Queens Lawmakers on the Move March 6, 2020

Queens County City Council News

AG James Warns Against Coronavirus Health Scams

State Attorney General
Letitia James

State Attorney General Letitia James yesterday issued guidance to New Yorkers highlighting available resources and potential consumer scams related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

James’ office is actively monitoring retailers for potential incidents of price gouging of necessary goods and entities selling bogus medical treatments that purport to effectively treat or cure COVID-19.

This week, James issued a “cease and desist” order to an entity that is marketing a product as a treatment for the coronavirus even though there is currently no FDA-approved vaccine to prevent the disease or treatment to cure it.

“As we experience more cases of coronavirus, it is imperative that New Yorkers remain calm, but stay vigilant,” said James. “In addition to being mindful about our health, we must also beware of unscrupulous actors who attempt to take advantage of this fear and anxiety to scam or deceive consumers. I encourage anyone who believes they are the victim of a scam or predatory action to contact my office and file a complaint.”

Gillibrand Launches Funding Push Towards Community Health Centers to Fight Coronavirus

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is seeking to better partner up the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local communities delivering care on the ground in the fight against coronavirus through increased funding to community health centers.

To do this, Gillibrand is urging Congress to provide future funding for a Community Health Center Preparedness Program (CHCPP) which CHC’s would be able to use in emergencies. She also highlighted additional actions she’s taking in the Senate — including calling for emergency funding to combat coronavirus and urging the Trump administration to stop sabotaging Americans’ health care and undermining our ability to effectively respond to the latest outbreak.

“Community Health Centers provide a wide-range of services to some of our most vulnerable populations and they ensure our communities have access to quality health care, especially in times of public health emergencies,” said Gillibrand. “However, unlike hospitals, these vital health care resources have no dedicated source of federal funding for emergency preparedness. As our nation faces another public health crisis, I am urging Congress to provide long term and stable funding so these critical programs can be adequately prepared for public health emergencies. I will continue to fight for the resources our health centers need to continue providing this essential care.”

Cuomo Announces New LaGuardia Airport Public Art Fund Partnership

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced yesterday a new partnership with the leading New York-based nonprofit Public Art Fund to bring inspirational, large-scale art installations to the new LaGuardia Airport. 

As part of the $8 billion transformation of LGA, the new Terminal B will replace the existing Terminal B passenger facilities with a new arrivals and departures hall, two new concourses, and 35 new gates, including 18 new gates that are already open. While the new terminal and concourses will dramatically improve the functionality of the airport, new works of art are intended to enhance dramatically the visual experience for travelers at one of New York’s most important gateways.

Specifically, the partnership with Public Art Fund will enable airport travelers to enjoy ambitious permanent commissions by four of the world’s leading artists – Jeppe Hein, Sabine Hornig, Laura Owens and Sarah Sze. The artists’ installations will be unveiled with the opening of the brand-new Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall later this year.

“New York’s airports are the world’s entry points into the United States, and they need to reflect what this state and country are all about,” said Cuomo. “As we are building a new LaGuardia to meet 21st century travel standards, we are also bringing in the work of renowned artists who capture the unique elements of Queens and New York, giving travelers a true Empire State experience the moment they arrive.”        

Koo Announces Public Scoping Meeting For Bland Playground

City Council Member Peter Koo

City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Whitestone) yesterday announced an upcoming public scoping meeting for downtown Flushing’s Bland Playground.

As part of the FY 2020 Council budget, Koo, Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan), and the Office of the Queens Borough President secured a total of $6 million to redesign and reconstruct the playground. The public scoping meeting will give the community opportunity to weigh in on how they would like to transform their neighborhood playground.

“This scoping meeting is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for area residents to redesign their own backyard playground. Bland Playground’s centralized location in the heart of downtown Flushing, one block from the 7 train and adjacent to NYCHA’s Bland Houses, makes it one of our community’s more popular playgrounds, but the site has been plagued for years by a variety of problems ranging from sanitation to vagrancy. It’s far past time that we address these issues through a redesign and reconstruction that prioritizes the needs of the families and young people who cherish and use this rare urban recreational space,” aid Koo.

The Public Scoping meeting is slated for 6 p.m., next Thursday, March 12 at the Bland Community Center, 133-36 Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing