Tag Archives: Pomonok

West Nile spraying in Queens this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of James Gathany/CDC

On Thursday, August 22 there will be West Nile spraying in parts of Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease.

The spraying will take place between the hours of 8:15 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Monday, August 26, during the same hours.

Parts of  Auburndale, Murray Hill, Pomonok and Queensboro Hill (Bordered by: Northern Boulevard, Sanford Avenue, 156th Street, 46th Avenue, and Holly Avenue to the north; Kissena Boulevard to the west; Long Island Expressway to the south; and Fresh Meadow Lane and Auburndale Lane to the east).

Parts of  Cambria Heights, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens and Saint Albans (Bordered by Linden Boulevard to the north; 170th Street, Ring Place, 171st Street to the west; 125th Ave, Merrick Boulevard, 223rd Street and 130th Avenue to the south; and Francis  Lewis Boulevard, 121st Avenue and Francis Lewis Boulevard to the east).

For the sprayings, the Health Department will use a very low concentration of Anvil®, 10 + 10 a synthetic pesticide. When properly used, this product poses no significant risks to human health.

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.

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.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

More security cameras coming to Queens


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Police will install new sets of eyes in parts of Briarwood, Jamaica and Pomonok, according to a Queens lawmaker.

Seventeen NYPD security cameras are coming to the area’s high-traffic locations thanks to $600,000 in funding secured by Councilmember James Gennaro.

They can be found around Rufus King Park in Jamaica, near Archbishop Molloy High School and along Hillside Avenue, Jamaica Avenue and Parsons Boulevard, officials said.

“I am proud to have been a strong supporter of the use of these cameras,” Gennaro said.

Installation is slated to be completed by the city’s police department within two years.

The legislator said the cameras “are an essential part of the NYPD’s crime-fighting and counterterrorism efforts.”

Another 57 security cameras are coming to Queens, Borough President Helen Marshall announced last month.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Local teen designers compete in “Project Runway” fashion competition


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Queens Library

Local teen designers faced off in a “Project Runway” fashion competition last month at the Pomonok branch of the Queens Library.

Fifteen runway hopefuls, between 10 and 17 years old, took on the task of creating the most stylish woman’s outfit out of men’s clothing. Their handpicked models hit the catwalk in their creations, library officials said.

Queens librarian Frances Grossman said she came up with the idea of recreating the popular television show after local teens begged for a library program centered around fashion.

Grossman, 26, said she called The Weinstein Company, which co-produces “Project Runway,” for permission to use the name of the show. They gave approval, as well as prizes, fabric, embellishments, tailoring supplies, sponsors for the contest and the theme song for the show.

Alyssa Sadofsky, 16, won first place with model Corine Houngninou, 10. They were given $100 gift certificates to MOOD Designer Fabrics and two tickets to the “Project Runway” season 11 finals, held in Manhattan during Fashion Week this spring. Runners-up, designer Katelyn Dougherty and model Victoria Woelfle, went home with a “Project Runway” DVD game.

The judges were Brooklyn fashion designer Michelle McGoldrick, jewelry store manager Madeline Roth, art therapist Meredith Farrell and interior designer and fashion blogger Dahlia Jacob.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

OpEd: Ban sex offenders from childrens’ sections of public libraries


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY DAVID WEPRIN

When I heard about the sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl at the Pomonok branch of the Queens Public Library in the middle of the day on Monday, October 15, I was disturbed and outraged that we as a community failed once again to keep our children safe. I immediately called upon my fellow legislators in the State Assembly to pass the bill I introduced last spring prohibiting sex offenders from entering into the childrens’ section of our public libraries.

To me, it is absolutely outrageous that our children are not safe in our libraries, local parks, playgrounds, recreation centers and even our schools. We simply cannot allow any more of our children to be harmed by sex offenders in our communities. This horrific assault at Pomonok could have been prevented. It is a failure of our legal system that these predators are able to enter our public libraries and harm our precious children. We must put a stop to this now.

The bill, A10815/S7823, which I co-sponsored with State Senator John Sampson last spring, would prohibit all persons required to maintain registration under the sex offender registration act from entering the childrens’ section of a public library. Back in June, there was an incident involving two small girls, ages 6 and 9, at another branch of the Queens Public Library and the accused perpetrator was on parole for possession of child pornography at the time of the incident.

To enforce this bill, our libraries would need to create a separate entry into their childrens’ areas and request identification from any adult entering the space. Increased security in the childrens’ areas would also help monitor all activities taking place. Perhaps also the addition of security cameras would help protect our children while they are reading, studying, or enjoying a story time presentation. Our libraries have wonderful programs for children of all ages and parents should not have to worry about their children’s safety when they participate in these activities.

