefrak City. We think she is the right person to represent those same communities in the City Council.
Gomez’s Housing for All platform proposes building thousands of low-income housing units in the district. She supports a citywide rent freeze to protect the city’s most vulnerable tenants from rent hikes and eviction.
Unlike Francisco Moya, the current councilman, Gomez does not support building a new soccer stadium in Willets Point. Instead, she wants to bring new youth centers and hospitals to the area.
Gomez’s experience as a social worker for 17 years brings a refreshing perspective to public safety. She wants people with experience dealing with mental health issues to respond to situtation that require de-escalation. She doesn’t feel police officers have that sort of training.
Gomez serves as the chair of the Youth Services Committee for Community Board 4, on the Elmhurst Hospital Community Advisory Board, and is a founding member and organizer for the Corona Mutual Aid Network, an organization that delivered groceries and essential items for the sick and homebound during the pandemic.
We believe Gomez deserves to the be the next representative for District 21 in the City Council.

Monopoly Board Games calling for Brooklyn Businesses

MONOPOLY Brooklyn will replace the perennial board game’s famous Atlantic City squares (from Boardwalk to Park Place) with representations of much-loved Brooklyn cultural sites, historic landmarks, and time-honored businesses. 

From June 2nd through June 23, Brooklynites can share which locations they would like to see featured on the board by emailing the official MONOPOLY Brooklyn team at brooklyn@toptrumps.com 

All submissions will be closely reviewed, tallied and considered throughout the board curation process. The Brooklyn board will also include a customized Community Chest and Chance playing cards, ensuring each detail of the game pays homage to the borough.

“Brooklyn is an unparalleled U.S. city, with an incredible number of seminal establishments and treasured sites,” Benjamin Thompson, representative from Top Trumps USA said. “Since we have just 22 squares for our game, it’s important that we create an accurate portrayal of what this dynamic community loves about their city. That’s why we’re excited for folks to submit their recommendations; we want to know what your favorite place is in exciting Brooklyn.” 

With only 22 squares on the well-known board game, local businesses from shops to restaurants and bars that Brooklynites know and love are taken into consideration. As well as featuring a variety of Brooklyn landmarks such as Prospect Park, Coney Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, Barclays Center and more!

 MONOPOLY Brooklyn will launch nationwide in November 2021, and will be available in stores and online at retail partners including Wegmans, CVS, City Chemist, and more.

Give Richards a full term as BP

Donovan Richards, the south Queens councilman who was elected Queens borough president in a special election less than a year ago, has surprised us during his short time in office.
We especially like his reforms of the borough’s community boards. Community board members are supposed to be the eyes and ears of the community and help legislators respond to quality-of-life issues and advise on the needs in the neighborhoods they represent.
The boards also offer recommendations on issues like zoning, transportation, and parks.
Richards has addressed some of the systematic problems with the culture and structure of the boards to make them more effective. He has taken criticisms from some established and longtime board members of these boards, but we see a conviction to make the boards better ambassadors of local communities.
He has also been fair to all parts of the borough when it comes to capital spending, which amounts to approximately $50 million a year.
The borough president is supposed to be Queens’ biggest cheerleader, and Richards has shown he is just that.
And while he is very accessible, appearing in public nearly every day, we wish his communications staff were the same. We have to assume they will get better at giving the media better access so we can do our jobs and hold them accountable to the public.
Elizabeth Crowley is our second choice in the Democratic Primary. Crowley served on the City Council representing Middle Village and Glendale, and put together an innovative and bold plan to use a rail line that runs through Long Island City, Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale as a new mass transit option for commuters.
Courage is what we look for in elected officials. Vote for Donavan, put Crowley as second choice.

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