Tag Archives: Alley Pond Park

West Nile treatment to target Queens this week


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy of NYC Health Department

The city’s Health Department will treat parts of Queens over several days this week to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of West Nile virus.

Though no human cases of the virus have been reported this season, high mosquito populations have been found in the marsh areas of the city, which could increase due to the hot weather and wet conditions.

The treatment, which will involve the application of larvicide from low-flying helicopters, will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 5, Thursday, Aug. 6, and Friday, Aug. 7, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Thursday, Aug. 6, Friday, Aug. 7, and Monday, Aug. 10, during the same hours, and could also be completed in less time than allotted.

For this application, the Health Department will use larvicides containing naturally occurring bacteria — VectoBac GS, VectoMax FG and/or VectoLex FGG. The products are all approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Locations:

Alley Pond Park (Marsh areas inside Alley Pond Park)

Linden Hill and College Point (Marsh areas bounded by Whitestone Expressway to the east; 20th Avenue to the north; 130th Street and Ulmer Street to the west; and Ulmer Street and 28th Avenue to the south)

Edgemere and Somerville (Marsh areas bounded by Norton Basin to the east; Mott Point to the north; Grass Hassock Channel to the west; and Beach 65th Street, De Costa Avenue and Almeda Avenue to the south)

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Alley Pond Park kids clear wetland debris


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Alley Pond Environmental Center

Youngsters known as the Alley Pond Pioneers got their hands dirty last week in a cleanup of the park’s wetlands Thursday.

The Alley Pond Pioneers are a group of children entering grades four through six who meet at the Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC) on Tuesdays and Thursdays to take part in educational programs.

APEC Executive Director Irene Scheid acted as judge to decide which team of pint-size trash collectors had the heaviest and largest pieces of garbage. The contest ended in a tie, as one team had a heavier haul but the other had collected larger pieces. Both the teams went home with a prize.

“We’re always glad to have the children here participating and making the park better for everyone,” Scheid said.

According to APEC Office Coordinator Elizabeth Whalen, many of this year’s Pioneers have been participating in the program for three consecutive years and had been anticipating the cleanup since their first week.

“The Pioneers took such pride in their efforts,” Whalen said. “They are to be commended.”

IMG_3662

Past Alley Pond Pioneer activities included tours of Oakland Lake, walks to natural springs, hiking, outdoor yoga classes and healthy cooking classes. The next cleanup is planned for August on the beach.

“It’s learning about nature how important nature is, and having it become part of their lives for the future,” Scheid said.

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Health Department to treat Queens against West Nile


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYC Health Department

Select non-residential marshland areas in Queens are set to be aerially sprayed with non-chemical treatments next week to reduce the number of mosquitoes potentially carrying the West Nile virus.

Alley Creek in Alley Pond Park, the abandoned Flushing Airport in College Point and wetland areas in Dubos Point and Edgemere Park in the Rockaways are among areas to be treated with larvicide sprayed from low-flying helicopters, according to the city’s Health Department.

The treatment will be applied on Tuesday through Thursday, July 7, 8 and 9, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Wednesday through Friday, July 8, 9 and 10.

The natural marsh areas to be treated are common breeding grounds for mosquitoes, which reproduce during warm weather in any still water standing for more than four days. The Health Department monitors for West Nile virus, and applies pesticides throughout the summer months to deal with high mosquito populations and minimize the risk of the pests spreading the disease.

Although there have been no human cases reported this year, mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus have been found in New York City as recently as June, with some infected mosquitoes collected from Glen Oaks.

The city will be using environmentally friendly larvicides made from naturally occurring bacteria to kill immature mosquitoes before they grow into fully formed adults. VectoBac™ GS, VectoMax™ FG and/or VectoLex™ FG will be used, and have all been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

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Volunteers restore salt marshes of Alley Pond Park


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the Natural Areas Conservancy

A volunteer effort on Saturday organized by the Natural Areas Conservancy worked to restore the salt marsh of Alley Pond Park.

More than 30 people of all ages attended the event from all over the city and even Nassau County. An entire 20-foot dumpster was filled with debris after the first cleanup stage, primarily with lumber fallen during major storms.

After clearing out the targeted area, participants planted native grasses in the site, which has suffered severe damage from scattered debris and trash from storms such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Over 1,000 grass plants were transplanted into the ground as part of the revitalization effort.

