March for the Graniteville Wetlands

Hundreds of Staten Islanders marched down Forest Avenue on April 24th to protest the projected BJ’s Wholesale Store, which is slated to be built on a portion of the Graniteville Wetlands.

Why Are the Wetlands Important?

Wetlands ecosystems not only provide shelter and homes for various wildlife; they also help limit shoreline erosions and flood protection. The Graniteville Wetlands protected the North Shore of Staten Island from flooding during Superstorm Sandy.

Years of Pushback

Activist groups have been pushing back on the proposed BJs site since before Superstorm Sandy. Sandy delayed the and last Saturday’s march was one last big effort to make local voices heard. A decision on the fate of Staten Island’s Wetlands is imminent and expected no later than May 1st. Click here to read Plea for the Fifth’s in-depth article about the controversy surrounding the local Wetlands and the attempts to preserve them.

The March to Save the Graniteville Wetlands in Pictures:

The Save the Graniteville Wetlands march was a culmination of efforts by community organizations and local activists. The crowd of activists gathered at Forest and Richmond Avenues in Graniteville and marched along Forest Avenue to the empty UA Theater, which is adjacent to the wetlands. Here they held a post-march rally, where local leaders such as Gabriella Velardi-Ward, spoke to the crowd and entertainers like Karlus Trapp (below) provided entertainment.

Gabriella Velardi-Ward

An Open Letter to Rep. Malliotakis

THE BAY RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP

March 14, 2021

Congresswoman Malliotakis,

  We are a group of Bay Ridge residents who are dedicated to advocating for solutions to local and national environmental issues. We write this letter to you to highlight some of the ways that you can use your position in Congress to push for solutions to the environmental issues we face that will not only protect your District from health hazards and property damage, but can contribute to the economic recovery of the District after the coronavirus pandemic. 

We firmly believe that environmental issues, especially the existential threat of climate change, are some of the most important that Congress and the Administration will have to contend with over the coming years. However, even more critically, we believe that protecting the environment and combating climate change do not need to be partisan issues. Many of the measures we suggest below will bring new investment into your Congressional District, which will promote rather than hinder economic growth.

As a member of Congress and the House Transportation Committee, you are uniquely situated to push for bipartisan solutions to climate change and other acts of environmental protection. Therefore, we recommend you consider the following environmental priorities for your first term:

Increased Transparency on Environmental Issues- First, we simply ask you to include the environment and climate change on your Congressional webpage issues tab to instill confidence in your constituents of your continued commitment to protecting the environment and moving our country to a greener and more prosperous future. Doing so will keep your constituents, who are already so vulnerable to rising sea levels and environmental contamination, informed of your work relating to climate change and the environment.

Expand Local and National Electric Vehicle Charging Stations- Cars on our roads, especially those stuck in traffic on the Staten Island Expressway or Belt Parkway, are emitting significant amounts of greenhouse gases and other harmful pollutants into the air. Fortunately, electric vehicles are a clean and cost-competitive alternative that will prevent our roads from remaining a source of pollution. Of course, adjusting to that new future and encouraging car owners to switch to electric vehicles will require abundant charging stations. Therefore, we urge you to support building 500,000 new public charging stations across the country by 2030. As a member of the Transportation Committee, you can ensure that a large number of these charging stations come to Staten Island and South Brooklyn. Doing so will not only provide jobs both building and operating the charging stations, but also encourage residents to invest in buying new electric cars and grow the economy. 

Promote High-Speed Rail in the NYC Metropolitan Area- In countries where it has been implemented, high-speed rail has reduced carbon and other emissions by making public transit a viable option, even across large distances. By switching to high-speed rail, particularly in the Northeast, we can see the same advantages. Considering your seat on the Transportation Committee, we ask you to support the development of high-speed rail for the NYC area and beyond. The development of high-speed rail will encourage commuters to transition away from cars, and also make the city more accessible to workers and consumers from more distant areas, thus increasing revenue for our city’s local businesses and commercial centers.

