Two shot near Astoria Blvd. N and 35th St.

A shooting in the vicinity of Astoria Boulevard North and 35th Street left a 24-year-old male in critical condition and a 36- led to two people being transported to Elmhurst Hospital. The shooting was in the early hours on Saturday, July 30. According to a DCPI spokesperson, no arrests have been made for the shooting, and the investigation remains ongoing.

The shooting was within the confines of the 114th Precinct. At approximately 3:52 a.m., the police responded to a 911 call regarding a person shot. Upon arrival, the officers observed a 24-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds to the body, and a 36-year-old woman with a gunshot wound to her abdomen. EMS transported both victims to Elmhurst Hospital, according to the spokesperson, where the male victim is in critical condition and the female victim is in stable condition.

According to sources with AMNY, it was three masked perpetrators that opened fire on the victims. After shooting numerous shots upon them, the gunman fled the scene inside a grey minivan, heading westbound along Astoria Boulevard North. 

No information has been released regarding potential suspects or with images of the perpetrators of this shooting.

 

Glass art exhibit in Maple Grove Cemetery


One might not expect an art exhibit to be found inside a cemetery.

Naomi Rabinowitz, however, thinks she has found a superb location to display her glass work — The Center at Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gardens. 

“Whenever people hear that I do all this work in the cemetery, they are like, ‘really?’” Rabinowitz said. “Then they show up and they are amazed.”

Rabinowitz’s exhibit, titled “Off the Page,” is scattered across the walls of the Center at Maple Grove, a space that features benches, stained glass windows, classrooms and an indoor waterfall.

Rabinowitz creates wall art and wearable necklaces from glass that is found in a range of colors.

Her inspiration comes from her favorite artists — abstract creators including Wassily Kandinsky and Georgia O’Keefe — crafting colorful blocks with “bold, bold colors” through doing multiple layerings of glass upon one another.

The exhibit is dedicated to Suzanne Bagley, a close friend of Rabinowitz’s who died in 2014 and is buried in the cemetery.

The center also allowed her to give a flute concert on July 16, which she dedicated to Bagley.

I’ve been looking for an opportunity to do something that was dedicated to her, because we always dedicate events to somebody,” Rabinowitz said. “When they said July 16, everything came together, because it was Bastille Day and she was French.” 

Before she became a full-time artist and art teacher, Rabinowitz had a 29-year career as a journalist with Soap Opera Digest.

She moved to Kew Gardens from Long Island, partly to be closer to museums and other sources of art.

“When I was growing up, since I lived on Long Island, we spent almost every weekend in the city and my parents would take me to museums all the time,” she said. “So I had a pretty solid background in just appreciating art. I always enjoyed drawing. I always enjoyed making crafts.”

When Rabinowitz broke her leg in 2010 and was out of work for four months, she was searching for something to do.

In this free time, she began looking at blogs and YouTube videos for how to make jewelry. Soon after, she began selling her creations on Etsy.

“People actually started buying my work, which was really shocking,” she said. “People were buying things that I made.”

When she lost her job at Soap Opera Digest in 2012, Rabinowitz was conflicted about whether she should try and find something new.

Eventually, she decided to head in another professional direction, and take art more seriously as a source of income.

She began taking art classes full time at the 92nd Street YMCA and the Brooklyn Glass, falling in love with glassware and enameling.

“What I like about glass is that it is transformative,” she said, continuing to describe the qualities of glass that make it intriguing.

Rabinowitz layers the glass to create a multi-colored piece that may surprise even her.

“I don’t know what color it’s going to come out. I don’t know what texture it’s going to end up. It’s always a bit of a surprise. I like that after all these years, and all these firings, that I could still be surprised by the end result.”

In 2015, when looking for work in the arts, Rabinowitz began giving flute performances for senior homes.

While it is something she was doing voluntarily, it soon blossomed into an opportunity.

A senior citizen, Judith, at the center had purchased a necklace from Rabinowitz, and Helen Day, a member of the Center at Maple Grove, noticed.

“Helen saw Judith wearing the necklace that she bought from me and was intrigued, and asked her about it,” Rabinowitz said. “She told her, ‘Tell her to give me a call because we do art classes in the cemetery.’ When Judith told me, I thought it was a really strange opportunity. But why not?”

Rabinowitz began teaching glass classes in 2016. Now, her full time job is teaching glass classes throughout the tri-state area, primarily to senior citizens.

