Queens Botanical Garden has finally reopened


Starting on July 21, the Queens Botanical Garden is reopening with limited open hours.

QBG is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Free hours are Wednesday from 3 to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 10 to 11 a.m.

All visitors must wear a mask and maintain six feet of distance from others to remain in the garden.

Hand sanitizer dispensers are available at multiple points throughout the harden. High-touch surfaces will be disinfected throughout the day.

For more information on admission pricing, open hours, and other facts about reopening, go to their website here.


Flushing Greenmarket opens for fifth season


The Flushing Greenmarket at Maple Playground has launched for its fifth season.

The market will be operated by GrowNYC, and will be open every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. until November. The last day will be November 24.

The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce will partner with GrowNYC to help promote the market and coordinate programming with local businesses and cultural groups.

The Flushing Greenmarket has been at Maple Playground since the summer of 2016. It provides residents with access to farm fresh food and vegetables.

Everything sold at the market is farmer grown, produced, caught or foraged.

Farmers accept cash, debit and credit cards, food stamps, WIC and health bucks.


Eastern Queens pol distributes PPE across his district

2020 07 02 - GRAB n GO free face covering distribution - photo 1

Earlier this week, Councilman Barry Grodenchik distributed thousands of free face masks and hundreds of bottles of hand sanitizer in his eastern Queens district.

The grab-and-go events in Glen Oaks and Fresh Meadows is part of an effort to keep local residents safe during COVID-19.

In total, Grodenchik’s team gave out over 4,000 packages. Each package contained five masks and two-ounce containers of NYS Clean Hand Sanitizer.

The Glen Oaks giveaway took place at the Glen Oaks Shopping Center. The Fresh Meadows event was located outside the AMC Fresh Meadows theater.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Grodenchik has partnered with numerous community organizations to give out PPE to residents.


Two local Catholic schools to permanently close

St. Mel's Catholic Academy. Screen shot via Google Maps.

St. Mel’s Catholic Academy. Screen shot via Google Maps.

The Diocese of Brooklyn has announced that six Catholic Schools will close permanently on August 31.

Among them are Holy Trinity Catholic Academy in Whitestone and St. Mel’s Catholic Academy in Flushing.

The diocese said the “devastating effects” of COVID-19 on enrollment and finances made it “impossible” for them to reopening this upcoming school year.

All six schools already saw a decline in enrollment over the last five years, but the registration totals for this year were “significantly down,” the diocese said.

Affected students and families will receive help to transfer to nearby Catholic academies. The Diocese of Brooklyn, through the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Trust, will provide a one-time grant of $500 for each child from a closed school enrolling in a new Catholic academy in Brooklyn or Queens.

“This is an incredibly sad day for our Catholic community to have to close these schools, but the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic is insurmountable,” said Thomas Chadzutko, Superintendent of Schools.

“The difficult decisions come after the intense analysis of the financial picture of each academy.”


Flushing Town Hall gets donation of 5,000 face masks

Masks Donation

Flushing Town Hall has received a donation of 5,000 face masks from Pauline Huang, a longtime friend and supporter of the organization.

Huang worked with the Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce of North America and the Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce of New York to secure the masks from abroad.

The donation was delivered to the building on July 7.

Huang serves as president of United Custom Service. She also consults with the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, is an ambassador for Queens Botanical Garden. and is the board chair at MuseConnect.

“I’ve had a relationship with Flushing Town Hall since back in 2010 when I helped host a fundraising event for the Hall,” Huang said. “It’s a historic, beautiful facility for the people and residents in Queens.

“I love this place; its culture and atmosphere are so unique,” she added. “You cannot find a replacement for this Town Hall.”


Vallone: $20 million in funding coming to NE Queens


Councilman Paul Vallone announced that $20 million in the recently-passed city budget will come back to Northeast Queens.

Out of that funding, nearly $5 million will be for upgrades at local schools. Every school in the district will receive a minimum of $50,000 to fund technology upgrades, Vallone said.

Another $10 million has been allocated for improving parks in his district, including $5 million for pathway renovations at Joe Michael’s Mile and $3.4 million to complete the waterfront, esplanade and seawall repairs at MacNeil Park.

Other projects include $674,000 in classroom renovations at JHS 194,  $500,000 year-round Reading Garden at Auburndale Library, $1 million in playground renovations to PS 194 and more.

A capital investment of $820,000 is coming to St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, which will allow them to add 10 additional beds to the fourth floor.

Finally, over $1 million has been secured to support nonprofits like the Bayside Village BID, Commonpoint Queens, the Alley Pond Environmental Center and others.


Parts of northeast Queens to get aerial larviciding

Via NYC Health Department

Via NYC Health Department

The Health Department is conducting aerial larviciding treatment to parts of northeast and southeast Queens to reduce mosquito activity and reduce the risk of West Nile virus on Friday, July 10 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.

The helicopter is treating only non-residential areas, the agency said.

To date, no human cases of West Nile virus have been reported this season.

Still, during the summer months, mosquitos can breed in any still water that has been standing for more than five days.

With hot and wet weather conditions, the targeted areas can be home to a rise in mosquito populations.

Here are the areas that will be sprayed:

  • Alley Pond Park (Marsh areas inside Alley Pond Park – areas bounded by Douglaston Parkway and 240th Street to the east; Northern Boulevard to the north; Cross Island Parkway and East Hampton Boulevard to the west; and Grand Central Parkway to the south)
  • Linden Hill/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)
  • Kissena Park (Marsh areas bounded by 164th Street to the east; Oak Avenue and Rose Avenue to the north; and Kissena Boulevard to the west; and  Booth Memorial Avenue to the south)