Support a Bike Path on the Verrazano Bridge- Thinking more locally, we urge you to support installing a bike lane on the Verrazano Bridge. This will allow residents of your District to not only avoid exorbitant tolls, an issue dear to your heart, but make your District more accessible to residents who prefer alternatives to cars. Various groups have discussed the feasibility of a bike lane in-depth, and we encourage you to work with them on such a transformative plan.

Invest in Methane Capture at Fresh Kills Park- The transition of Fresh Kills Park away from being a landfill is an environmental victory in its own right, but we believe you can go farther. Landfills, even former landfills, release harmful methane into the atmosphere. In fact, methane is the second largest contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide. Fortunately, groundbreaking new technology has provided us with a solution that not only will reduce methane emissions, but provide relatively clean energy to the citizens of your District. Methane from landfills can now be captured before it enters the atmosphere and burned, generating a local electricity supply. While this technology is still new and not as clean as wind or solar power, it is a useful step in the right direction. We ask you to push for funding that can help Fresh Kills Park, formerly the largest landfill in the world, become a global leader in this new area.

Support the Expansion of Offshore Wind in Staten Island- The development of cheap and readily available renewable energy is absolutely necessary to combat climate change. However, it can also bring jobs to your District. A number of plans have been proposed to build offshore wind turbines outside of New York harbor, with assembly stations and other necessary facilities in Staten Island. These proposals would create jobs for Staten Islanders, and also bring in additional investment to purchase the power generated at the offshore wind facilities. The creation of any offshore wind will require federal approvals, and so we ask you to move those approvals through as quickly as possible.

Funding Science Education- Improved education is a necessary element of a successful environmental policy. First, and most obviously, our children must have an adequate scientific background so that they may make informed decisions, both in their personal lives and at the ballot box, that will guarantee a sustainable future. Additionally, as new industries like renewable energy continue to develop, the U.S. will need many more well-trained engineers and scientists to push that development and keep the U.S. ahead of the rest of the world. If this is to be possible, we will need increased federal funding for education and science programs in schools.

These are just a few of the policies you should pursue in Congress, which we believe will have bipartisan support and begin putting us on the right path toward environmental justice and a green future. We also ask you to commit yourself to some general priorities that could be advanced through various policies; these include: reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; protecting biodiversity; preventing pollution in our waterways; and limiting needless subsidies to fossil fuels that keep our country reliant on them and the greenhouse gas emissions they cause.

Again, protecting the environment does not need to be a partisan issue. Most importantly, the choice between our environment and our economy is a false one. We hope we’ve proven that the policies described above will not only protect our environment, but encourage local investment, create jobs, and turn your District into a leader in innovative industries. We ask for your support in these policies, and ask that you give your support to any other reasonable solutions to climate change and other environmental issues, regardless of which party is suggesting them. We all share this planet, and only together can we protect it.

Signed,

The Bay Ridge Environmental Group

The Bay Ridge Environmental Group is a group of current and former Bay Ridge residents who engage in advocacy and volunteer work to advance sustainability, environmental justice, and climate change solutions in our community and elsewhere. For more information, you can follow them on Facebook.

Celebrating Black History Month Locally

Young Leaders of Staten Island are hosting a virtual celebration and fundraiser for Sandy Ground Historical Society. Sandy Ground is found in Rossville, Staten Island and is one of the oldest surviving communities in the United States founded by free African Americans in 1828 after the abolition of slavery but before the Civil War. Some of the historic structures that still stand in the area today are New York Landmarks. Early settlers brought their knowledge of the oyster trade to Staten Island. Sandy Ground also played a role as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Learn more about Black history:

Black History Month at NYPL

Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America & Its Urgent Message for our Own

Do you know of a local event that you would like to share? Do you have additional resources to contribute to this list celebrating Black History Month? Email: statenislandcommunitynews@gmail.com

Nicole Malliotakis Ignores Racism

     When I first started Staten Island Community News a few months ago, I had no intention of politicizing my blog. Its purpose is to provide information based on facts, personal accounts by people who experience them, etc. It is a way to show the good in Staten Island.      

