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After a rain delay last week, the city Health Department sent out its trucks Monday and Tuesday night to conduct ground-based spraying against the West Nile virus all over northeast Queens.
The spraying seemed to arouse little outrage in an area accustomed to West Nile discoveries and sprayings.
Pesticides targeted at adult mosquitoes were sprayed between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. in College Point and Malba between 14th Avenue, College Point Boulevard and the Whitestone Expressway. Also sprayed were the College Point Industrial Park, Frank Golden Park, Powells Cove Park and Herman A. MacNeil Park.
Community Board 7 Chairman Eugene Kelty, whose district includes the affected areas, said Monday night that he was not aware of the imminent spraying but was not surprised.
We had the same spraying last year, said Kelty, who had hoped that the new Bay Estates development on 11th Avenue would rid the area of standing water.
Kelty said he planned to report standing water on the former Flushing Airport site to the city Health Department.
In Floral Park and Glen Oaks, the area between the Cross Island Parkway, Long Island Expressway, Nassau County border and Union Turnpike was sprayed, along with the Douglaston Golf Course.
Richard Hellenbrecht, chairman of Community Board 13, said he had been notified of the spraying.
Its a good thing, said Hellenbrecht. Youve got to control this before it gets out of control. People understand that now ... I think people are seeing its not being done on a massive basis.
Oakland Gardens between Northern Boulevard, Union Turnpike, Springfield Boulevard and the Cross Island Parkway was sprayed in addition to John Golden and Crocheron parks in Bayside.
Alley Pond Park was scheduled for spraying Tuesday night, Health Department spokesman Andrew Tucker said.
Aline Euler, director of the Alley Pond Environmental Center, said the park usually brings the equipment used by children inside during pesticide spraying.
Its always a concern when poison is sprayed, said Euler. Its just a hard decision because West Nile is a problem and we dont want to see people have West Nile disease.
She said the pesticide had consequences for the organisms living in Alley Pond Park.
We think it will probably kill other beneficial insects, she said, and expressed concern over previous pesticide sprayings.
When they were spraying DDT many years ago, also for mosquito control, it became a very big problem because it was affecting the shells of birds eggs, said Euler. The birds became endangered by that because they werent able to produce another generation.
The Health Department is using the pesticide Anvil this year. The agency said in a news release that there was no significant risk to human health associated with its proper use.
The Douglaston area saw spraying between the Cross Island Parkway, Northern Boulevard, West Drive and Little Neck Bay.
Parts of Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Kew Gardens Hills, Kew Gardens, Briarwood and Corona were also sprayed, including Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Mt. Hebron cemetery and Cedar Grove cemetery.
Reach reporter Ayala Ben-Yehuda by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2003 Community Newspaper Group
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