Queens Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 22, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Meng, Avella, Braunstein Call For Increased Study Of Airplane Noise Affect On Human Health

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, and Maspeth), State Sen. Tony Avella (D-College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Fresh Meadows, Bellerose, Floral Park, Jamaica, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Kissena Park, Briarwood) and Assemblymember Edward Braunstein (D-Bayside) yesterday vowed to increase funding to study the effects of airplane noise on residents living on the ground near airports.

The lawmakers announcement came following the release of a Columbia University study titled, “The Trade-Off between Optimizing Flight Patterns and Human Health,” that cited the negative impacts for the onslaught of concentrated airplane noise over local communities surrounding airports.

In the summer of 2012, residents of Northeast Queens started to notice a huge increase in the noise from aircraft over their heads, much more than they had ever experienced.

Sen. Tony Avella

Upon investigating, Avella and Braunstein found out that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had begun to use a new type of flight pattern without notice to residents. Fast forward six years and the residents of this community continue to suffer the extreme noise impacts from this and other new flight patterns and procedures – procedures the FAA says will continue to be rolled out in the months and years to come.

“Not only have resident been bombarded with noise for years, this study confirms that their health may have been impacted, too,” said Avella. “With completion of this study, we can begin to see what the actual public health effects are due to these flight patterns. In fact, the study shows that people could lose up to one year out of their lifespan due to these negative effects. This is shocking and requires further study to reveal any additional impacts on human life. That is why, in conjunction with Assemblyman Braunstein, I am committing to obtaining additional state funding for the [Columbia] Mailman School of Public Health to expand this study.”

Assembly Member Edward Braunstein

“This study confirms what we have believed all along, that year-round use of the TNNIS climb has a detrimental impact on the health of residents who live within its path,” said Braunstein. “The study also shows that the economic benefits generated through the use of this new NextGen departure procedure are not as significant as we have been led to believe and do not outweigh the costs associated with the negative health effects it has created. I remain committed to working with Senator Avella and Representatives Meng and [Tom] Suozzi to obtain resources to expand the scope of this study and will keep fighting to reduce the unfair burden of airplane noise that has been forced upon our community.”

“The results of this study confirms that excessive aircraft noise over Queens negatively impacts the health of borough residents,” said Meng. “I join my colleagues in seeking an expanded study, and legislation I am sponsoring, the Airplane Noise Research and Mitigation Act of 2018, would help increase noise-related studies by FAA Centers for Excellence. We must do all we can to combat the excessive airplane noise that continues to take a toll on the health and quality of life of Queens residents.”

Gillibrand Gets More Funding To Confront Opioid Crisis

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced yesterday that following her push, the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill includes critical funding that would help communities combat the opioid crisis.

This legislation, which could pass the Senate as soon as this week, includes $3.7 billion in federal funding for treatment and prevention programs that would help communities throughout New York fight against the opioid epidemic.

“Communities across New York State are desperate for resources and funding to stop the opioid epidemic, and Congress urgently needs to step up and help,” said Gillibrand. “I was proud to fight for a substantial increase in federal funding in the Health and Human Services spending bill, and I was very pleased that my request for these funds was approved and included in this must-pass legislation. Now we are one step closer to giving New York’s towns and cities access to millions of dollars in federal aid to battle the opioid crisis, and I will continue doing everything in my power to make sure our state has all the resources it needs.”

Last year, the opioid epidemic is estimated to have killed nearly 50,000 Americans, including 3,466 New Yorkers. This represents a record number of deaths due to opioid overdose. Gillibrand fought for critical funding and resources to be included in the upcoming Senate appropriations bill to help provide support for local public health officials to fight the opioid crisis.

The allocation would go for such things as evidence-based public health response programs and community health centers.

Sanders’ Rockaways Caribbean Carnival Draws Thousands

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) announced that his 2ndAnnual Caribbean Carnival in the Rockaways last Saturday drew thousands of people, giving a needed boost to the large Caribbean population in the area as well as an economic boost to the Rockaways.

The carnival featured parade floats, costumed masqueraders, calypso, reggae and soca music, traditional foods, clothing and crafts and much more.

“We are proud to bring this spectacular celebration to the community for a second year,” Sanders said. “My team along with residents, leaders and multiple organizations worked hand in glove to make this amazing day possible. It is a day when we can celebrate all cultures – Caribbean and American – those from Rockaway and those from all over this great city and state. Out of many, we are one. That’s the motto of Trinidad — together we aspire, together we achieve.”

The Carnival was conducted in collaboration with the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation (RDRC) and NYC Parks Department. It started on Beach 20thStreet and Seagirt Boulevard and culminated with live performances at Bayswater Park. There were also plenty of merchants selling the food of the islands as well as cool drinks and sweet treats.

Also in attendance was City Council Member Donovan Richards and Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer-Amato.

The goal of the Carnival was to celebrate the various arts & culture of the Caribbean while highlighting the hidden jewel that is the Rockaways. Many civic groups and performers walked the parade route, dancing, singing and waving the flags of the many Caribbean countries.