I saw a video today that made me sick to my stomach, and as small as my platform is, I felt the need to use my blog to express my absolute disgust with NY-11 congressional candidate, Nicole Malliotakis’ response to a genuine question.

Let’s Breakdown the Video:

Today I asked Nicole Malliotakis what her plans were to make the South Shore safer for BIPOC. She refused to answer me. So yeah, vote for Max Rose. It really shouldn’t be this difficult to answer your constituent’s questions.

Posted by Danielle Jean on Monday, October 19, 2020

      This video was filmed by a white woman at the Shoprite on Veteran’s Road West, who approached Nicole Malliotakis to talk about her boyfriend’s experiences as a black man on the South Shore of Staten Island. She asked Nicole Malliotakis how she planned to make the South Shore safer for BIPOC. Malliotakis evaded the question by saying she’d be happy to speak with her boyfriend but would not answer the question on the spot. Malliotakis then followed up with “I support the police” and subsequently ignored the woman who had asked her the question.

Nicole Malliotakis Has A Moral Responsibility

 I came to the conclusion that speaking about this video is not a political statement for or against a particular candidate but rather against characteristics and behaviors we need less of, not more. What Nicole Malliotakis did is simple: She disregarded another human being’s pain. End of argument. It is of utmost importance to hear out and acknowledge a person’s pain. When you acknowledge that a person is hurt, you are making them feel validated as a human being. Compassion goes a long way. This woman felt like her potential congresswoman disregarded the racism her boyfriend endured. At BARE MINIMUM Malliotakis could have offered her words of comfort and encouragement. As a leader in our community, Malliotakis’ actions set an example for people to follow. This is not the example she should have set.

      Her response, “I support the police” is irrelevant to a report of racism. Racism is wrong any way you look at it. To conflate a person’s experience of racism with anti-cop rhetoric is irresponsible. One does not have to do with the other. What do the undertones of that statement suggest? Do people who are racist towards black people support the police and therefore Malliotakis supports them? Are all black people and allies who speak of racism on Staten Island anti-cop? Why is it hard to admit that some people do bad things? Is she afraid of losing votes? Does she know those are the type of people who will vote for her and not Max Rose? Why would she want those kinds of votes anyway? It’s all incredibly disturbing.

Empathy is Needed in Staten Island

     Loathe that I am to admit it, there is a good chance that Nicole Malliotakis will win the congressional seat and represent Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn at the federal level. There are more than just white South Shore people living in the NY-11 constituency and it would be in Malliotakis’ best interest (and ours) if she acknowledges that there are experiences that people endure that she has not. She should acknowledge these issues exist, even if she has not experienced racism herself. Calling for people to show respect, kindness, empathy, and good-will towards neighbors of all walks of life should be a natural and easy thing for anyone -particularly a congressperson- to do, especially when that congressperson represents such a diverse body of people. 

On October 18th, Staten Island Community News requested Nicole Malliotakis to engage in a non-partisan interview with us but she has yet to respond. We urge her to participate in an interview and we hope that she will be open to discussing cultural diversity and the impact racism has on Staten Island. 

Nicole Malliotakis repeal bail reform rally
Nicole Malliotakis at a rally calling for bail reform. Source: https://nyassembly.gov/mem/Nicole-Malliotakis

Staten Island Feeds It Forward

The Birth of Staten Island Feeds It Forward

It is no secret that COVID-19 has caused unprecedented food insecurity. So many people have found themselves suddenly unemployed and making choices between buying groceries or paying bills. While food drives are helpful and needed, they are transient by nature, and supplies are never guaranteed.

