Educational Advocacy Service to attend Community Day at Atlas Park

Pam Kablack and her mother, Joan Harrington have been helping kids with special needs from ages 3-21 to get the services and funding they’re entitled to. They will be in attendance for the community day at Atlas Park hosted by the Glendale Kiwanis.

“We assist parents of all students in public schools, but primarily disabled students to receive the appropriate services and, if eligible, funding if they have to buy the services,” said Harrington. “Or if they have to put their child in a special school, we help them get funding for that as well.”

Kablack and Harrington also advocate for children who wrongfully received disciplinary or superintendent suspension for something that would be considered a part of their disability, even children with Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).

“We can assist parents at those disciplinary hearings in order to ensure all of those factors are documented correctly, so that if part of a child’s disability is social, emotional, or behavioral, then you want to make sure the child is not constantly being penalized for the disability that they have,” explained Kablack. “ If they’re found guilty of what they are accused of, it creates a cumulative disciplinary record that stays with them throughout their educational career.”

Before the Education Advocacy Service, Harrington worked for the nationally renowned Advocates For Children Organization. “When I left I was the Associate Director for Programming and I left because I wanted to have an organization that had one focus, which is to help a parent of a disabled child, and to try to understand them,” said Harrington. 

Kablack grew up in this work since she has a learning disability herself and officially came in to work with her mother 20 years ago. “I very much know what it’s like to be that student that  needed those services and needed to be pulled out or to be in a class where things were going so quickly,” said Kablack. “You couldn’t keep up or try to socialize with your peers but at the same time having to have this extra help and service.”

Now Kablack’s son Dominick Kablack is currently working for the pair as well in the settlement department, helping families reach settlements with DOE. 

The now three-generation family business is working case by case to help every child they possibly can to get the services they need and are entitled to. To find out more information, call 718-252-6682.

Finnegan Shepard, Both& Apparel

Finnegan Shepard is the brand founder of Both& Apparel, which is devoted to transmasculine fashion. Shepard created this line of t-shirts to help people feel comfortable in their own skin, no matter where they are on their transitioning journey.
“Last summer I was recovering from top surgery and I started Googling ‘trans clothing,’” said Shepard. “I wasn’t very impressed.”
That’s where the idea for Both& Apparel sprouted.
“I interviewed and surveyed a bunch of people, and it turns out that the things that don’t work out for us are pretty common,” Shepard said. “It’s not really rocket science from a design perspective.”
Shepard’s brand is based on building a different fit and sizing system.
“It’s not all trans men who shop from us, but I think the simplest way to describe it is that the people who like our clothing the most are people who were assigned female at birth, but all want to present themselves in masculine way,” explained Shepard.
“Some identify as nonbinary, some trans-masculine, some are lesbians who want the masculine style,” Shepard continued. “We actually have a big fan base of cis women in Japan.”
Shepard is passionate about rejecting the binary system that’s left trans people out of fashion. As a vocal leader of the trans community, he says gender identity through fashion is more nuanced and complex than baggy fitting clothes and gender neutral colors.
“Not everyone wants to be trying to erase gender in their presentation,” said Shepard. “Many people want a more accurate way of expressing gender identity, and brands haven’t yet seen that or innovate fit to accommodate that.”

To learn more, visit

F-ing express!

Dear Editor,
The maintenance planned for F and G lines is nice, but remember between 1968 and 1976, NYC Transit routinely used the middle track rush hours south of the Church Avenue Station for Manhattan-bound F subway line trains between Kings Highway and Borough Hall.
During the p.m. peak, it was used in reverse for Brooklyn-bound express service.
With future completion of Communication Based Train Control in 2022, NYC Transit could decide to extend rush-hour express service by operating more trains to stations south of Church Avenue using the middle track.
Manhattan-bound express service could run until 1 p.m., while Brooklyn-bound express service could start at 2 p.m. This could save thousands of commuters even more time.
More people work staggered hours rather than the old traditional 9 to 5 jobs.
Assignment of additional subway cars to the F line would require a minimum of additional operating costs and might make for a great MTA investment for improvement of service.
Why not take advantage of this underutilized asset upon completion of CBTC on this subway line?
Larry Penner
Great Neck

Fire Banks

Dear Editor,
Regarding Jessica Meditz’s article on September 1 (“Sliwa on homeless crisis”), in his interview with this paper’s editorial board, GOP mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa vowed to close 26 shelters filled with mentally ill and drug-addicted homeless people.
He blamed Human Resources Administration (HRA) Commissioner Steven Banks for forcing homeless shelters “down people’s throats with no transparency or discussion.” Sliwa promised to fire banks if he becomes mayor.
But his opponent Eric Adams has a different view. He told news media that Banks “is
doing amazing things” and hinted that he might retain Banks if he wins. That’s like putting an arsonist in charge of the FDNY.
Before joining the de Blasio administration, Banks spent 33 years with the Legal Aid Society advocating for the homeless. He filed a lawsuit resulting in a milestone 2008 settlement creating a permanent right-to-shelter law for the homeless in New York City.
New York is the only U.S. city that has such a law. During his tenure as mayor, Mike Bloomberg blamed the law for attracting people from all over the country to the city for a free roof over their heads.
He urged its elimination. Our next mayor must do the same and gain support from City Hall and Albany to make it happen. Readers should urge their representatives in the City Council and state legislature to revoke this wasteful law.
Richard Reif
Kew Gardens Hills

Checking out

Dear Editor,
On Thursday, September 9, I received an email with the subject head “Maspeth Library is closed for the rest of the day due to today’;s heat conditions.”
A few days later, I received the following email: “Maspeth Library is closed for the rest of the day on Monday, September 13, due to today’s heat conditions.”
The message was sent at 2:30 p.m. The weather at that time was 84 degrees with 52 percent humidity. It was a beautiful day.
There is no reason for such closings, they are a disservice to patrons.
Roger W. Smith

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