“Off the Page” is part of the Center’s “Friends of Maple Grove” exhibit series. Rabinowitz’s art will remain in the center through August 12.

For more information about the exhibits or the center, visit www.maplegrove.biz. 

 

Richmond Hill drama group to perform “The Spongebob Musical”

 

“When the smallest of us are underestimated in the wake of a catastrophe, a town learns that it is the size of one’s heart that matters when dealing with grief and overcoming it.”

This is how Liam MacLarty, the director of  Richmond Hill’s Holy Child Jesus Teen Drama Group’s performance of “The Spongebob Musical,” summarized their upcoming summer production.

The show will begin this upcoming week, and the performance — which MacLarty describes as “very timely and really, very heartfelt” — is designed for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.

“I’ve noticed a lot of times when I tell members of the community that we’re doing ‘Spongebob,’ everyone thinks it’s the cartoon, but it’s not,” MacLarty said. “It’s this unique animal of joy and love. This is a show for everyone. If you are 100 or if you are one; if you are young at heart or if you are old at heart.”

With the mission statement in the script being “to find and spread joy whenever possible,” the group’s 27 cast members, ranging from ages 13 to 19, and crew are creating a humorous yet meaningful and relevant production. Performances run from Sunday, Aug. 4 through Thursday, Aug. 7 at Msgr. Murray Hall. Tickets are $15.

“The Spongebob Musical” is the 42nd production for the HCJ Teen Drama Group, which began in 1972 with the goal to “get kids off the streets,” MacLarty said. They have hosted a production annually every summer, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the group created “QuaranTeen Drama: Theatre Workshops” to continue to encourage people in the arts. During this time, online workshops were held, with Broadway actors and other professionals in the industry making appearances. This is MacLarty’s second full show as director, after serving as assistant director since 2013.

“[Directing] is kind of like being the captain of a boat,” MacLarty said. “You can steer it, you can brace for impact, but at the end of the day, the wave is going to take you where you are going to go.”

The show’s leads are Niko Rissi, 18, who plays Spongebob and Jonathan Kamprath, 20, who plays Patrick. Kamprath falls within the age range for the production because his birthday happened during rehearsals.

For Kamprath, who is originally from Richmond Hill, this is his fifth show, and his second playing one of the lead characters. However, Rissi, who is from Manhattan, only joined this year due to Kamprath’s friendly persistence.

“Jonathan lived around the area, and had been telling me about these shows for a while, so finally I just said, ‘Screw it, I’m going to come out and do this,” Rissi said with a laugh.

Currently enrolled at SUNY Cortland and studying musical theater, this is hardly Rissi’s first time on the stage. However, he shared that he is among some of the nicest people he has ever met while with the HCJ Drama Group, and that it is clear that “they all want to be here and we are all excited to see what this turns into.”

His joy in playing Spongebob comes from his unwavering happiness in the face of adversity or hardship.

“No matter what is thrown at him, he’s going to overcome it, and he’s going to overcome it with a smile on his face, which I can’t say everyone will. He is going to do it all with a smile, no matter if the world’s going to end.”

Kamprath’s dedication to HCJ Drama Group can be seen clearly in his commute — he is currently living in Pennsylvania, and has been either commuting from the Keystone State via the Trans-Bridge bus line or temporarily with Rissi.

“I had been trying to get Nico to do this show for years, and he finally said he wanted to do it,” Kamprath said. “And, quite honestly, Spongebob is one of my favorite shows. I thought if I were going to do it, I better do it now.”

Despite the numerous shows he has been in “The Spongebob Musical” has been his favorite so far. He loves Patrick’s innocence, pointing out how the starfish makes a “very selfish, selfish decision,” in the performance, but that he doesn’t recognize it.

Most of the props were made by members of the drama group, as they creatively crafted costumes out of egg cartons, computer wives out of discarded keyboards and volcanoes out of jungle gyms. Despite the comical constructions fabricated by the crew, MacLarty emphasized that it does not limit the performance to a younger audience.

“A lot of people think that it’s a very silly cartoon show. But really it’s about everybody coming together after a cataclysmic event — they think the world is ending. There’s a subplot of the media, that everybody is angry at them, and then the mayor is cracking down on people,” MacLarty said. “It’s really very timely, and really very heartfelt.”

Both Nikki and Kamprath are hoping to continue their acting careers into their professional lives. Their dynamic will be clear on the stage, sharing a friendship that goes beyond sharing the spotlight.

“To have him be the Spongebob to my Patrick has just been great,” Kamprath said.