The new vegetation was specially chosen because it can adapt to live in salt water and flooded conditions, and the area will provide a habitat for local wildlife and add recreational value to the community.

Alley Pond Park is the second largest park in Queens, and has varied natural features such as freshwater and saltwater wetlands, tidal flats, meadows and forests. It is named for The Alley, a commercial and manufacturing center which had been located there during the 18th century.

The Natural Areas Conservancy is an nonprofit organization that works with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to protect, restore and manage expansive natural areas already within the city’s urban park system.


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Health Department to treat parts of Queens against West Nile


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy of NYC Health Department

The city’s Health Department will treat parts of Queens over several days this week to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of West Nile virus.

The treatment, which will involve the application of larvicide from low-flying helicopters, will take place on Tuesday, June 9, Wednesday, June 10, and Thursday, June 11, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Wednesday, June 10, Thursday, June 11, and Friday, June 12, during the same hours, and could also be completed in less time than allotted.

For this application, the Health Department will use larvicides containing naturally occurring bacteria — VectoBac CG, VectoMax CG/FG and/or VectoLex CG/FG.

LOCATIONS:

Alley Pond Park (Marsh areas inside Alley Pond Park)

Linden Hill and College Point (Marsh areas bounded by Whitestone Expressway to the east; 20th Avenue to the north; 130th Avenue and Ulmer Street to the west; and Ulmer Street and 28th Street to the south)

Edgemere and Somerville (Marsh areas bounded by Norton Basin to the east; Mott Point to the north; Grass Hassock Channel to the west; and Beach 65th Street, De Costa Avenue and Almeda Avenue to the south)

The Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize exposure to mosquitoes:

• Use an approved insect repellent containing picaridin, DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under three) or products that contain the active ingredient IR3535.
• Make sure windows have screens and repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
• Eliminate any standing water from your property and dispose of containers that can collect water. Standing water is a violation of the New York City Health Code.
• Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty or covered if not in use; drain water that collects in pool covers.
• Report standing water by calling 311 or visiting nyc.gov/health/wnv.

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Former Knicks help plant new trees and shrubs at Alley Pond Park


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

Their most recent campaign wasn’t too successful, but the New York Knicks scored a win for the environment this week at Alley Pond Park.

Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier and former Knick Jerome Williams joined the Parks Department, the Knicks City Dancers, students from P.S. 161 in Richmond Hill and volunteers to announce the planting of 3,500 trees and 1,050 shrubs across the 655-acre northeast Queens green space.

The planting was made possible through the Trees for Threes program launched by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which donated one tree for every three-pointer the Knicks made during their 41 home games at Madison Square Garden this season.

At season’s end, the Knicks had accumulated more than 500 three-point buckets at MSG, and PwC decided to triple its donation to city parks.

“The Knicks and PwC understand the importance of adding trees to New York City’s ecosystem and how valuable care and stewardship are to the health of young trees on the streets and in our parks,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.

The second-largest green space in Queens, Alley Pond Park features many wetlands, tidal flats, meadows and thick forests. It also has the city’s first high ropes adventure course and is part of the Urban Park Rangers’ Alley Pond Park adventure.

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Elmhurst woman writes Queens walking tour book


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy of Adrienne Onofri

One Elmhurst woman is hoping her new book will help readers step out their doors and take a stroll while exploring all that Queens has to offer.

Adrienne Onofri is the author behind “Walking Queens,” a new book that features 30 detailed walking tours through the borough exploring architecture, distinct cultures in different neighborhoods, historical landmarks, celebrity homes and natural scenery.

“There are one or two books about neighborhoods in Queens but really no guide book completely dedicated to Queens,” Onofri said. 

The opportunity to write this book came after Onofri, a licensed New York City sightseeing guide, wrote “Walking Brooklyn: 30 Tours Exploring Historical Legacies.” 

Her publisher became interested in doing a version for Queens, and Onofri said she jumped at the idea because a lot of people had asked her to write a walking tour book for the borough she has called home for decades.

“I liked the idea because I can say I live in Queens,” Onofri said. 

To compile the book, which took about a year to finish, Onofri traveled the borough on nothing but her two legs and public transportation. She sketched out routes based on what she already had in mind or knew she wanted to include. Other locations, she said, she roamed and discovered in order to create the detailed walks. 

“There are a lot of people that drive around and don’t get around in public transportation much,” Onofri said. “[The book] is just encouraging them to go a few neighborhoods over, which they would normally drive pass on the highway.”

The neighborhoods featured in the book go from Long Island City and Astoria all the way to Howard Beach and the Rockaways. Along with these, Onofri also spent time in the borough’s parks such as Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Alley Pond Park and Rockaway Park. 

The book, with photographs taken by the author, includes maps of the area that will be walked, nearby trains or buses, points of interest in the neighborhood, historical facts and detailed directions of how to get around. 

Part of the Hunters Point Historic District on 45th Ave. in Long Island City (Photo by  Adrienne Onofri)

Part of the Hunters Point Historic District on 45th Ave. in Long Island City (Photo by Adrienne Onofri)

“There are things you walk past and don’t notice,” Onofri said. “This book has the discoveries of things that you might not take the time to notice regularly.”

While working on the book, Onofri said she realized there were instances where she noticed things she hadn’t before. Also, one of the issues was trying to fit as much as she could in the 254-page book, with some things just not being able to be included. 

“There was a lot of stuff to learn, whether it was just some place I had been only a couple of times or a place I really didn’t know much about before,” she said. 

Onofri said she is still conducting tours in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. 

To contact Onofri to schedule a tour, email walkingqueens@gmail.com.

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Birds flock to winter hot spot Queens


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the Queens County Bird Club

Queens isn’t just the world’s borough. It’s also the birds’ borough.

Birds migrating south for the winter stop in Queens, using the borough’s numerous parks as a rest stop. Other birds, like the snow owl, dig in for the winter and stay in New York City for the season. Witnessing it all are the bird watchers of the Queens County Bird Club.

Bird watching – or birding, to use the hobby’s parlance – is a common practice in Queens, according to Arie Gilbert, president of the Queens County Bird Club. As the season nears winter, leaves falling from trees give parks a desolate, dead look, but they reveal many types of birds that won’t be found in warmer months. Gilbert’s club makes many trips to Alley Pond Park, Kissena Park, Forest Park and, of course, Gilbert said, Jamaica Bay.

“For anybody who even has a passing knowledge of birding knows about Queens and Jamaica Bay,” Gilbert said. “People from all over the world come to New York City to go to Jamaica Bay.”

In these hot spots, people will be able to see birds like the Iceland gull, the great-horned owl and the wood duck.

Along with bird watching trips, the club plans on holding a lecture on Nov. 19 that will help bird watchers identify and note the subtle difference in subspecies like those found in sparrows.

“Birding is not like football. It doesn’t have the same appeal,” Gilbert said. “But it’s a lot of fun being outdoors.”

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Health Department to treat Queens against West Nile


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Health

On Friday, Aug. 15, Monday, Aug.18 and Tuesday, Aug.19, the Health Department will treat parts of Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of West Nile virus.

The treatment, which will apply larvicide by using a low-flying helicopter, will take place between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Monday, Aug. 18, Tuesday, Aug.19 and Wednesday, Aug. 20 during the same hours

VectoBacTM CG, VectoMaxTM CG/FG and/or VectoLexTM CG/FG—all containing naturally occurring bacteria—will be used for this spraying. These larvicides are used throughout the mosquito season to treat mosquito- breeding sites, and are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, according to the city’s Health Department.

LOCATIONS:

Alley Pond Park and Alley Creek (Boundaries: Marsh areas inside Alley Pond Park)

Linden Hill/ College Point and Abandoned Flushing Airport (Boundaries: Marsh areas bounded by Whitestone Expressway to the east; 20th Avenue to the north; 130th Avenue and Ulmer Street to the west; and Ulmer Street and 28th Street to the south)

Edgemere, Somerville Dubos Point and Edgemere Park (Boundaries: Marsh areas bounded by Norton Basin to the east; Mott Point to the north; Grass Hassock Channel to the west; and Beach 65th Street, De Costa Avenue and Almeda Avenue to the south)

 

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Health Department to treat areas of Queens against West Nile this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of James Gathany/CDC

On Wednesday, June 18, Thursday, June 19 and Friday, June 20 the Health Department will treat parts of Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of West Nile virus.

The treatment, which will apply larvicide by using a low-flying helicopter, will take place between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Thursday, June 19, Friday, June 20 and Monday, June 23 during the same hours.

