Tag Archives: New York State Department of Health

Contamination cleanup of former 5Pointz graffiti mecca coming soon

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

5 Pointz during mid-demolition

Environmental remediation of the former 5Pointz site, the next step to transform the former graffiti mecca into a massive housing development, is set to begin soon following a public review.

After investigating the Long Island City site, which comprises an entire block bounded by Jackson Avenue, Davis Street and Crane Street, developer Jerry Wolkoff and his firm G&M Realty LP proposed a remedial plan.

The investigation results were reviewed by the New York State Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The agencies found that the site “does not pose a significant threat to human health and the environment.”

DEC is accepting written comments from the public about the proposed cleanup plan by G&M Realty until April 11. Residents can review the plan by reaching out to DEC’s Region 2 office at 47-40 21st St. in Long Island City.

The site is tainted by metals in soil, including mercury, lead and zinc, according to DEC, as well as organic compound contaminants.

The nearly three-acre site was historically known as the Neptune Meter Company, which manufactured water meters from the 1890s until the 1970s. It became the graffiti mecca later and also hosted other tenants.

5Pointz rubble 2

Following public comments, the state agency plans to revise the cleanup plan, and then the state Department of Health must approve it. After that, G&M Realty can begin cleaning up the site.

About two months ago, The United States Patent and Trademark Office denied Wolkoff’s application to trademark the 5Pointz name for the apartment towers planned for the site.


Queens smoking cessation program to no longer receive state grant money: sources

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


State funds to aid programs helping smokers put an end to their habit are calling it quits in Queens.

The Queens Courier has learned that Queens Quits, a partnership between the Queens Health Network, the American Cancer Society and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, will no longer receive grant money from the New York State Department of Health (DOH).

Queens Quits is one of the state DOH’s Tobacco Control Program Cessation Networks, and continued funding would allow it to keep reaching out to over 6,000 health care providers in the borough, asking patients about tobacco usage and providing interventions, training, materials and feedback.

From 2005 to present, Queens Quits has conducted 346 trainings and has collaborated with 6,073 health care partakers including physicians, nurses and dentists, sources told The Courier. Also for the past five years the New York State Smokers’ Quitline for the New York metro area has gotten 3,236 referrals from Queens, compared to 2,288 from Manhattan, 2,102 from Brooklyn and 1,700 from the Bronx, sources said.

Instead, NYU Medical Center will now receive the funds for the city and will manage all the outer boroughs out of a Manhattan office, a source told The Courier.

“Though disappointed in losing its grant, Queens Cancer Center and Queens Hospital remain committed to reducing smoking in Queens, and will continue to support smoking cessation efforts in any way possible,” the Queens Cancer Center of Queens Hospital said in a statement.

According to the state DOH, the 2014 Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York grants were awarded based on a competitive Request for Applications (RFA) process.

Applications were requested from “organizations that will work to engage health care systems to improve the delivery of guideline-concordant care for tobacco dependence through systems and policy change at the organizational level.”

Following a comprehensive review of all applications, awards were made to organizations that best met these criteria, the NYS DOH said in a statement.



WATCH: NY Department of Health laboratory monitors the flu virus

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Screenshot NYSDOH YouTube channel

This weekend, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a public health emergency for all of New York state, which allows pharmacists to give flu vaccinations to patients between six months and 18 years of age.

There are already 19,128 cases of flu reported in the state this season, more than the 4,404 positive laboratory tests that were reported during last year’s influenza season.

According to the New York State Department of Health (DOH), as of January 5, there have been reports of 2,884 patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza and two children have died of the flu in the state. In 2011 there were only 1,169 total hospitalizations.

Here’s a look into the laboratory at the New York State Department of Health, where efforts are underway to reduce and monitor the effects of this season’s flu.