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Power to the People

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The day may come when all of Queens is powered by giant windmills. There will be no pollution and they will look a thousand times better than the power plants in western Queens that now keep the lights on in this borough.

But until that day happens or until some better energy solution is found, Queens residents should be happy the state has given its approval to power up new generators on 20th Avenue. The generators will increase the output from 600 to 1,040 megawatts. At the same time, the NRG plant will decrease emissions.

According to the state Public Service Commission, “The new units will provide reliability and environmental benefits and will be significantly cleaner and more efficient than the existing units.”

Hopefully, this means residents will not have to worry about a brownout or blackout next time there is a heat wave.

Of course, like City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., we hope there will come a time when Queens will be powered by alternative energy sources. Till then, we agree with Vallone. who said, “Our preference is for fewer power plants in Astoria, which we know will not happen at the moment. Failing that, repowering is the second-best option and I support it.”

Raining on the Mayor’s Parade

The mayor reached deep in his 11th State of the City speech to bring a message of hope to a snow-covered city still reeling from the city’s failure following the December blizzard. He spoke of the billions the city will spend on capital projects in Queens, including the Hunters Point South housing development and the planned renovation of Willets Point.

These projects will create much-needed middle-income housing and hundreds of jobs. The mayor also renewed his promise to create a new category of livery cabs that can make on-street pickups in the outer boroughs.

Among the critics of the mayor’s address, City Councilman Leroy Comrie called the speech “overly optimistic …. Such platitudes by the mayor are as meaningful as seeing a Broadway play during a blizzard.”

For now, we do not see what harm can come from a little optimism.

Updated 10:33 am, October 12, 2011
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