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Stacy Bliagos, executive director of HANAC, talks senior services and youth programming with QNS
Stacy Bliagos, executive director of HANAC, talks senior services and youth programming with QNS

Apr. 19, 2024 By Athena Dawson

Stacy Bliagos, executive director of HANAC, an Astoria-based Hellenic non-profit organization, spoke exclusively to QNS about the organization’s dedication to helping Queens’ most vulnerable residents. 

Originally founded in 1972 by reporter George Douris, the Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee (HANAC) is a social services organization based out of Astoria that primarily supports low-income New Yorkers. Through the 1960’s Greek immigrants settled in the Astoria area resulting in an increased need for social services. 

Douris recognized the substantial needs of the growing community and asked Mayor John Lindsay for funding to help local residents. Douris was awarded a planning grant of $75,000 to establish HANAC and distribute funding to the community. HANAC’s first office was established in 1972, and the organization conducted a community study of the Greek community in Astoria. The results revealed that many of the newly immigrated New Yorkers needed help learning English and required other social services, especially older residents. Therefore, HANAC submitted proposals for a senior center and soon after became an ESL language provider.  

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Crunching the Queens crime numbers: grand larcenies down across borough, rapes halved in the north, robberies decrease in the south

Apr. 17, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of grand larcenies across Queens was down during the 28-day period from March 18 to April 14, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Monday. At the same time, rapes and robberies decreased significantly in northern and southern Queens, respectively.

Op-ed: An urgent call for revising NY’s criminal justice reforms to protect public safety

Apr. 11, 2024 By Council Member Robert Holden

In 2019, the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo embarked on a controversial overhaul of New York’s criminal justice system by enacting several laws, including cashless bail and sweeping changes to discovery laws. Simultaneously, the New York City Council passed laws that compounded these challenges, notably the elimination of punitive segregation in city jails and qualified immunity for police officers. These actions have collectively undermined public safety and constrained law enforcement effectiveness.