VectoBacTM CG, VectoMaxTM CG/FG and/or VectoLexTM CG/FG—all containing naturally occurring bacteria—will be used for this spraying. These larvicides are used throughout the mosquito season to treat mosquito- breeding sites, and are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, according to the city’s Health Department.

LOCATIONS:

Alley Pond Park and Alley Creek (Boundaries: Marsh areas inside Alley Pond Park)

Linden Hill/ College Point and Abandoned Flushing Airport (Boundaries: Marsh areas bounded by Whitestone Expressway to the east; 20th Avenue to the north; 130th Avenue and Ulmer Street to the west; and Ulmer Street and 28th Street to the south)

Edgemere, Somerville Dubos Point and Edgemere Park (Boundaries: Marsh areas bounded by Norton Basin to the east; Mott Point to the north; Grass Hassock Channel to the west; and Beach 65th Street, De Costa Avenue and Almeda Avenue to the south)

 

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Little Neck restaurant Mizumi to expand, clean up eyesore


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Mizumi restaurant is pumping funds into a planned expansion that will clean up the eyesore next door, a defunct gas station, The Courier has learned.

Owners of the sushi restaurant and buffet bought the former Getty gas station on 231-06 Northern Blvd., which has been tagged with graffiti for more than a year, and plan to replace it with an extension of the eatery.

Besides cleaning off the vandalism, the Chiang family, which owns Mizumi, hired Advanced Cleanup Technologies to remediate any environmental concerns caused by the gas station or expansion as it sits directly in front of Alley Pond Park.

“As we all know, gas stations, or any automotive-related shops can negatively impact its neighborhood,” Ken Chiang said in an email. “We wanted to make sure that our environment and Alley Pond Park would not [be] affected by our expansion.”

Owners of the restaurant aren’t certain what to turn the expanded space into yet, but are contemplating adding extra seating capacity to accommodate large gatherings for catered private events. And the family hired the same Japanese interior and exterior designer who created Mizumi to articulate the style into the extension. After finalizing plans, they will present it to the Board of Standards and Appeals.

“I think everyone can agree that a restaurant or potentially a catering space is far more attractive for the community and storefront of Northern Boulevard than a gas station or auto repair center,” Chiang said.

 

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Op-ed: Seven-point plan


| oped@queenscourier.com

BOB FRIEDRICH AND EASTERN QUEENS UNITED

Last week, a convicted killer escaped from the state-run Creedmoor Psychiatric facility in Bellerose, where he was being held for observation.

This is a serious concern to the civic leaders of this community and other nearby community organizations.

Creedmoor is located in an area of single family homes and is very close to Glen Oaks Village, a co-op community of 10,000 residents. It is situated across the street from a children’s playground in Alley Pond Park, one of Queens’ largest parks.

The escape was also brazen for the ease in which it was accomplished. Exchanging clothes with a visiting friend was enough to allow a convicted killer to walk out undetected and into the neighborhood.

The stunning failure in security by the State Office of Mental Health has been a sore point with community leaders for many years.

The state has consistently failed to provide adequate funding to properly secure this large institution and as a result, numerous incidents have occurred which has put a strain on the already over-burdened local police precinct.

The time has come for real and serious action. Community leaders and local elected officials are calling for a full investigation and a security plan of action in which all stakeholders in the community must be involved.

Eastern Queens is a wonderful part of the city and is fortunate to have an active and vocal group of civic associations that seek to protect the quality of life of the communities they represent.

These civic associations represent thousands of folks that live along the tree-lined streets that surround Creedmoor. We are confident that elected officials, affected agencies and other community organizations will work together to resolve the security issues plaguing the Creedmoor Psychiatric Hospital.

Responding to this breach in security at Creedmoor, a coalition of more than a dozen civic presidents have issued a seven-point plan of action, which you can read below:

1. A full investigation of this incident.

2. Adoption of a comprehensive security plan for the entire Creedmoor campus that would prevent a recurrence of a similar incident in the future.