Five women from Staten Island have come up with their own solution to Staten Island’s food insecurity problem. The beauty of their idea is that it is ongoing, always in motion, and benefits everyone involved. This is an introduction to one of Staten Island’s newest humanitarian projects, Staten Island Feeds it Forward.

Mariana Howard has been a resident of Staten Island for 15 years. She and her husband purchased a house in New Orleans, LA in 2012 and split their time between the two locations for 7 years. Throughout the pandemic, she has remained connected to the New Orleans community. Through these connections, she learned of a New Orleans pizzeria’s solution to the pandemic-related food insecurity.

The pizzeria had begun a Pay It Forward program: A customer can add the price of an extra slice to their order. The receipts for the prepaid slices are placed on a wall. Anyone who needs a slice but might not be able to pay can take a receipt from the wall and bring it to the register. They get their pizza with no questions asked and the pizzeria doesn’t lose any money.  

The pizzeria’s Pay It Forward program struck Mariana because of the discretion it afforded. This method can keep a person’s dignity intact while satisfying their need for sustenance.

Thus, the tiny seed of Staten Island Feeds It Forward was planted in Mariana’s mind. Using Facebook as a resource, she found a group of like-minded local people and asked if anyone was interested in helping her get this idea off the ground locally. Soon, Mary Ellen Smith, Heather Browand, Carolyn Adinolfi, and Patricia Clay joined her, each bringing their own talents to the grassroots project. The team soon partnered with a local 501c non-profit organization, that agreed to help execute the final part of the Feeds It Forward process.

How It Works:

  • The core team of Staten Island Feeds it Forward reaches out to local quick-serve eateries to participate in the program and provides a sign for the restaurant to place by the register. 
  • Customers can choose to buy an additional item from the eatery’s menu.
  • The pre-paid food item is printed on a receipt, which is then collected by members of SI Feeds It Forward. 
  • SI Feeds It Forward’s non-profit partner collects the receipts.
  • The 501c non-profit then distributes the receipts to people in need, who can bring the receipt back to the restaurant when they are ready to claim their food or hot beverage. 

Why This Works

Restaurants and eateries are struggling under COVID-19 restrictions. This project will generate additional revenue for the restaurant while also helping to curb food insecurity during these unexpected times. 

How You Can Help

  • Staten Island Feeds it Forward is looking for volunteers to help with a variety of jobs. 
  • If you are a restaurant and want to join the Feeds It Forward partnership, you can reach out to them here
  • Restaurant patrons should look for the Feeds It Forward sign at local quick-serve eateries to contribute a hot bite to someone who could use it.

It is the work of out-of-the-box thinkers and humanitarians who move our society forward with compassion and kindness. It is something we need more of during these trying times and Staten Island Community News is deeply grateful to these women for dedicating their free time to such an important project.

Indigenous Staten Island History

Plus Some Facts about Christopher Columbus

Staten Island’s Indigenous History

  • Staten Island was originally inhabited by tribes of the Lenape Nation. Their specific names are not known, however, they are generally called the Munsee, which was a dialect spoken in the region. 
  • There is documented proof of the Lenapes living on the West Shore of Staten Island as far back as 10,000 BC when most of the North American continent was covered by a glacier. As the glacier receded, the Lenape began moving around the island in seasonal camps. 
  • The Lenape called Staten Island, Aquehonga Manacknong, which is translated to, “the place of bad woods.”
  • The largest Native American burial ground is called “Burial Ridge” and is a protected site located in Tottenville’s Conference House Park.
  • In 1770, the chiefs of the Lenni-Lenape agreed to sell Staten Island to New York Governor, Francis Lovelace.  
  • Nothing is named after Indigenous cultures on Staten Island, which sets it apart from all the other boroughs and surrounding areas. 

