Queens Lawmakers on the Move May 28, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Vallone Launches Northeast Queens Drive-In Movie Series 

City Council Member Paul Vallone

City Council Member Paul A. Vallone (D-Alley Pond Park, Bay Terrace, Bayside, College Point, Douglaston, East Elmhurst, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck, Whitestone) announced yesterday the first in a series of drive-in movies that will provide Northeast Queens families with safe summer fun during the warmer months. 

The first screened movie will be Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, presented on June 19 at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center in partnership with Cord Meyer Development, the Queens Chamber of Commerce and Movies in the Moonlight. 

“Sunnier days are here again, and so are drive-in movies!” said Vallone. “I am very excited to announce a brand new Northeast Queens Drive-In Movie series, kicking off with a screening under the stars in the heart of Bay Terrace. Bringing a nostalgic and safe summer experience right into our backyard will empower the local community to come together safely to enjoy longer summer days,  all while facilitating important social distancing.”

Each family interested in attending must register in advance at Eventbrite: https://bit.ly/bayterracemovie. To ensure proper distancing, space is limited and spots are first-come, first served. On the day of the event, pre-registered families can begin entering the main lot in front of Stop & Shop to line up their car at 7 p.m. Organizers ask that families arrive at the lot no later than 8:15 p.m. 

The movie will begin at 8:45 p.m. and be projected onto a theater-style screen and transmitted via FM radio. 

Van Bramer Announces New Testing Sites 

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside) announced in his e-newsletter yesterday that the city has announced yet another new testing site in our district. 

The new testing site in Queensbridge (listed below) is in addition to the testing site in Woodside on Northern Boulevard that opened on Monday.

  • 10-25 41st Avenue, the Jacob Riis Settlement House will serve as a testing site beginning June 22nd

This is in addition to the following City run testing sites in our district currently open:

  • 51-30 Northern Blvd., the Old Sports Authority
  • 50-53 Newtown Rd.
  • 43-11 34th Street (Antibody Testing)

To schedule an appointment for anti-body testing, please visit this link: https://www.bioreference-appointments.com/nyc

“While there may not be any available slots when you try to schedule, I have heard from many neighbors that subsequent tries have been successful in booking an appointment. While the Mayor’s office has referenced the location as 34-09 Queens Blvd, the facility has also listed an address as 43-11 34th Street. The other sites will require you wait in line with priority to immunocompromised people,” wrote Van Bramer. .

Furthermore, CITY MD is partnering with the City of New York to offer testing and antibody testing at all of their locations to New Yorkers, the lawmaker added..

Gillibrand Introduces Legislation Protecting Food Supply Amid COVID-19 Crisis

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, joined Senate colleagues in introducing legislation to protect the nation’s food supply, which has been threatened by the COVID-19 crisis. 

The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented shift in demand, moving it away from restaurants and foodservice and towards retail and food donations. As farmers struggle to sell their produce and meat, many have had to dispose of their goods, while at the same time, millions of newly unemployed Americans are facing a hunger crisis, as the price of groceries rise and food banks grapple with exceptionally high demand. 

The Food Supply Protection Act would address these novel issues by strengthening our food supply chain, reducing food waste, helping food banks meet demand, and supporting both farmers and families in need.

“The unprecedented strain on our food supply demands innovative solutions to meet the needs of New York’s farmers, families, and workers,” said Gillibrand. “This legislation will help farmers and food processors modernize their operations to meet the new demands of this crisis, enable our front line workers to keep food on the table, and put food into the hands of New Yorkers facing food insecurity. I’m proud to support the Food Supply Protection Act, which will take bold steps to address the COVID-19 crisis and protect families from food shortages.”

The Food Supply Protection Act would provide additional resources to fill the gaps in the broken food supply chain, reduce food waste, and help farmers, workers, processors, food banks, and families in need. 

Pheffer Amato and Addabbo Keep Businesses Open on Beach 116th Street

Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato
State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Park), and State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. (D-Rockaway Park), announced yesterday that the businesses on Beach 116th Street will stay open as they have come to an agreement with the MTA which would extend their occupancy until at least the end of the year. 

The agreement as the MTA delays their issuance of a request for proposal (RFP) for those commercial spaces, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, the business owners were sent letters stating that they would have to vacate their premises by June 19.

“I would like to thank the MTA for being good partners and understanding that during these times keeping businesses open benefits our entire community,” Pheffer Amato said. “These businesses have been a staple in this community, and it would have been particularly unfair to make them shut their doors during a global health pandemic. I’m glad that Senator Addabbo, myself, and the MTA were able to come to a reasonable conclusion that gives the businesses enough time to prepare for next year’s RFP, while keeping their staffs employed and the space occupied until the end of the year.”

“Having the MTA allow these local businesses remain in place, especially during this health crisis when many businesses are not allowed to operate, is a positive step for the Rockaway community,” Addabbo said. “Our local businesses are the backbone of our communities, and I want to thank the MTA for this decision and for listening to the concerns Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato and I expressed for these storefronts. I support the safe reopening of these businesses and it will be great to see them flourishing again soon.”

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