Ridgewood health resource fair on Wednesday

On Wednesday, October 18 from 4:30 to 7 p.m., Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez is hosting a health resource fair at PS 305 Learners and Leaders, located at 378 Seneca Avenue.

Invited participants include Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Health First, Medicare, Ridgewoo WIC, Five Star Home Health Care Agency and more.

For more information, call 718-599-3658.

New WIC center to help families in Ridgewood

A new state-of-the art facility will provide low-income and immigrant families with access to healthy foods, breastfeeding support and education around healthy parenting and pregnancies.

The facility, located at the corner of Madison Street and Myrtle Avenue, is run by Public Health Services, the state’s largest provider of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

Previously, families utilizing WIC were served by a center on Onderdonk Avenue, but the approximately 1,700 clients outgrew the space.

“Unfortunately, we were not in the friendliest and most welcome site,” said Zach Hennessey, vice president of Programs and Services for Public Health Solutions. “We have created here an environment that is empowering, welcoming, spacious and bright.”

According to Hennessey, woman who participate in WIC have healthier pregnancies. Their children go on to have better diets, lower risk of childhood obesity, and regular source of medical care.

The facility will also offer mothers and their children access to health insurance enrollment and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), all co-located at the same address.

Public Health Solutions CEO Lisa David explained that in addition to helping families access healthy foods, they will also offer a full range of healthcare education on topics like childhood diabetes and when to take a kid to the dentist.

“There’s educational components to this,” she explained. “It not only helps reduce the risk of childhood obesity, it really helps coalesce the family.”

“We had a very small space before so this will allow us to truly expand the number of people we can serve,” she added.

With the Trump administration looking to cut WIC funding by $200 million, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez said the federal government needs to see the center as an investment in the longterm health of the community.

“This is what we call human capital,” she said. “The money that we invest is well spent.”

Crowley wants DOT to investigate alleged ticket trap

After receiving numerous complaints about an alleged ticket trap in Ridgewood, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley is calling on the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) to investigate the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and 60th Street.

According to Crowley, drivers are complaining that cars are getting boxed into the intersection with NYPD traffic enforcement agents nearby to hand out expensive tickets.

“Many constituents are getting stuck, blocking the intersection and are being unfairly ticketed,” Crowley said in a statement.

In a letter to Nicole Garcia, the Queens commissioner for DOT, Crowley requested an onsite visit to the intersection to determine how it can be made safer and more efficient.

Ridgewood pol, others, take a knee

Photo courtesy the City Council Progressive Caucus on Twitter

Councilman Antonio Reynoso joined a group of his colleagues in taking a knee on the steps of City Hall yesterday, as a show of support for professional athletes that are protesting racial inequality and police brutality.

The protests, started last year by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, have drawn widespread criticism in recent weeks, especially by President Donald Trump, who has sent several tweets denouncing the practice of kneeling while the National Anthem plays.

Joining Reynoso was Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander, who posted a lengthy statement on Facebook highlighting why the group took a knee.

“I feel compelled to #TakeAKnee today along with my colleagues, and with professional athletes who have had the courage to put their careers on the line in their struggle for racial justice,” he said. “Colin Kaepernick took a knee a year ago as a protest against the too-often repeated unjustified killing of unarmed civilians, largely African-American men, by police, without cause – and without accountability.”

EPA finalizes clean up of Ridgewood chemical site

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the final details of a $39.9 million remediation of the former Wolff-Alport Chemical Company superfund site on Irving Avenue in Ridgewood.

According to EPA, a study of the site revealed that several buildings as well as soil and sewers were contaminated with radioactive materials from past industrial activities.

While there is no immediate threat to nearby residents because of the agency’s past actions, the comprehensive plan addresses potential long-term risks through a combination of response actions, including permanent relocation of commercial businesses, demolishing contaminated buildings, excavating contaminated soil, and cleaning/replacing contaminated sewers.

“EPA is taking action to address the unacceptable risk posed by the radioactive material that remains at this site,” said Catherine McCabe, Acting Regional Administrator. “Through the Superfund, we will implement a permanent fix that will protect those who live and work in the area over the long term.”

The proposal calls for permanent relocation of six commercial businesses and the residents in one apartment above a business, demolition of all contaminated buildings on site, cleaning/replacing the contaminated sewers and excavation, removal and off-site disposal of an estimated 24,300 cubic yards of contaminated soil, sediment and debris.

To see the final plan in full, visit the EPA’s website. 

Firehouses, EMS stations collecting items for Puerto Rico

The City has identified 18 firehouses and EMS stations across the five boroughs where residents can donate diapers, baby food, batteries, first aid supplies and feminine hygiene products according to a joint release from Councilman Antonio Reynoso and Councilspeaker Melissa Mark Viverito.

For Ridgewood residents, the closest station sits on the border of Ridgewood and Bushwick:

Other stations in Brooklyn and Queens include:

Alternatively, those who wish to help out can text UNIDOS to 41444 and/or contact the Hispanic Federation, which has established its own Hurricane Relief Fund to aid those in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria. For more info, visit http://hispanicfederation.org.

Roadwork resumes at Fresh Pond and Metro

The project to reconstruct the bridge deck over the Long Island Rail Road at Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh Pond Road is beginning again today.

According to the New York City Department of Transportation, in order to commence work, the contractor will be reducing the lanes of traffic on Metropolitan Avenue to one lane in each direction. Construction will take place behind a barrier located on the north side of the avenue.

Work had previously begun in February, but was temporarily halted due to the M train project. It’s estimated to be completed in March 2018.

See a diagram of the traffic detour below: