December, 2013

Long Island City

LIC boat houses bandy in court over ownership

In Long Island City, it is called the Battle of the Boathouses, a two-year-old court skirmish between the founder of the LIC Boathouse and the group that wrested control of it. Comments (2)

Ridgewood site may join Superfund list

Decades after a chemical company involved with the Manhattan Project closed, the government has returned to the defunct Ridgewood business in an attempt to designate it a Superfund site. Comment

Steinway touts measures to prevent flooding at site

New flood mitigation equipment has cropped up in Long Island City in the form of bark, leaves and ditches along the Steinway & Sons property. Comment
The Civic Scene

Drilling in upstate shale may do more harm than good

While the use of solar panels and wind to cleanly produce energy slowly grows, some people want to quickly fracture the shale in upstate New York with a mix of toxic chemicals to free shale gas as a source of energy. Comments (6)

DOT unveils project for plazas around city at spot in Corona

Corona Plaza was the scene of the announcement last week launching the city’s new Neighborhood Plaza Partnership. Comment

New York’s energy future in wind

New York’s wind energy has given us a lot to be grateful for. Comment

November, 2013


Avella forum faults Million Trees NYC

More than 800,000 trees later, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) still has not let up in his ongoing critique of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Million Tree NYC initiative. Comments (1)

Tip of the week


Take precautions before next storm

There is no about it: Our area needs to be better prepared for any future storms that may threaten our coastline. Comment

October, 2013

Rockaway Beach

Environmental laws look ahead in boro

Hurricane Sandy left a scar on Queens — and the rest of New York City — unlike any other storm in recent history, but Mother Nature might be an even greater threat looking forward. Comment

Alley Pond hosts Estuary Day festival

Alley Pond Environmental Center hosted an Estuary Day festival Saturday celebrating the area’s local estuary, Little Neck Bay, with educational exhibits and interactive booths, boat rides, entertainment and demonstrations. Comments (1)

September, 2013


Tip of the week

New Voices

Hindus clean up Rockaway sanctuary after water rites

Although Queens residents of all stripes are guilty of littering or dumping in Jamaica Bay, Hindu religious rites get some blame for some of the more visible debris. The Hindu rite of Ganga Pooja involves making an offering into a body of water as a way of cleansing one’s sins. Comments (2)
The Civic Scene

Council cares only for Flushing Meadows development

Decades ago, when I became involved with civic work, there seemed to be the philosophy that parkland was a sacred trust held for the use of the people of a community. Now it seems the city is willing to give away parkland to private developers in the name of economic development. Comment

Use money to prevent another Sandy

The presidential task force has strongly suggested that much needs to be done in order to protect our coastlines from more intense and frequent storms, which will bring as much destruction as Hurricane Sandy did. Comment

Lainos right in suing Parks

The news that the family of Tony Laino, who was killed when a tree fell on his house in Flushing, has filed a lawsuit through their attorney is good to hear. Comment
Rockaway Beach

Proposed natural gas port project faces pushback

The future of a controversial deepwater natural gas port that would lie off the coast of New York and New Jersey took a hit last week when Gov. Chris Christie said he will consider vetoing the project. Comments (1)

August, 2013


New York needs renewable energy now

For the past few years, it seems New Yorkers have been dealing with one weather-related disaster after another. We have seen heat waves and flooding, and you do not need to tell New Yorkers about hurricanes and tropical storms. Comment

City must inspect trees in parks for safety

The news about a pregnant woman who was struck and killed by a falling tree in Kissena Park is another tragic wake-up call for the city Parks Department to inspect every tree in every park, playground and street. Comment
Rockaway Beach

Jamaica Bay gets new research center

A new research institute in the Rockaways will play host to scientists focused on the restoration of Jamaica Bay, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday. Comment

Brownfield law to update community boards on sites

Two northeast Queens lawmakers celebrated the passage of legislation they drafted that requires the state Department of Environmental Conservation to notify affected community boards whenever the agency is considering cleanups at any brownfield sites throughout the city. Comment

Parks needs to take care of trees

With all the rainfall this area has experienced, there is the risk of trees snapping or falling due to the enormous amount of water their root and trunk systems have absorbed. Comments (1)

Tip of the week

South Jamaica

Exxon loses court appeal in Queens chemical case

ExxonMobil owes the city nearly $105 million to help pay the cost of treating contaminated groundwater in southeast Queens, a federal appeals court ruled last week after the international oil behemoth challenged the 2009 jury award. Comment

July, 2013


Constantinides touts plan to clean Astoria

Astoria District Leader and City Council candidate Costa Constantinides announced a comprehensive five-point plan last week to clean up Astoria’s streets and parks, a plan he believes will benefit businesses and the community. Comments (1)

Hurricane pattern could return

Summer 2013 continues to bring an assortment of wild, dangerous and volatile weather. Comment

Douglaston loses Greenmarket after two years

Members of Community Board 11 have started searching for a new spot to host an annual green market after learning the two-year-old Douglaston location would not return this summer. Comment

Americans need to wake up on pipeline

Interesting. Here in the United States, we still have average citizens rooting for the Keystone XL pipeline carrying the Canadian tar sands oil from Alberta to refineries in Texas, thinking it will in some way make our country oil independent and make gas prices lower. Comments (2)

EcoHouse to set up shop in Botanical Garden parking lot

An environmental group is wheeling its brick mobile home into the parking lot of the Queens Botanic Garden this summer to teach residents how to save energy in their own digs. Comment

June, 2013


Proposed plastic foam ban met with criticism

Restaurant industry members are voicing concern over Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban plastic foam cups and food containers, a measure some say has the potential to hurt small businesses that rely on the low-cost products throughout New York City. Comments (1)
Long Island City

Mayor comes to LIC to unveil plan to make city’s buildings weather-resistant

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) unveiled a comprehensive report Thursday designed to act as a road map for making the city’s buildings more resilient to extreme weather. Comment
Fresh Meadows

Flood-prone Fresh Meadows needs a fix: Pols

With hurricane season in full bloom, officials took one of the borough’s most flood-prone places in Fresh Meadows to push the city to prioritize a solution. Comment

We need water, not tar sand oil

There is positive and negative talk relative to the XL Keystone Pipeline. It is planned to pump crude tar sand oil from Canada across the United States to Texas, where it would be distilled and sold overseas. Comment
College Point

City to spray for West Nile in Queens

Parts of northeast Queens will be getting a spraying this week as the city steps up its fight against West Nile virus. Comment

Parks needs to deal with beetle

The Asian longhorn beetle threatens our trees yet the city Parks Department refuses to pick up potentially infested wood. Comments (1)

White Roof Project off to summer start in LIC

With scorching temperatures anticipated this summer season, city nonprofit White Roof Project kicked off an initiative Wednesday that will include the resurfacing of some of Astoria and Long Island City’s blackest rooftops with a solar-reflective white coating that is intended to save residents money and reduce energy consumption. Comments (1)

Legislation would clean up LI Sound

Federal lawmakers representing parts of northeast Queens introduced new legislation that would funnel more funding toward the preservation and cleanup of the Long Island Sound. Comment

May, 2013


Residents plan to sue DEP to end flooding

Lawmakers and homeowners fed up with flooding in southeast Queens are moving forward with legal means to try and force the city Department of Environmental Protection to alleviate the problem. Comments (1)
No Holds Barred

Suspected crimes must be judged impartially

I learned a good deal about government and many other things when I held an appointed position in the then new New York City Department of Air Pollution Control. The commissioner was Leonard Greenburg, a medical doctor and a Ph.D. in engineering. The deputy commissioner was Sylvan Hanauer, a brilliant civil engineer and good government activist. Comment

Seawall work begins at Queensbridge Pk.

Queensbridge Park’s seawall is getting a makeover that many residents and elected officials are saying is long overdue. Comment

People, biz must stop littering

At the northeast corner of Northern Boulevard and Clearview Expressway in Bayside is a green area where the Soldier’s Monument stands. The monument commemorates the sacrifices our men and women made serving in the armed forces during wartime. Comments (2)
Rockaway Park

Mother Nature on mend at Rockaway Park Earth Day

Families and residents gathered in Rockaway Park Saturday to celebrate a belated Earth Day, though this year the event took on special significance. Comment

Earth Day deserves coverage

Did I miss it? In reading the April 19-25 issue of the Bayside Times, I saw not one mention of Earth Day or Earth Week. Comment

Air pollutants on the rise in Queens: Report

If you live in Queens, the air you breathe may put your health at risk, the American Lung Association said in its State of the Air report. Comment
Forest Hills

Spring flowers bloom with help of Forest Hills helpers

Volunteers transformed flower beds along Continental/71 Avenue in Forest Hills as part of an Earth Day cleanup. Comment

April, 2013


Outdoor advocate has nature trail named in her honor

Queens was once home to hundreds of thousands of acres of wetlands, but now conservationists actively work to hang on to the last shreds of natural beauty in the concrete borough. Comment

White roofs head to Astoria

A city-based nonprofit has set its sights on parts of Astoria and Long Island City to combat rising temperatures, armed with no more than buckets of white paint. Comments (1)

Residents pitch in to help clean Udalls Cove

Spring cleaning is not just another intolerable indoor chore to a group of environmentally engaged residents from northeast Queens. Comments (1)
Rockaway Beach

Community asked to trace Jamaica Bay story for film

After decades of industrial waste polluting its waters and damage from scores of storms wreaking havoc on habitats, Jamaica Bay has quite the story to tell. Comment
Forest Hills

Urban forager offers a walk and snack in Forest Park

Kew Gardens native “Wildman” Steve Brill knew when the NYPD slapped handcuffs onto his wrists his days of urban foraging in obscurity were over. Comments (1)
Springfield Gardens

Alliance yells mayday over trees near JFK

Hundreds of trees are being considered for pruning or removal in Idlewild Park, raising concerns from one southeast Queens environmental group that the Port Authority is trying to push through a controversial plan to extend one of the runways at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Comments (1)

Queens water rates ready to rise again

As it has done every year since 1996, the city Department of Environmental Protection proposed another water rate hike for fiscal year 2014, bringing back the same old sentiments from borough officials. Comments (1)

Waterway inspectors scour Queens shorelines

Keeping watch on the city’s shoreline could come with a new twist after Superstorm Sandy left debris strewn in areas like northeast Queens. Comments (1)

Work begins on Little Bay Park comfort station

After waiting eight years to break ground, northeast Queens leaders took to Little Bay Park Tuesday with plans to celebrate a more comfortable future there, but what they found instead was another hurdle in an ongoing bureaucratic battle. Comments (2)

New Yorkers oppose fracking, poll shows

A state senator from Queens cheered a poll released last week showing that for the first time New Yorkers are opposed to hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale by a clear margin. Comments (5)

Tip of the week

March, 2013


Innovative groups show how Queens is going green

A Flushing organization sold polo shirts made from recycled plastic bottles, a silver-haired kayak enthusiast hyped a new aqueous launching point sandwiched into a gritty industrial sector and more than a few heated discussions erupted at this year’s Going Green in Queens event, where the purveyors of the borough’s most exciting and controversial outdoor initiatives gather each year to share information with the public and each other. Comment

New toilets overflow with savings at Bayside High School

New porcelain thrones have been sitting well with administrators at Bayside High School, where a new city initiative has helped save energy one flush at a time. Comments (1)

Wait Until 2018

The flooding in parts of southeast Queens didn’t begin or end with Superstorm Sandy. Comment

Eastern Queens Alliance hosts Idlewild Wetland and Wildlife Preserve Benefit

The Eastern Queens Aliiance, Inc. recently held its Idlewild Wetland and Wildlife Preserve Benefit and Awards luncheon at the Inn at New Hyde Park. Comments (1)

Lifetime environmentalist from Queens runs Going Green to teach good habits

Back when he was searching for a service project to help him earn his Eagle Scout award in 1976, Rosedale’s Fred Kress looked no further than his local park to make a difference in his community. Comment
Richmond Hill

Free trees headed to Queens to fill Sandy gaps

Free trees are coming back to Queens to supplement the beating suffered by the borough during Superstorm Sandy late last year, the New York Restoration Project said. Comment

Mayor proposes ban on plastic foam containers

As Mayor Michael Bloomberg enters his final year in office, he is continuing to cement a legacy of reimagining New York as a greener city by proposing a ban on plastic foam food containers. Comment

Residents invited to workshops on pruning, composting and energy-efficient lighting

A founder and key player in Queens’ annual Going Green event said this year it was sure to deliver the same kinds of eco-friendly messages while also offering more opportunities for visitors to engage in workshops. Comment
Glen Oaks

City policies stand in way of tree maintenance

Hurricane Sandy wrought havoc on New York City’s tree population and stressed the importance of properly maintaining them. Northeast Queens’s interests in increasing community involvement in that maintenance are at odds with current city policies. Comment
Middle Village

MidVil weigh city repairs

Residents in Middle Village brought two specific concerns to the floor at a monthly community meeting this week. Comment

Flushing group preps for another season of fresh produce

When it comes to buying fresh produce, there is more to it than just saving green, Flushing’s John Choe said. Comment

Bloomberg should ban styrofoam

It seems there are people who are criticizing Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s attempt to ban styrofoam. Comments (2)

SE Queens officials explore fixes to persistent flooding

Community members gathered at York College last Thursday to discuss a persistent problem in southeast Queens: flooding. Comment

Allow for upgrade of diesel trains

I am writing in support of a request that has already been made in a letter co-signed by 43 Assembly members, including all the members from the Queens delegation, that an appropriation of $17 million be made available to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the purposes of upgrading 10 diesel engines of freight locomotives owned and leased by the Long Island Rail Road for the purposes of hauling waste throughout the New York City area. Comment

CB 7 wants AG to probe lux lot’s soil

Community Board 7 is asking the state attorney general to investigate how unauthorized soil was dumped on a waterfront lot in Whitestone where a luxury housing development is planned, TimesLedger Newspapers has learned. Comments (4)