Tickets can be purchased outside Msgr. Murray Hall at Holy Child Jesus Parish at 111-02 86th Ave. in Richmond Hill before and after each mass on July 30 and July 31, as well as in the cafeteria of the parish from 7:00 – 9:30 from July 31 through Aug. 3. Seating is reserved. For more information, email [email protected]

Queens College student athlete receives All-American honors

Queens College freshman Marc Cisco has made his mark in the college’s history during his first year with the Knights, earning All-American honors in baseball. He is just the second baseball student-athlete in the college’s Athletic Program Division II era, which began in 1985, to be recognized — and the first since 1998.

Cisco, a Long Island City resident, earned a vast collection of awards for his freshman year. These accolades include 2022 NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association All-American Third Team Honors — one of only four freshmen selected — being named to the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings All-American Third Team and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Second Team All-American honors.  

The second basemean is one of only four players in the East Region to earn all-American honors, and is the first player since 2019 to be recognized in the East Coast Conference (ECC). 

“We are absolutely delighted at Marc’s All-American honors and offer him and his family our warmest congratulations,” Queens College President Frank H. Wu said. “Marc’s success is a shining example of how well we combine the student-athlete experience with a rigorous course of academic study, as he attained these honors while pursuing a degree in actuarial studies.”

Cisco is the first All-American to be named to the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings Team since outfielder Justin Davies during the 1998 season.

“We could not be happier for Marc and the incredible season he had,” Queens College Head Baseball Coach Chris Reardon, who incidentally was the roommate of Davies when they played together during their college careers, said. “His numbers show that, but his impact on each game, our season, and program go well beyond numbers. He is an outstanding person and teammate, and we are thrilled that Marc is getting this recognition.”

During the season, the infielder earned ECC Player and Rookie of the Week honors on five different occasions, and became the second ECC player to be named Player and Rookie of the Year in the same season. To further solidify his position in the Queens College history books, he was named to the ECC All-Conference First Team, the Division II Conference Commissioners Association All-East Region First Team, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Second Team All-East Region First Team and American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings All-East Region First Team. He was ranked 12th nationally for his batting average — an impressive .435 — and tied for team home runs at 10.

Since 1998, only 10 student-athletes have earned All-American honors in softball, baseball, women’s basketball, and mens and women’s tennis. Cisco will join them, generating anticipation for the rest of his career with the Knights.

Brother-Duo to Lead St. John’s Lacrosse

Photo Courtesy / Red Storm Sports

As a first-year head coach of the St. John’s lacrosse team, Justin Turri has quite a job ahead of him. Following a season that generated only two wins from fourteen outings, the Johnnies have proven to be a team in desperate need of strong leadership and guidance. In a search for a partner to help him lead, Turri has turned to his brother Kyle Turri to fill the role of assistant coach for the 2022-23 year, serving as a defensive coordinator for the Red Storm. 

“[Kyle] will fit in seamlessly with the identity we are building as a program and has proven through his stops at Binghamton and Hobart that he recruits at the absolute highest level,” Justin Turri said in a press release. “His addition is another major victory for our players and program.” 

Turri spent the last four years as the defensive coordinator at Hobart and William Smith College, whose lacrosse team is the only Division I program at the college. While there, Hobart compiled a record of 28-15 and finished runner up in the Northeast Conference in two of the last three conference championships. 

Justin Turri landed the role as head coach recently, being announced by the Red Storm Athletic Department on June 17. A New York native, he returned to his home state after serving as the offensive coordinator at Michigan. 

Both Turri brothers were players themselves at Duke University, Justin being a two-time all American. While together, they won back-to-back national titles in 2013-14. Once again, the duo will take the field, but in coaching gear instead of jerseys.

“Having a tie as close as a brother in the profession is very unique,” Justin Turri said. “I have always admired Kyle’s work ethic, energy, and the way in which he installs and directs a defense.” 

The announcement for Kyle to join his brother came on July 20, ten days before the lacrosse program is hosting their ‘Red Storm ID Clinic’ for prospective student-athletes. Hosted at DaSilva Memorial Field, the home to the Red Storm, the camp is open to all players going into grades 10-12 — the years in which recruiting is at its greatest for Division I schools. 

As per NCAA regulations, Division I and Division II college coaches are not allowed to contact student-athletes prior to September 1 of their junior year. However, eyes on our players their sophomore year, and through this camp the Johnnies will be able to check out players they otherwise would not be able to interact with. Naturally, head coach Turri would want his brother at his side for this crucial part of recruiting — he will be coaching at the ID Clinic, according to graduate assistant Kevin Wehner.