Christopher Columbus

“In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”

Facts about Christopher Columbus and his story:

  • Christopher Columbus knew the Earth was round. Pythagoras (c. 570 – c. 495 BC), Aristotle (384–322 BC) and Euclid (300 BC) all wrote about the Earth being a spherical shape well before Christopher Columbus was born.  Educated people during Columbus’ time knew the Earth was round.
  • The Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria were not the names of Columbus’ ships.
    • The Nina was the nickname for the la Santa Clara
    • The Santa Maria was actually la Santa Gallega
    • The Pinta’s is also believed tot be a nick-name, though the actual name is unknown.
  • Christopher Columbus landed in Caribbean islands, Central and South American coasts, but he never traveled to the North American continent.
  • He captured the Arawak natives of the Caribbean islands, forcing them into slavery.
    • Because of the atrocities against the Arawak natives, Arawaks began participating in mass suicides and poisoning their infants to spare them from the cruelty of the Spaniards.
  • Christopher Columbus was governor of Hispaniola, where he mistreated Spanish colonists. When the King and Queen of Spain heard of his mistreatments, he was arrested, brought back to Spain, and stripped of his governorship. 

Quotes from Christopher Columbus

  • “They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things … They willingly traded everything they owned … They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features …. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane. … They would make fine servants. … With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”  -Columbus’ journal entry regarding the Arawak natives in the Bahamas
  • “Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold.” Written by Colubus after the 1,300 surviving Arawak men, women, and children taken from Caribbean islands were sold as slaves in Spain. 

Quotes from Bartolome de las Casas

Bartolome de las Casas was a young priest who participated in the conquest of Cuba and wrote a history of the Indies.
  • “Two of these so-called Christians met two Indian boys one day, each carrying a parrot; they took the parrots and for fun beheaded the boys.” 
  • “Endless testimonies … prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives. … But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy; small wonder, then, if they tried to kill one of us now and then…. The admiral, it is true, was blind as those who came after him, and he was so anxious to please the King that he committed irreparable crimes against the Indians …“ 

The European Exchange

Columbus did not discover North America, as we were taught in elementary school. With his travels to the “New World,” came what became known as the Columbian Exchange. The Columbian Exchange was an important time in the history of our world in that it brought about the transfer of plants, animals, cultures, and people between the Americas and Europe. This connection between “worlds” was unprecedented and for better or worse, historically significant. The Columbian Exchange helped Europe become wealthy and powerful in ways that had not been seen before. 

To acknowledge these benefits to Europe, and the eventual colonization, and advancements in North America, without also acknowledging that these benefits came on the backs of indigenous people subjected to atrocities such as torture, and enslavement, is a willful display of ignorance and avoidance of personal growth. Good can come from bad, but it is important to remember the bad to learn from it, to acknowledge the mistakes, and grow as a society.

Who Really Did Travel to North America First?

Historians acknowledge Viking expeditions to North America as historical fact. An ancient Norse settlement was discovered in Canada in 1960 by Anne Stine Ingstad and her husband Helge Ingstad. This confirmed the documentation of Viking explorer, Leif Erikson’s expedition to “Vinland,” which is now a Canadian province of Newfoundland. 

Leif Erikson Statues

Though there are many statues of Christopher Columbus globally, there are only a handful of Leif Erikson statues throughout the world. Here is a list of the ones in the United States:

  • Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA (1887) 
  • Juneau Park, Milwaukee, WI (1887) 
  • Humbolt Park, Chicago, IL (1901)
  • Marinor’s Museum, Newport News, VA (1938)
  • State capitol, St. Paul, MN (1949)
  • Duluth, MN (1956)
  • Shilshole Bay Marina, Seattle, WA (1962) 
  • Scandinavian Heritage Park, Minot, ND (1993)
  • Cleveland, OH (2001)
  • Lodge of the Sons of Norway, Ballard, Seattle, WA (2003)

Amanda Donates (and Helps New Yorkers)

Meet Amanda Lyons

via Instagram @amanda_donates

Scrolling through the Amanda Donates Instagram feed is like looking at a snapshot of every specialized charity organization in New York City. Toy drives, food drives, clothing drives; Amanda Donates does it all. 

