On the brief side...
On the brief side...
Report Power Plant For Sale In Astoria
Responding to reports that Reliant Resources plans to sell its Astoria generating station, Assemblymember Michael Gianaris said if a sale does take place, it’s paramount that whoever buys it goes forward with plans to refit its turbines to increase its capacity by 600 megawatts while reducing pollution by 80 percent.
City Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., like Gianaris an Astoria Democrat, laid the blame for Reliant’s problems on Governor George Pataki. He stated, "Unfortunately, [the sale] is most likely because of the illegal assistance that Governor Pataki is providing to Reliant’s competitor, Astoria Energy, which is a company that has never worked with the community."
Civic activist Rose Marie Poveromo also had supportive words for Reliant, which she said was being a good neighbor by repowering, "but we don’t know if the new owners will be good," she added.
Firehouses Will Stay Shut, Says Scoppetta
An abortive effort by city lawmakers to get six firehouses reopened was cut short by Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta last week. One of the firehouses was in Long Island City.
Scoppetta, speaking at a City Council hearing, said the six firehouses, which were closed over strong community opposition last May, will remain closed despite there being $2 million more in the Fire Department preliminary budget.
Scoppetta told the committee the extra funds would go toward new initiatives and paying for a new fire company on Governor’s Island, which was turned over to the city last year.
Scoppetta also noted that the department is slated for a 10 percent cut in overtime and a hiring freeze on civilian employees.
Vallone Lauds Bus Driver Hero
At a recent ceremony honoring Cono Truchio for saving the life of one of the passengers on his bus, City Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. paid homage to the bus driver saying, "Without his timely intervention, the consequences for young Tyrone Banks might have been fatal."
Banks was set ablaze when a lit fire-cracker tossed at him by two classmates lodged between his coat and shirt.
Seeing the youngster in distress through the rearview mirror, Truchio moved quickly, grabbed the firecracker in is bare hands and extinguished it. He then tore off Banks’ smoldering jacket, shirt and t-shirt and put out the flames on the boy’s neck and shoulders.
The honors for Truchio were given by the full council.
Monserrate Gets Park Funds
City Councilmember Hiram Monserrate, who secured $500,000 in capital funds for the construction of a new astroturf ball field in Linden Park, recently presided over groundbreaking ceremonies at the revitalized new facility in Corona.
Monserrate, joined by Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and community residents and leaders, also announced plans to give the park a new name: "Park of the Americas."
"In one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the city," said Monserrate (D–Corona), "Linden Park is the linchpin in the community’s quality of life. This invaluable greenspace is a place of recreation and health for one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country. I look forward to working with the commissioner to rename the park ‘Park of the Americas’ in honor of our community."
Charter School In Astoria Gets Grants
Our World Neighborhood Charter School, at 36-12 35th Ave. in Astoria, announced the receipt of two arts grants to enrich the curriculum. One came from the Queens Council on the Arts, the second from the Center for Arts In Education and Parents As Arts Partners.
Both grants were written with LEAP, Learning Through Expanded Arts Programs, an organization which brings arts into public schools throughout the city.
The first grant is for fifth and sixth grade children to write, direct and perform in their own videos under the tutelage of Pegi Vail, a documentary filmmaker. The fifth grade children will film a documentary-style video based on interviews with neighborhood people. Sixth grade will film a public service announcement about the South American rain forest.
With the second grant, kindergarten and first grade students, working with family members, will create a quilt, which will hang in the school’s entrance atrium.