The camp is from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and costs $175. Each player will receive a reversible jersey to wear that day, along with a t-shirt upon departure. Registration can be accessed through redstormsports.com.

Newtown Creek Alliance demands action to open creek

Public Land for Public Use’

Hidden behind a chain link fence and construction sites in Long Island City, the beginning of Newtown Creek is easily forgotten by nearby residents. The shoreline on 29th Street at the Dutch Kills tributary is often overlooked. However, the Newtown Creek Alliance has made it their mission to ensure that its inaccessibility and unappealing, debris-filled appearance does not allow it to be ignored or disregarded.

Council Member Julie Won leads organizers in the chant “Public Land for Public Use”

In a press conference on Friday, July 15, organizers from the Newtown Creek Alliance called upon elected officials — specifically State Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams — as well as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the NYC Department of Transportation, and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, to address unsafe conditions of the bulkhead and adjacent roads, rebuild the shoreline, and incorporate public access to the water.

Newtown Creek stretches between Queens and Brooklyn, eventually flowing into the East River. It is nearly four miles long and is comprised of five small branches: Maspeth Creek, Whale Creek, the East Branch, the English Kills, and the Dutch Kills. The latter of which, the Dutch Kills Shoreline, is where the Newtown Creek Alliance and members of the Long Island Community, demand action for what has been deemed dangerous and deteriorating conditions around and in the water.

Currently, the street neighboring the Dutch Kills tributary in Long Island City is owned by the MTA, and it is used by DOT.

Among the elected officials who attended the press conference include Councilwoman Julie Won, Borough President Donovan Richards, and Assemblyman-elect Juan Ardila.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. gives his full support for making the Dutch Kills tributary accessible, saying he is “not a fair weather friend.”

As Frederick Douglass so eloquently put it, without struggle there is no progress,” Richards said under some heavy summer heat. “This is going to be a long struggle, but I want you to know that you have my 2000 percent commitment. I am not a fair-weather friend. As you can see, I will be with you when it’s hot, when it’s raining, when it’s storming and when the snow is out to make sure that we get this done.”

The bulkhead shoreline on the MTA-owned street is collapsing into the waterway, with the most recent taking place in February 2022. Following this collapse, the Newtown Creek Alliance sent a letter to the heads of the MTA, DOT, and the DEC to take action to restore the tributary.

Given the ownership of the land by MTA (Block 115, Lot 86); the use of the property as a through street managed by NYC DOT (29th street); and NYS DEC’s regulatory authority regarding waterway pollution and shoreline construction, we firmly believe that all three agencies have an obligation to address this issue,” the letter reads.

The letter continues on to detail what the creek needs to be revitalized, placing further responsibility upon the MTA for the creek’s continued destruction. In the EPA’s Superfund investigation, the MTA/LIRR was named a “potentially responsible party” for the tributary’s decline.

Given this potential liability that MTA/LIRR has in contributing to the historic contamination of Newtown Creek, we believe that DEC has an even stronger obligation to require a shoreline redesign that incorporates ecological benefits such as intertidal habitat, as well as public access to this historically damaged and inaccessibly waterway.”

LaGuardia Community College can be found directly next to the Dutch Kills, and leaders within the college’s community have expressed complete support for the demands of the Newtown Creek Alliance. Faculty and students do research on the waters of Newtown Creek, however, they currently have to travel several miles from campus to access the water and collect the samples, despite having the creek directly behind the college’s C building.

Kenneth Adams, the president of LaGuardia Community College, said he felt “extremely confident” that Newtown Creek would be transformed.

Representing the college at the press conference was its president, Kenneth Adams.

Let me just recommit LaGuardia Community College as an anchor institution in Western Queens,” Adams said. “We recommit to this project, and to do all we can in partnership with our elected officials and all of [the] advocates to make it happen. It’s going to happen.”

Newtown Creek, however, is currently unsafe for any potential LaGuardia College students or local swimmers. Until the second half of the 20th century, industries would dispose of their unwanted chemicals or byproducts into the waters with little-to-no government regulation. The natural depth of the creek once was 12 feet, but now can be as shallow as four feet in some places.

In 2010, Newtown Creek was named a Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency. Through this designation, the creek became part of a program that works to mediate some of the nation’s most contaminated areas.