Amanda Lyons works at a law-firm as a paralegal and attends law school at night. Somehow, despite her busy schedule, she finds time to help save her part of the world.  

A Staten Island native and current Rossville resident, Amanda has hosted occasional toy drives in the past. Hearing about food insecurity and struggles due to the pandemic turned her desire to help others into more than an occasional hobby. “I decided to hold a food drive in April of this year after seeing several news articles about food pantries with an influx in demand and lines that stretched several blocks long.”  

Amanda Donates

Amanda has amassed a team of volunteers, which consist of friends, family, co-workers, and social media followers. Between April and September of this year, she collected non-perishable food items and distributed them at pop-up pantries. Each pop-up pantry provides food to 300-400 families. Amanda has collected and distributed over $25,000 in donations since April.

via Instagram @amanda_donates

In addition to pop up food pantries, Amanda hosted a fundraiser for a local animal shelter, which was impacted by COVID-19. Two additional fundraisers were held for families who lost their homes in fires. Amanda Donates also provided school supplies and sanitizing supplies to a local Staten Island school to help them meet the demands of this unprecedented school year. With the upcoming holiday season, Amanda Donates will begin collecting Thanksgiving food items to distribute throughout NY, with the goal of helping 2,000 families.  

How It Operates

Some companies such as Hach and Rose Law Firm and Pagano Melon Corp have donated toward the cause. Even with donations from these companies, this project has been entirely grass-roots. It is run through word of mouth and Amanda personally organizes all of the drives and fundraisers, collecting donations via social media.

Amanda Donates is currently in the process of filing as a 501c3 non-profit due to the expansive demands it is trying to meet. Amanda’s goal is to partner with larger businesses and corporations to expand her outreach.

Follow Amanda Donates

We expect to see more from the Amanda Donates charity in the coming months and years, as it grows. To follow Amanda Donates’ progress or to reach out for assistance you can contact her via Instagram or Facebook.

Help Staten Island’s ComeUnity Fridge

What Is the ComeUnity Fridge?

Staten Island ComeUnity Fridge

Next to the Good 2 Go barbershop in Mariner’s Harbor is the Staten Island ComeUnity Fridge. It is a wooden shelter that houses a refrigerator and shelves. Colorful artwork decorates the space and bulletins are pinned to one side. An herb garden is growing in a painted plastic bin. The ComeUnity Fridge adds a pop of warmth and color to the urban, concrete sidewalk it sits on.

Written across the top of the shelter, in both English and Spanish, is the phrase, “Take What You Need. Give What You Can.” The ComeUnity Fridge calls out to all who live in the multicultural neighborhood. It is an inviting space that welcomes both those who need help and those who want to help. 

The ComeUnity Fridge is a local volunteer group’s answer to this area’s food insecurity problem. Mariner’s Harbor is a food desert. Food deserts are areas where residents have limited access to healthy and affordable foods. 

Staten Island ComeUnity Fridge

A Greater Need for Donations

The ComeUnity Fridge was almost completely empty and the shelves had limited cans and shelf-stable products on them during our visit.

The near-empty refrigerator and food pantry indicated an insufficient amount of food donations to keep the project going. We spoke to the founding volunteer, Alexandra, about this observation. People and businesses stock the refrigerator, she said, but it is often empty 20 minutes after being filled. There is a greater need for donations and the volunteers are having a hard time keeping up.

How You Can Help the ComeUnity Fridge

Staten Islanders are well-known for coming together during times of trouble. Food insecurity has reached record highs during the pandemic. Low-income neighborhoods like Mariner’s Harbor are living in this reality and need help from the greater Staten Island community to combat this problem.