3. NYS Office of Mental Health must provide the resources to fund a proper level of security.

4. Disclosure and transparency as to the type of individuals being housed at Creedmoor.

5. A Community Notification Protocol to provide immediate alerts of dangerous situations.

6. A similar review and assessment of security at nearby Zucker-Hillside Hospital.

7. The inclusion of nearby civic associations and other stakeholders in the outreach and development of a security plan.

 

Jerry Wind, president of the Bellerose Hillside Civic Association

Bobby Sher, president of the Bell Park-Manor Terrace Co-op

Michael O’Keeffe, president of the Creedmoor Civic Association

Bob Friedrich, president of the Glen Oaks Village Co-op

Michael Castellano, president of the Lost Community Civic Association

Bruno DeFranceschi, president of the North Bellerose Civic Association

Judith Cohen, president of the North Hills Estates Civic Association

Richard Hellenbrecht, president of the Queens Civic Congress

Angela Augugliaro, president of the Queens Colony Civic Association

Jim Trent, president of the Queens County Farm Museum

Mo Ishmael, president of the Queens Village Civic Association

Frank Toner, president of the Rocky Hill Civic Association

Rhonda Kontner, president of the Royal Ranch Homeowners Association

 

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West Nile spraying in Queens this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of James Gathany/CDC

On Tuesday, July 9, Wednesday, July 10 and Thursday, July 11, there will be West Nile spraying in Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease in the following marsh and other non-residential areas:

Alley Pond Park: Alley Creek Marsh (areas inside Alley Pond Park)

Linden Hill/College Point: Abandoned Flushing Airport (Marsh areas bounded by Whitestone Expressway to the east; 20th Avenue to the north; 130th Avenue and Ulmer Street to the west; and Ulmer Street and 28th Street to the south)

Edgemere, Somerville: Dubos Point and Edgemere Park (Marsh areas bounded by Norton Basin to the east; Mott Point to the north; Grass Hassock Channel to the west; and Beach 65th Street, De Costa Avenue and Almeda Avenue to the south)

The spraying will take place between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Wednesday, July 10, Thursday July 11 and Friday, June 12 during the same hours.

VectoBac™ CG, VectoMax™ CG/FG and/or VectoLex™ CG/FG – all containing naturally occurring bacteria—will be used for this spraying. These larvicides are used throughout the mosquito season to treat mosquito breeding sites, and are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York  State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

West Nile spraying in Queens this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of James Gathany/CDC

On Wednesday June, 12 and Thursday, June 13 there will be West Nile spraying in Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease in the following areas:

Alley Pond Park: Alley Creek Marsh (areas inside Alley Pond Park)

Linden Hill/College Point: Abandoned Flushing Airport (Marsh areas bounded by Whitestone Expressway to the east; 20th Avenue to the north; 130th Avenue and Ulmer Street to the west; and Ulmer Street and 28th Street to the south)

Edgemere, Somerville: Dubos Point and Edgemere Park (Marsh areas bounded by Norton Basin to the east; Mott Point to the north; Grass Hassock Channel to the west; and Beach 65th Street, De Costa Avenue and Almeda Avenue to the south)

The spraying will take place between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Thursday, June 13 and Friday, June 14 during the same hours.

West Nile virus has not yet been detected anywhere in New York City this season, according to the Health Department.

VectoBac™ CG, VectoMax™ CG/FG and/or VectoLex™ CG/FG – all containing naturally occurring bacteria—will be used for this spraying. These larvicides are used throughout the mosquito season to treat mosquito breeding sites, and are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York  State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

More West Nile spraying in Queens this week


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Courtesy of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

For the fifth time this summer, the city will be spraying for West Nile virus in Queens this week.

The Department Health and Mental Hygiene announced they will spray larvicide in three Queens neighborhoods beginning today.

There has been one confirmed case of West Nile in the city this year — a Staten Island man — after 11 were diagnosed with the virus a year ago.

More than 40 pools of standing water have tested positive for the virus in Queens.

The Health Department has already begun spraying parts of Alley Pond Park, College Point and Edgemere. The application of the larvicide will last until 7 p.m. tonight. Larvicide will be applied to the areas again between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.

The targeted spots are the marsh areas inside Alley Pond Park, the abandoned Flushing airport bounded by the Whitestone Expressway to the east, 20th Avenue to the north, 130th Avenue and Ulmer Street to the west and Ulmer Street and 28th Street to the south and Edgemere Park bounded by Norton Basin to the east, Mott Point to the north, Grass Hassock Channel to the west and Beach 65th Street, De Costa Avenue and Almeda Avenue to the south.

The pesticide being used, Anvil 10 + 10, poses no health risks when used properly, but the Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

• Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.

• Air conditioners may remain on, however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.

• Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using again.

• Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.