Tag Archives: Douglaston Manor

Bellerose residents demand mosquito help after years with no West Nile spraying


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of CDC

Bellerose residents say they live in a forgotten land when it comes to the city’s efforts to eliminate mosquitoes.

“You can’t go outside. You can’t make it from your car to your front door,” said Maria Donza.

The bloodsuckers are keeping residents on house arrest and even alert indoors, said Donza, who added she sits with a bottle of bug spray at home.

The city has not sprayed the area since before 2011.

Pesticide was scheduled for Bellerose in August 2011, but the order was eventually canceled, according to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (DOHMH) website.

The department recently targeted neighborhoods north of Bellerose, spraying parts of Bayside, Douglaston, Douglaston Manor, Glen Oaks, Little Neck and Oakland Gardens on July 25 and early the next day.

“Everywhere else in Queens has been mostly getting sprayed,” said resident AJ Sonnick. “I don’t understand why Bellerose has been forgotten.”

The 20-year-old said he was bitten four times in the 20 minutes he was in his backyard the other day.

“This is a beautiful neighborhood. It’s a great neighborhood to live,” Sonnick said. “It’s a shame that we just can’t sit outside.”

A DOHMH spokesperson said Bellerose has not been sprayed because no West Nile Virus activity has been detected there.

The virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause encephalitis and meningitis.

Insects carrying the potentially fatal virus were recently found in Auburndale, College Point, Holliswood, Middle Village, Pomonok and the areas north of Bellerose sprayed last week.

The pesticide is taken as a last resort in areas where there is a high risk of West Nile Virus transmission, the department said.

Catch basins in Bellerose have been treated with larvicide twice this season.

“Though there may be an increase in floodwater mosquitoes citywide, these mosquitoes do not transmit West Nile Virus,” the DOHMH spokesperson said.

However, State Senator Tony Avella said the city should take measures before Bellerose makes the infected list.

“Every year, we have deaths from West Nile Virus. Every year, it resurfaces,” he said. “So why don’t we do a much more proactive spraying to reduce that population rather than wait until it explodes on us?”

Mosquitoes “don’t know what a boundary is on a map” and can fly into new nearby territories, the legislator added.

The city urged residents to call 3-1-1 to report standing water, which can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

 

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Drownings in Queens, Long Island, as lifeguard saves boy


| mchan@queenscourier.com


A 21-year-old Bellerose lifeguard was hailed a hero on the same day families in Douglaston Manor and Long Island mourned the losses of their children in July 4’s tragic drownings.

Christos Voulkoudis, 4, drowned in a relative’s pool in Douglaston Manor around 6 p.m., authorities said. He was rushed to North Shore University Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police said they do not suspect criminality.

Earlier that day, a one-year-old boy in East Islip fell and drowned at around 12:40 p.m. after climbing the ladder of an above-ground backyard pool, officials said.

Then a capsized powerboat in Oyster Bay trapped and drowned three Suffolk County children — David Aurelino, 12, Harley Treanor, 11, and Victoria Gaines, 8 — during a nighttime Fourth of July fireworks show, police said.

There were 27 people on board — twice the reported number the boat could carry — and the incident, according to reports, may have been caused by overcrowding and powerful waves from nearby vessels on the water.

Voulkoudis’ pool drowning is the first in Queens this summer, but there were 49 deaths citywide due to accidental drowning and submersion between 2006 and 2010 in natural waters or pools, said a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The vast majority of those deaths, 76 percent, occurred in natural waters. But officials stressed the need for parents to stay vigilant while supervising children in any body of water.

“Most children slip under the water — and it’s silent — in as little as 20 seconds, the time it takes to send a text message or finish an article if you’re reading,” said Mary O’Donoghue, aquatic specialist for the YMCA of Greater New York. “Those 20 seconds you could prevent and be right there.”

According to New York’s Department of State’s Division of Code Enforcement & Administration, swimming pools installed, constructed or substantially modified after December 14, 2006, must be equipped with an approved alarm capable of detecting a person entering the water at any point on the surface of the pool.

Barriers completely surrounding the pool must also be at least 4 feet high, state law requires.

Meanwhile, a Fourth of July disaster was averted thanks to a clear-headed, speedy lifeguard who sprang into action and saved an 11-year-old boy from drowning in a crowded Glen Oaks pool.

Emily Harms, a 21-year-old Bellerose resident, said she was off watch-duty, sitting at a sign-in table doing paperwork at the Royal Ranch pool, when all of a sudden she heard someone screaming her name.

She saw a mother jump into the pool and pull her lifeless son out of the shallow end of the water. Since she was closer to the victim than the lifeguard on watch duty, Harms said she sprinted toward the pair without thinking.

“He was blue and he wasn’t breathing. He didn’t have a pulse,” said Harms, who began administering two sets of CPR with the backup of two fathers who also ran over to help. “He started getting sick and throwing up, but that was a good sign because he started breathing afterward.”

The boy was still unconscious and was rushed by EMTs to Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Harms said, where he is expected to make a full recovery.

Despite all the newfound attention, she said she does not expect the praise.

“This was just part of the job,” she said. “I appreciate everything, but I’m just happy that it had a good ending. It could have been a lot of worse.”

The Center for the Women of New York celebrates 25 years


| editorial@queenscourier.com

The Courier/Photos

The Center for the Women of New York hosted its 25th anniversary luncheon at the Douglaston Manor and Golf Club. The event honored “Woman of Distinction” Matilda Raffa Cuomo, former First Lady of New York State; Community Service awardee Assemblymember Catherine Nolan; Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley; Catherine Glover, Esq., NYS Democratic State Committeewoman; Sasha Greene, LMSW, Director, UFT Retiree Social Services; Assemblymember Grace Meng; Hon. Evelyn Roth, Nassau County Commissioner for the Aging; Sue Sutera, Physical Ed. Coach, Jamaica High School.

CWNY “Good Guy” Awards went to Assemblymember Edward C. Braunstein; Alan Kaufman, Treasurer, CEO, Melrose Credit Union; Fred Papert, President, The 42nd Street Development Corp.; and Gregory Clague, CLTC, LUTCF, Financial Services Executive, MetLife.