Stories from Astoria, Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside, Corona, Elmhurst and East Elmhurst

Friday, September 18, 2020
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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced Friday that the DEC will begin enforcement of the state’s ban on single-use plastic carryout bags beginning on Monday, on Oct. 19.

The plastic bag ban, which went into effect on March 1, was not enforced per an agreement between the parties in a lawsuit brought by Poly-Pak Industries, Inc., et al., in New York State Supreme Court. Read more

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Summer ends next week, and with it the Queens Chronicle’s 12th annual Summer in the Borough Photo Contest. Enter now! Of course, the world has changed, and we simply don’t know when the free passes to a family-friendly performance in or around the city, such as an off-Broadway show, that we give to all our winners will be available. If you’re willing to wait, or just want to see your entry published after the contest, please enter anyway. We’ll get passes to the winners as soon as we can.

Please see our rules and guidelines at bit.ly/2ADYvns. Send your digital photos to PeterM@qchron.com, or mail prints to Queens Chronicle Photo Contest, 71-19 80 St., suite 8-201, Glendale, NY 11385. The deadline is Monday, Sept. 21. Good luck! Read more

The ramp from the southbound Van Wyck Expressway to the westbound Jackie Robinson Parkway will be closed for about six months, the state Department of Transportation said this week. The ramp is being rebuilt as part of the Kew Gardens Interchange Phase IV project. In the interim, motorists may use the newly constructed ramp from the southbound Van Wyck Expressway to Union Turnpike to access the westbound Jackie Robinson Parkway. Read more

A federal court ruled against President Trump’s attempt to not count undocumented immigrants for the purpose of reapportioning congressional seats after the 2020 Census, saying last Thursday it violated the law.

“The Presidential Memorandum violates the statute governing apportionment because, so long as they reside in the United States, illegal aliens qualify as ‘persons’ in a ‘State,’” the judges wrote. Read more

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In 1952, Congress designated Sept. 17 Citizenship Day in order to honor the formation and signing of our Constitution. Thereafter, then-President Truman proclaimed “... it is most fitting that every citizen of the United States, whether native-born or foreign-born, should on September 17 of each year give special thought and consideration to his rights and responsibilities under our Constitution.”

It is in that spirit that this Citizenship Day I take a moment to recognize that this election year we must all seize our rights and own our responsibilities with a commitment to realizing our fullest potential as a country and fighting to uphold our values. Read more

Eleven members of the FDNY who were assigned to Queens were among the 27 added last Wednesday to the department’s memorial wall dedicated to those who died from illnesses caused by rescue and recovery work at the site of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack.

The ceremony took place at FDNY Headquarters at 9 MetroTech Center in Brooklyn. The event was not open to the press and public this year because of COVID-19 restrictions. Read more

The New York City Council grilled Con Edison officials on Monday in an oversight hearing on the utility company’s response to Tropical Storm Isaias last month.

The councilmembers, including a group from Queens whose districts were the hardest hit by the storm, drilled into several problems: the extent of the power outages that lasted over a week for thousands of the borough’s residents, issues caused by overhead power lines and the number of contract workers the utility had at its disposal immediately following the storm. Read more

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As restaurant owners prepare to welcome their first indoor sit-down guests in seven months, they and industry advocates are hoping that they will have enough customers — and enough time — to stay in business.

Regulations until at least November limit them to 25 percent of indoor capacity. Raquel Olivares, executive director of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District, whose members include a lot of small independent restaurants along the Jamaica Avenue corridor, said they are raring to get back inside. Read more

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After staffing shortages continued to plague New York City’s school reopening plan under the demands of its blended learning model, the Department of Education announced a last-minute policy shift aimed to address the issue the night before virtual orientation began.

Students who opt for blended learning will no longer be guaranteed live instruction on the days they’re learning remotely from home. Read more

Monday, September 14, 2020
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The owners of the New York Mets have reached an agreement to sell the club to hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen.

“The Sterling Partners have signed an agreement with Steven Cohen pursuant to which Mr. Cohen would purchase the New York Mets,” the club said on its Twitter account Monday afternoon. Read more

Friday, September 11, 2020