Also disturbing is a situation in South Ozone Park, which borders on my newly-re-drawn Assembly district, where the Skyway homeless shelter, which houses sex offenders, is located just 1,000 feet from PS 124 on South Conduit Avenue. I also co-sponsored a bill, A1947, that would restrict registered sex offenders from residing within 500 feet of a school. This legislation is still pending in Albany. Rightfully so, parents and members of the South Ozone Park community are frightened for their children and angry about the placement of these dangerous individuals in their neighborhood.

Clearly, we must do more to protect our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. Libraries are places where our children learn – from the youngest toddlers to the freckled faces of our delightful teenagers – and there is no excuse for a convicted sex offender to have access to the childrens’ areas of any library. We need to be hyper-vigilant on these issues of public safety and work together to make sure no more children become victims.

New York State has taken numerous steps to ensure that sexual predators do not have access to children, but clearly we need to do more. I intend to work with my colleagues in Albany to ensure our laws do not provide loopholes for predators and that our children remain safe everywhere.

Assemblymember David I. Weprin (D) represents Queens Assembly District 24

After Queens library assault, call for stricter laws


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

BY TERENCE M. CULLEN AND MAGGIE HAYES

Police are looking for a suspect who reportedly sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl at the Pomonok branch of the Queens Library in the middle of the day.

“There are a lot of little children that are in [the library] by themselves,” said a 14-year-old who lives nearby. “You have nobody watching you. Instead you have people like this walking in, doing things and walking out.”

The suspect, described as a Hispanic man in his early to mid-20s, molested the girl around 4 p.m. on Monday, October 15. Police describe the man as 5’10” and 200 pounds, of light complexion with slick black hair pulled back in a bun.
“In this neighborhood, the library is like a babysitter,” said Patricia S., who lives just up the block from the branch on

Jewel Avenue and also frequents the library. “[Kids] run around through the aisles, no one is looking out for them.”
Police could not release any other details at this time, as the investigation is ongoing.

There are several registered sex offenders living within the vicinity of the library, according to the advocacy website Familywatchdog.us.

The teen noted that she has seen younger children get dropped off at the Pomonok branch by their parents or wait there after school to be picked up.

Joanne King, communications director for Queens Libraries, said the system always tries to ensure that everyone who frequents any branch feels safe and in a good environment.

“Queens Libraries are secure, family-friendly environments for education and enrichment,” she said. “The safety of our patrons and staff is always our number one priority.”

While sex offenders are banned from entering playgrounds, courts have ruled it unconstitutional to ban them completely from public libraries.

Just this summer, a man with a history of sexual-related run-ins with the law was arrested for inappropriately touching two young girls outside of the Flushing Library.

Councilmember Peter Vallone and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio as a result wrote letters to state legislators calling for registered sex offenders to at least be banned from the children’s reading rooms of libraries.

Following the Pomonok assault, de Blasio released a statement calling again for tighter laws against known sex offenders in children’s sections of libraries.

“Today in New York City, a sexual predator could walk into a children’s room at any library, and there’s nothing we can do to stop them,” he said. “We need a tougher law that bans convicted offenders from children’s rooms to deter would-be attackers and empower law enforcement to quickly intervene. We intend to work closely with the State Legislature to protect children in our libraries.”

Suspect wanted for sexually assaulting child at Queens library


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

The NYPD is looking for a man who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl at the Pomonok branch of the Queens Library on Monday, October 15, around 4:00 p.m., said police.

Authorities describe the suspect as a Hispanic male, between 20 and 25 years old, about 5’10 tall and 200 pounds with a light complexion and slick black hair pulled back into a bun.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

More West Nile spraying in Queens Thursday


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of James Gathany/CDC

On Thursday, September 13 there will be another round of West Nile spraying in Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the 1,993 cases of the disease that have been reported so far this year is the highest number reported to CDC through the first week in September since 1999, when it was first detected in the U.S.

The spraying will take place from 7:30 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Friday morning in the following parts of Queens:

Middle Village, Maspeth, Rego Park and Ridgewood, bordered by Grand Avenue, Long Island Expressway and Queens Boulevard to the north; Fresh Pond Road to the west; Metropolitan Avenue to the south; and 80th Street, Farmville Avenue, Woodhaven Boulevard and 63rd Road to the East.

Parts of Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Hollis, Holliswood, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills and Oakland Gardens, bordered by Long Island Expressway to the north; 188th Street, 80th Drive, Utopia Parkway, Homelawn Street and 169th Street
to the west; 90th Avenue, 191st Street and Hillside Ave to the South; and Hollis Hills Terrace, Richland Ave and 210th Street to the east.

Parts of Pomonok, Auburndale, Flushing and Bayside, bordered by 33rd to the north; 162nd Street, Laburnum Avenue, Kissena Boulevard to the west; Booth Memorial Boulevard, Utopia Parkway and 48th Avenue to the south; and Clearview
Expressway to the east.