  • Money– The ComeUnity Fridge has a GoFundMe and a Cash App ($Forestavefridge) for monetary donations that they use to buy food for the fridge. Every little bit counts and every little bit helps. 
  • Time– Volunteer to help stock and clean the fridge and to maintain the space.
  • Food Donations
    • Individuals can bring donated food to the fridge at any time. 
    • Grocery Stores If you are a grocery store or market with excess fresh fruit, vegetables, or prepared foods, the ComeUnity Fridge can really use your help.

As per Alexandra, the ComeUnity Fridge is hoping to find more fruit stores and small markets to collaborate with. If you fall into this category and can offer assistance, you can reach out to the ComeUnity Fridge directly to set up a donation schedule. Email them at forestcomeunityfridge@gmail.com

Meet Local Artist Keri Sheheen

Keri’s Artistic Roots

With an illustrator for a father and a bakery-owner for a mother, Staten Island native, Keri Sheheen, grew up surrounded by creativity and art.  She has been drawing for as long as she can remember. Her father’s hobby of collecting strange antiques guided her interests and imagination. Some of his collectibles included skulls, taxidermy statues, and vintage posters. Growing up surrounded by these objects led Keri to her niche of creating art that evokes the essence of late 19th-century superstition, spiritualism, folklore, and unusual phenomena. 

Keri Sheheen, printmaking

Printmaker

Keri is a printmaking artist working with various materials such as wood, paper, and clothing. Much of her art focuses on optical illusions and “persistence of vision” projects, using printmaking to create flipbook type artwork. Staten Island’s history and architecture have inspired much of her work. Keri explained, “We are always the odd borough out, which carries some comfort as an artist interested in the odd.” 

Preview(opens in a new tab)

Achievements

Keri Sheheen, printmaking

She received her BFA in printmaking from SUNY New Paltz in 2013. Keri’s art has been exhibited across the tri-state area, including the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, The Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Staten Island’s Artspace and The Alice Austen House Museum. She also illustrated the official t-shirt for the 2018 Mermaid Parade. 

Where to Find Keri

You can often find her at vendor fairs such as the Snug Harbor Fence Show and Coney Island’s Strange and Unusual Market. She also sells her work on Etsy and her prints on merchandise via Society 6. You can view her portfolio and works for sale on her website or follow her on Instagram and Facebook

Keri Sheheen, mechanical flipbook

Door: Mechanical Flipbook no.2👁️ Each frame is hand-painted and silkscreened 👈.Box built by @carlgallagher83 .This project was made possible in part by a DCA Premier Grant from @statenarts with public funding from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs…#animation #animate #flipbookit #flipbookfun #flipbook #mutoscope #silkscreen #screenprint #printmaking #handprinted #handmade #painting #artistsoninstagram #parlortrickprints

Posted by Parlor Trick Prints on Friday, November 22, 2019

Voter Information for Staten Island

In the midst of the pandemic and the USPS thrown into turmoil, Election Day 2020 is rapidly approaching. In order to combat the hurdles of voting during Covid-19 and the USPS crisis, here is a comprehensive list of voter information specifically written for Staten Island, NY. This information will be updated as more details come in so check back frequently for more news.

Are you Registered to Vote?

As a United States citizen, you are not automatically registered to vote. You have to register to vote on your own. 16 and 17 year olds can pre-register but cannot vote until they are 18 years old. All citizens 18 years and older are allowed to vote (if registered) with a few exceptions. Are you qualified to vote?

If you qualify to vote, you can check your registration status here. You can also call (866) 868-3692 and ask.

I’m Not Registered. Now What?

There are several ways to register to vote:

Mail-In Registration

You can obtain paper forms in a variety of ways. Forms are available at…

  • Libraries
  • Post offices
  • Government agencies
  • Call the NYC BOE 1-866-868-3692 to request a form.
  • Email vote@boe.nyc.ny.us with your mailing address and name of your borough in the subject line. 
  • Download the form here

Mail it to: Board of Elections 32 Broadway 7 Fl New York, NY 10004-1609

Mail your registration forms by October 9, 2020 to vote on November 3, 2020. With the slowdown of mail and USPS issues, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to register well before October 9th. 