February, 2013


Superfund site named under Laurelton shop

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has detected ground contamination underneath a Laurelton dry cleaner adjacent to IS/PS 270 and the St. Luke Baptist Church and said the potential exists for the contamination to affect the air quality inside the cleaner as well as possibly off-site. Comment
Glen Oaks

Glen Oaks community calls for complete curb overhaul

Glen Oaks Village President Bob Friedrich said he has grown tired of seeing his community get kicked to the curb when asking the city to dig up the funding for street renovations. Comments (1)

Storms proof of global warming

The latest information regarding this past year is that it was the warmest on record for the United States since records were kept since 1895. Comments (15)
Fresh Meadows

City Council passes bill to help prevent flooding in boro

A bill that would help prevent flooding after intense storms — an increasingly common scourge of many homeowners in some areas of Queens — was passed by the City Council last week to the applause of a Queens councilman. Comment

Cuomo delays decision on hydraulic fracturing in state

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration will delay making a decision on whether to allow hydrofracking in the state, with the state Health Department announcing it needs more time to complete a public health analysis. Comment

The Challenge for Nily Rozic

Recently elected state Assemblywoman Nily Rozic is the only Queens official on a Top 13 list of lawmakers labeled as up-and-coming environmental leaders. Comment

Bayside steps up FAA fight

The Bayside community has been making itself heard over airplane noise in recent months and has now recruited some CUNY law students to help get its legal battle off the ground. Comments (1)
Broad Channel

Boro residents may get city help removing mold

Some Queens homeowners who are battling mold after Hurricane Sandy ravaged their houses may see some relief through a new $15 million initiative sponsored by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and two nonprofits helping with recovery efforts . But some borough houses of worship contend the plan falls short. Comments (1)
Fresh Meadows

Tree-mapping project helps St. John’s win recognition

St. John’s University students and faculty are engaging in a project to digitally map the location and characteristics of all trees on the campus, a program that helped the school earn recognition as a 2012 Tree Campus USA institution of higher learning. Comment
Long Island City

Boat clubs in Facebook spat

A lawsuit over a Facebook Web page is putting the current leaders of the Long Island City Community Boathouse at odds with its founder. Comments (1)
Fresh Meadows

League of Conservation Voters has high hopes for Rozic

One of northeast Queens’ newest representatives in state government was chosen as part of a short list of environmentally promising officials, the New York League of Conservation Voters said. Comments (1)
East Elmhurst

Hydrofracking, gun laws discussed at UCCA breakfast

The environment, gun control and education dominated the conversation at the United Communities Civic Association’s annual legislative breakfast last Friday. Comment

Decision about hydrofracking in state may rest on DEC study

The state Department of Environmental Conservation may miss a critical deadline for finalizing hydraulic fracturing regulations later this month as it waits for a health review of the drilling method to be completed. Comments (1)
Rockaway Beach

Labor demands city action on post-storm mold crisis

Members from several labor unions are putting pressure on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to address a growing problem in homes ravaged by Hurricane Sandy: mold. Comment

January, 2013

St. Albans

Scarborough demands action against SE Qns. flooding

State Assemblyman William Scarborough (D-St. Albans) last week made an appeal to the southeast Queens community to pressure City Hall and Albany to finally do something about the area’s flooding problems. Comment

Tip of the week


Boro senator demands ban on hydrofracking

A state senator from Queens renewed his calls on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban a controversial drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing in New York state at a news conference Wednesday with several other Senate Democrats in Albany. Comments (1)

Experts suggest ways to handle flooding in Rockaways

Experts in the fields of urban planning, sustainable development and grassroots organizing met with community members in Arverne over the weekend to discuss how the Rockaways would plan for future floods. Comment

Waterpointe’s soil must go

Months after a state agency fined two companies working on a brownfield site in Whitestone for importing unauthorized soil onto the property where a high-end residential development is planned, TimesLedger Newspapers has learned that some of the soil in question came from a former Superfund site. Comments (1)

Parks plans to protect creek

In an ongoing effort to limit the amount of storm runoff draining into Alley Creek in northeast Queens, the city Parks Department is holding a community forum to bring residents into the decision-making process. Comment

Whitestone project may hit more snags

Civic leaders are trying to delay an application to build 52 new waterfront homes on a prime piece of Whitestone real estate until after questionable soil is removed from the property. Comments (5)

Bayside battles pest problem

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has boots on the ground in Bayside to battle the area’s latest beetle infestation, officials said. Comment

Queens drops e-waste at gardens recycling

Loading up cars, vans and in one instance a bulldozer, residents of Flushing and beyond took their broken TVs, VCRs and computers to the Queens Botanical Gardens Sunday for its third annual E-Waste event. Comment

Boro MulchFest brought in more than 3,000 trees

The city Parks Department said last weekend’s MulchFest, in which residents could drop off their Christmas trees at neighborhood parks to be chopped up, collected 3,320 trees in Queens. Comment


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