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.

Residents are also advised to take steps to reduce the number of mosquitoes around a home or property, including eliminating standing water in yards. In addition, New Yorkers are urged to:

• Dispose of used tires, tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers in which water collects;

• Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors. Make sure roof gutters drain properly and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall;

• Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use and change the water in bird baths twice a week;

• Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds; and

• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs, and drain water from pool covers.

Star of Queens: Sharon Banks


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Sharon Banksw

Sharon Banks

Community Library Manager

Queens Library at Pomonok

Community Involvement:  Sharon Banks has served as community library manager at Pomonok for the past six years.

“I try to make the library visible to the community through neighborhood outreach,” said Banks.  The library has sponsored programs for the Queens Community House and has collaborated with the northeast Queens branch of the NAACP by providing programs of interest to the African-American community.

The library also offers more than 150 programs for children of all ages and includes many activities such as arts and crafts, self discovery through group discussions, board games and electronic games. The library also holds monthly book discussions for adults.

“We have a loyal and lively cadre of adults who come in every day to read the daily newspapers,” said Banks. “We always have time to engage in conversations with them.”

Personal:  Banks was born and raised in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Hawaii with a bachelor’s degree in business education and received a master of library and information science degree from Queens College. Banks also received a certificate of advanced studies in public library administration from Long Island University.

She has been married for 30 years and has two children, two stepchildren and one grandson. Banks is also an active member of St. Albans Congregational Church and works at The Beaded Neck, where she makes jewelry and plans to retire in the next few years.

Inspiration:  As a young woman, Banks was inspired by people who were singled out for making a difference in their communities or professions.

“They seemed so bigger than life,” said Banks. “It’s exhilarating to know that each and every day through what I do at Queens Library I have the opportunity to be the kind of person I’ve admired all my life. That is so soul satisfying.”

Challenge:  “I don’t relate to challenges, only to opportunities,” said Banks. “Challenges give me gray hair; opportunities turn the gray to silver.”

Favorite Memory:  “A favorite, although painful, memory is being in the library at the time I learned that Dr. Martin Luther King had been assassinated” said Banks. “That memory has never left me.”

Children rally to save Pomonok after-school program from shutting down


| sarahyu@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Sarah Yu

Children, parents and politicians rallied recently against the closing of after-school programs at the Pomonok Center at the Queens Community House.

The center offers a free after-school program for children from grades kindergarten to sixth that includes homework help, arts and crafts, fitness, character development and team-building games.

“I worry that without such a program in Pomonok, our youth will begin to fall behind academically and socially, which is something we as a community simply cannot afford,” said Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz.

The Pomonok Center is funded by the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development’s Out-of-School Time Program, which had its funding cut in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s executive budget.

“I call on the city to stop balancing the budget on the backs of our children and young families,” Simanowitz said.

According to Sheena Sukhraj, the youth services director for the Pomonok Center, they are currently collecting petitions and sending it out to the mayor and local officials.

“I think it’s a shame because the majority of our children come from Pomonok Houses which is a low- income housing development, so we know that the parents can’t afford after-school programming,” she said.

They only have six more weeks to fight to keep the after school programs running at the Pomonok Center.

“I’m very devastated because it is right now the only option that I have for child care for my son,” Kimberlee Farrell, a parent and educator said.

Farrell added that she’s always looking for options so that she is ready to face what might happen if their protests aren’t heard.

“I’m touched,” she said. “It takes major issues to bring it out in these communities, but you see from these children, six and seven years old, up to the adults — 50s, 60s 70-year old grandparents — all rallying together for what is right.”

Queens Courier Happenings


| amanning@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy www.mandagroup.com

ATTENTION: WANT A LISTING ON THIS PAGE?

 Go to the “Events Calendar” section of our web site, www.queenscourier.com/news/regional/courier, and click on “Submit your event” to let us know about your happening. We select from reader submissions to list on our happenings page.

 

EDITOR’S PICK

Wednesday, December 28,

11 a.m. Pomonok Library: “Wimpy” Wednesday!; Celebrate the publication of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Feverwith a day filled with activities related to Greg, Rodrick and the rest of the “Wimpy Kid” characters. Enjoy the magic of Greg and Rodrick on screen as the library will have two showings of the popular movies based on the books by author Jeff Kinney. Noted storyteller Carol Goldman will introduce the popular series to avid fans with a chapter reading. Enjoy board games, trivia games, coloring pages and puzzles; call 718-591-4343.

 Friday, December 23

3:30 p.m. Queensboro Hill Library: Yu-Gi-Oh Tournament; Children and teens between the ages of seven and 14 can enjoy participating in this tournament; call 718-359-8332.

 

WEEKEND EVENTS

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23

10:30 a.m. Briarwood Library: Mother Goose Time; Children ages 10 to 18 months are invited for playtime, nursery rhymes and music; call 718-658-1680.

 

10:30 a.m. Queens Village Library: STARs: Senior Theater Acting Repertory; Join the library’s galaxy of STARs in performing theatrical works. Brush up on your acting chops and meet new friends; call 718-776-6800.

 

2:30 p.m. Long Island City: Tween Zone Inspiration Fridays (TZIF); Children in grades five to eight can come every Friday for fun, books, games and art; 718-752-3700.

 

3:30 p.m. Queensboro Hill Library: Yu-Gi-Oh Tournament; Children and teens between the ages of seven and 14 can enjoy participating in this tournament; call 718-359-8332.

 

MONDAY, DECEMBER 26

 

3 p.m. Corona Library: Homework Help; Students in grades kindergarten through sixth can come and receive help with assignments; call 718-426-2844.

 

6:15 p.m. Long Island City Library: Lego Builders Club; If you like building with Legos, come join the club and build with other kids; call 718-752-3700.

 

6:30 Forest Hills Library: Ballroom Dancing with Jing Chen; Jing Chen studied dance at the school founded by internationally-acclaimed dancers Mr. and Mrs. Lu Ming Da. Chen is a skilled instructor who will give lessons in ballroom basics for beginners and offer training for more advanced students; call 718-268-7934.

 

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27

 

1 p.m. Hillcrest Library: Canned Food Drive; Make a difference this holiday season by helping to feed the needy. Bring in cans of non-perishable food to the library and it will be distributed to the needy in the surrounding area. Donations will be accepted until January 11, 2012; call 718-454-2786.

 

2 p.m. Broadway Library: Winter Mural; Add your touch to a manga-style “mural” depicting the beauty of the winter season. Participants will paint with acrylics on an oversized canvas; call 718-721-2462.

 

2 p.m. Poppenhusen Library: Winning Winter Crafts; Kids can join every day during their winter break for fun crafts. If under grade three, the child must be accompanied by an adult; call 718-359-1102.

 

3 – 6 p.m. Cambria Heights: BOOST Homework Help; Children can receive help with assignments from BOOST staff Monday through Friday; call 718-528-3535.

 

4 p.m. Glen Oaks: Winter Wonderland; Children ages eight and up can experience the mystery of snowflakes in this arts and crafts program; call 718-831-8636.

 

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28

 

11 a.m. Pomonok Library: “Wimpy” Wednesday!; Celebrate the publication of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever with a day filled with activities related to Greg, Rodrick and the rest of the “Wimpy Kid” characters. Enjoy the magic of Greg and Rodrick on screen as the library will have two showings of the popular movies based on the books by author Jeff Kinney. Noted storyteller Carol Goldman will introduce the popular series to avid fans with a chapter reading. Enjoy board games, trivia games, coloring pages and puzzles; call 718-591-4343.

 

1:30 p.m. Forest Hills: Baby Crawl; Babies four to 17 months are invited to exercise their minds and bodies in the Story Hour Room; call 718-268-7934.

 

2:30 p.m. Bayside Library: Holiday Game Show Afternoon; If you think you have what it takes to be a trivia contestant, sign up for the library’s game show. There will be two sessions – one for fifth to eighth graders and another for ninth to 12th graders.

 

2:30 p.m. St. Albans Library: Origami for a Snowy Day with Karen Wellington; Come and create toys you can enjoy at home when it’s cold outside in this craft class inspired by Ezra Jack Keats’ “The Snowy Day.” Children ages six to 12 will learn how to make a snowball, a snow angel and a dog just like Peter’s. Preregistration is required; call 718-528-8196.

 

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29

 

1:30 p.m. Bay Terrace Library: Great Music from the ’30s to the ’70s; Guitarist Eddie Lee Isaacs and Friends bring back memories with favorites like “Autumn Leaves,” “Misty” and “Body and Soul” by performers Louis Prima, Ray Charles and Willie Nelson; call 718-423-7004.

 

2 p.m. Pomonok Library: Drumbeats for Kwanzaa with Freddy Dugard; Freddy Dugard will introduce various rhythms and beats and encourage the audience to participate in creating dynamic sounds for a festive Kwanzaa celebration; call 718-591-4343.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m. Queens Theatre’s Immigrant Voices Project in the Studio Theatre; Listen to the trials and tales of a colorful cast from the melting pot of New York City, including a Bangladeshi insomniac and a Columbian drag queen. Tickets are $20.

 

SATURDAY, FEB. 4

5 p.m. and 8 p.m.COCKTAILS WITH LARRY MILLER: Little League, Adultery and Other Bad Ideas; Actor and comedian Larry Miller takes to the stage in this hilarious one-man show, part of Queens Theatre’s Celebrity Series. Regular tickets are $44, and tickets in the Producer’s Circle are $60.