Hanging along the fence encompassing the creek were the community-led plans for the site, shown for the first time to the public. These plans include a salt marsh, terraced seating, and benches so the creek could be used and admired by residents.

For more information on the proposed future and further advocacy of the Newtown Creek Alliance, visit www.newtowncreekalliance.org.

Adams announces Ferry Forward Plan

Providing Service to an Astoria Transportation Desert

Mayor Eric Adams has announced his “NYC Ferry Forward Plan,” an attempt to make the city ferry system cheaper for low-income New Yorkers and more expensive for casual riders or tourists.

The announcement, which comes following an audit on the ferry system for exceeding the budget expectations — took place at Astoria Landing, next to the NYCHA Astoria Housing housing on Thursday, July 14.

“This is a transportation desert, and although we have a waterway here, we did not have real access to moving about,” Adams said. “We had to figure that out. These residents deserved a way to get to work, play recreation, and really just be invited to other parts of the city.”

Beginning on September 12, lower-income New Yorkers in the MTA Fair Fares program, seniors, and those who have a disability under the New York City Ferry Discount Program can ride the ferry for $1.35. People can apply to be part of the New York City Ferry Discount Program online or by mail, and they will then buy tickets on the New York City Fair app or in-person at Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan. Those who live in NYCHA households within a mile of the ferry’s landing will receive two free rides so residents can see the appeal and promote the convenience of the ferry system.

For “frequent flyers of families,” a 10-pack of rides can be purchased for $27.50, which will average to $2.75 — the current price of a subway ride.

For all other people interested in taking the ferry, the cost of a single trip will increase to $4, to “offset the cost of those who are everyday New Yorkers that need to use the program,” Adams stated. However, in light of the recent ferry audit that discovered how the previous administration downplayed the cost of the ferry service, the increase may very well likely be an effort to keep the program on an even keel.

Adams also introduced a direct-to-beach service to the Rockaways called the “Rockaway Rocket.” This service starts Saturday, July 23, and requires seats to be booked in advance for a direct service from Pier 11 to the Rockaways. The ferry will operate on summer weekends and on holidays until September 11 — the end of the summer schedule — and will cost $8 in each direction.

New York is what it is because of the East River, the Hudson River, all the waterways,” said Adams. “It is what makes this city special, access to the city through our waterways. More and more New Yorkers are using the New York City Ferry, but too many are not aware of the great benefits from it. They think it’s out of reach and they think that it’s not something that they can utilize.”

Among other elected officials and community leaders joining Adams included Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr., Maria Torres-Springer, the deputy mayor for economic and workforce development, and Andrew Kimball, president and CEO of NYC Economic Development Corporation.

Our fleet of vessels, you see right behind me, were built at a lower cost than any other publicly procured ferry fleet in the country over the last 15 years,” Kimball said. “That’s astonishing and a true testament to the public/private partnership we have with our operator.”

More information on the NYC Ferry Forward Plan can be found at www1.nyc.gov.

Toy drive for Eid al-Adha

In partnership with the Muslim Entrepreneur Association, New York State Senate candidate Japneet Singh traveled throughout Queens to distribute toy bags to kids for Eid al-Adha on July 9.

Starting at Masjid Al-Abidin in Richmond Hill, Singh, along with Abdul Rahman of the Muslim Entrepreneur Association, gave away 500 bags to boys and girls at four different locations throughout the borough, including Masjid Al-Furqan on 76-18 Glenmore Avenue in Ozone Park, the Cityline Ozone Park Civilian Patrol Food Distribution Event in Ozone Park and the Hillside Islamic Center.

A family displaced by the recent South Richmond Hill house fire on 125th Street between 107th and Liberty avenues visited Masjid Al-Abidin while Rahman and Singh were giving out toys. The Santram family had a special surprise from Rahman and Singh for the daughter, who recently began college — an Acer laptop to help with her studies.

“[Singh and I] both went to Queens College and we both know how tough it is, especially with everything that is going on,” Rahman told the family. “The Muslim Entrepreneur Association is always here for you.”

Eid-al Adha is the second and bigger of the two main holidays celebrated in Islam. Also known as the “Feast of Sacrifice,” the two-day holiday began at sundown on Friday, July 8, and continued into Saturday. It is a celebration and remembrance of the Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah when he willingly sacrificed his son.

Hundreds were at each of the mosques that Rahman and Singh visited, and their gifts brought smiles and happiness to children of all ages who were celebrating Eid al-Adha, as well as those at the food pantry to who they extended the joy, even if they were not celebrating Eid al-Adha themselves.