In-Person Registration

Each borough has a Board of Elections (BOE) office and you can register to vote in -person at this office. Please be mindful that masks are required and temperatures will be checked. The address is listed below.

Staten Island’s BOE office Staten Island 1 Edgewater Plaza 4 Fl Staten Island, NY 10305 Phone: (718) 876-0079

Online

If you have a valid NYS DMV license you can register online.

Voting

From vote.org:

“Registered voters do not need to show ID to vote, unless they did not provide identification with their registration. First time voters must provide identification either on or with their voter registration application. If you have not provided ID by Election Day, you are still allowed to vote by affidavit ballot, but not using the poll site scanner.”

Make a Plan to Vote

  • How will I vote?
  • Where will I vote?
  • Do I know what transportation I will need to vote?

If you are registered to vote, there are several ways to go about voting this year.

Traditional

Election Day is November 3, 2020 and you can vote in-person at your polling site. If you are unsure of what your polling site is, you can look it up here.

Mail-In Ballot Request

Important information about Mail-In Voting

  • This year, starting August 20, 2020, anyone is allowed to request a mail-in ballot due to concerns over the risk of catching or spreading Covid-19
  • Ballots will NOT be mailed to you automatically. You MUST request a ballot to vote by mail.
  • You MUST select “Unable to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability” if your reason for voting by mail is concern about Covid-19 
  • Your absentee ballot request must be emailed, faxed, completed online, or postmarked by October 27, 2020.

Where do I request an absentee ballot?

  • Online – This is the link to request an absentee ballot online.
  • Email application to AbsenteeJune2020@boe.nyc *Applications must be saved in a (.pdf) format to avoid delays *  If you need help converting your ballot request into a (.pdf) format, please contact statenislandcommunitynews@gmail.com and we will assist you. 
  • Fax application to 212-487-5349
  • Call 1-866-VOTE-NYC (1-866-868-3692)
  • Print and mail application to Staten Island BOE office: 1 Edgewater Plaza 4 Fl Staten Island, NY 10305

This is the form to request an absentee ballot (in English). 

This is the form to request an accessible absentee ballot (in English).

This is the form to request an absentee ballot (in Spanish).

This is the form to request an absentee ballot (in Chinese).

This is the form to request an absentee ballot (in Korean).

This is the form to request an absentee ballot (in Bengali).

I Received my Absentee Ballot. What Do I Do With It?

You can mail in your ballot to the Staten Island Board of Elections office. You can also drive-up or walk it in. Masks are required and temperatures will be taken if you hand it in in person. You can request information on how to track your ballot to ensure it was verified. We recommend personally bringing your ballot into the office to avoid any issues with the post office.

Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, November 3, 2020.

Ballots without a postmark must be received by November 4, 2020.

Staten Island Board of Elections:

  • Address: 1 Edgewater Plaza 4 Fl Staten Island, NY 10305
  • Telephone: 1-718-876-0079
  • Driving Directions: Directions
  • By Bus: S51 to Bay Street/Edgewater Street
  • By train: Exit at Clifton Station

Voting Early

What is Early Voting?

Voting early is different than voting with an absentee ballot by mail. Voting early means you will go to a polling site and cast your vote prior to Election Day

When Does Early Voting Start?

Early voting begins on October, 24, 2020 and will continue through November 1, 2020.

Where is my early voting polling site?

You can look up your early voting poll site here. A list of all early voting sites in Staten Island is located here.

Need More Help?

Vote NYC has a wealth of information. If you prefer, you can call (866) 868-3692 to speak to someone.

We are here to help! Email Staten Island Community News with the subject line: Voting help with any questions and we will work to resolve your issue.