For more information on the events and goodwill of the Muslim Entrepreneur Association, visit their Facebook at @MEA.Global.Association or their Instagram at @mea_network. Japneet Singh is running in District 15 for the New York State Senate, with his main competition in the primary election for Democratic candidate being incumbent Joseph Addabbo Jr. Elections are on August 23.

WinC x King Manor at Rufus King Park

The Women in Comics Collective, or WinC, partnered with the King Manor Museum in Jamaica to host a free outdoor comic book festival on Saturday, July 9. Located within the Rufus King Park, King Manor held free tours while WinC brought vendors, work- shops and live events.

Regine L. Sawyer, the coordinator and founder of WinC, gave away free comics — from Batman to the X- Men — at a vibrant purple booth. The collaboration “WinC x King Manor” was all thanks to her reaching out to Kelsey Brow, executive director of King Manor. There were numer- ous booths scattered across King Manor.

There were artists selling buttons, comics and other forms of custom-made art from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, along with live music and free pizza available in the afternoon. In an interesting surprise that certainly contrasted the historic building that served as their backdrop, WinC invited The Rogue Alliance, a Star Wars inspired stage combat performance team based in New York City, to use their lightsabers in mock battles in front of King Manor.

More information on WinC can be found on their website at www.womenin- comicscollective.org

 

 

Ditmars Starbucks worker claims illegal firing

Starbucks worker Austin Locke has been a leading voice for the unionization of the Starbucks at 31st Street and Ditmars Boulevard.

He has worked there for the past three years, spending six in total with the company.

Austin Locke protesting outside Starbucks

His name was the first in the letter workers sent to Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz detailing how they have experienced “all sorts of harassment, racism, sexism, and physical violence on top of fewer hours, meager wages, and poor staffing.”

Less than a week after he and his team unionized on June 30—making them the second in Queens to do so—Locke was fired on July 5 for what he calls “bogus reasons” in a video posted to the official Twitter account of the organizers at the Ditmars Boulevard Starbucks (DitmarsSBWU).

“I was just recently fired here illegally for unionizing the store,” he said in the video, in which he also announced a rally will be held on July 22 at 6 p.m.

A Starbucks spokesperson denies these allegations, instead stating that Locke was fired due to violating health and safety standards, failing to comply with COVID-19 violations and violating the Starbucks code of ethics.

“Austin Locke is no longer with Starbucks for blatant violations of our health and safety standards, as well as failing to uphold our mission and values,” a spokesperson stated. “Our health and safety standards are in place to protect our partners and the communities we serve, and we cannot ignore blatant violations that put others at risk. A partner’s interest in a union does not exempt them from the standards we have always held. We will continue to consistently enforce our policies.”

Having two previous violations during his time with Starbucks, a spokesperson stated that he received his third violation, or “corrective action,” when he refused to have his temperature taken when he showed up for work the day after calling out sick with COVID-19.

He also alleged a coworker had physical contact with him, despite video evidence proving that to be false, according to the Starbucks spokesperson.

Locke is demanding reinstatement and backpay for the days since he was fired, and announced via Twitter that there will be a rally on July 22 at 6 p.m. for these demands.

The demands of the Ditmars Starbucks include increased wages, free full-coverage healthcare, and more sick time. Among elected officials who have shown support for the recent vote to unionize is State Senator Michael Gianaris.

“Congratulations to the latest Queens Starbucks workers exercising their right to organize and join a union,” he said in a recent statement. “Organized labor is the foundation of a strong working class, which we need now more than ever. I am thrilled this movement keeps growing, and I am proud of the workers leading this fight.”

Half a mile away, the Astoria Boulevard and 31st Street Starbucks celebrated a unanimous vote on June 6, making it the first in Queens.

The two Starbucks join a movement of hundreds of other stores that are making clear their frustration with being underpaid and understaffed.

Such a movement can be seen In Buffalo, New York, where a unionized Starbucks on Elmwood Avenue informed local leaders they would be going on strike on July 9 due to changing staff schedules.

In a message published on the Starbucks news website on July 11, Shultz — who returned to Starbucks as interim CEO in April after retiring in 2018 — states that “we need to reinvent Starbucks for the future.”

He presents, in this message, five new moves to reinvent Starbucks, and a set of principles for a new partnership at Starbucks.

This message can be found at stories.starbucks.com.

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