"Steal" These Ideas to Improve Transportation in Council District 23

In my previous two posts, I looked at improving bicycling and parks in Council District 23. Today, I'd like to focus on improving the transportation in the district. This is one of the most difficult problems to solve, since the district is completely devoid of subway access. Access to rapid or commuter transit is through a bus/subway transfer, MTA Bus Company express bus service, or the nearby LIRR Bayside and LIRR Queens Village stations. Improve Rapid Transit Throughout the City So The Area Benefits Long Term A candidate might expect some of the population of District 23 to oppose subway expansion to the district - however, part of being a leader is anticipating tomorrow's problems today and taking positions that protects your constituents' interests tomorrow. Recently the Daily News reported that as the population of the NY Metro region has exploded, the stress on transit and commuter railroads has reached a peak . Yet our city has not built a serious upgrade t

"Steal" These Ideas to Improve Parks in Council District 23

In my last post, I examined ways to make bicycling in District 23 safer and more enjoyable  and I also invited the candidates for District 23 to "steal" these ideas. Today, I'd like to look at what can be done to improve the parks in the district. I have to say, if you live in District 23, you're probably here for the parks or for the schools - or both. District 23 is defined by two large parks: Alley Pond Park and Cunningham Park. I don't know if it’s true, but a representative of a neighboring district once told me that District 23 has the most parkland per resident of any council district in the city. Cunningham Park already has a great (and very effective) advocacy organization— Friends of Cunningham —so I am going to keep my comments limited to the other parks. Improve access to the ‘Upper Alley’: If you live in Glen Oaks or Floral Park and want to walk or ride your bike to the Soccer fields, Adventure Course or Picnic Area of the Upper Alley you

"Steal" These Ideas to Improve Bicycling in Council District 23

I've met two of the candidates in the race, and I look forward to speaking with the others soon. The two I've met with ( Barry  &  Ali ) want to improve cycling in the area. District 23 actually has a lot of cyclists, and interestingly, it seems many use their bicycles for recreation as opposed to travel and for daily errands. Big Capital Projects:  The following projects have the potential to greatly improve the quality of life for District 23 residents. Make Funding the Motor Parkway East Proposal a Priority:  The  Motor Parkway East project  would use government property to connect the 3 miles of greenway in Queens with the massive  40 mile Motor Parkway Trail project in Nassau . This greenway would essentially create an east-west emerald ribbon that connects parks, schools, tourist destinations, and business districts, with will increase the quality of life for everyone in District 23. Right now our council district is cut in two by Creedmoor Ho

Biking, Parks & Public Transportation in City Council District 23

Recently, Mark Weprin, the councilman for NYC Council District 23, resigned. In September, the Democrats will hold a special primary election for the seat. Thus far, there are four candidates: Bob Friedrich, Barry Grodenchik, Rebecca Lynch, & Ali Najmi, (alphabetically by last name). While I'm not going to use this space to endorse one candidate or the other, I'd like to focus on areas where things in District 23 could be improved. I invite the candidates to feel free to “steal” any of my ideas! In the course of the next three posts, I'd like to examine ways to improve: Part 1: Steal These Ideas to Improve bicycling in City Council District 23  (June 30) Part 2: Steal These Ideas to Improve parks in City Council District 23  (July 1) Part 3: Steal These Ideas to Improve public transportation in City Council District 23  (July 2)

Fracking: What You Need to Know

Recently, I  tweeted  about the  French instituting a fracking ban  while Governor Cuomo  partially lifted New York’s ban . What is fracking you might ask? Properly known as hydraulic fracturing it is a process whereby a hole is bored into subterranean layers of shale (a sedimentary rock) and an  undisclosed mixture of water and chemicals  is injected at high pressures to crack the shale open and release the natural gas. By US Environmental Protection Agency [Public domain], via  Wikimedia Commons The process of fracking is highly controversial, and was featured at length in the 2010 documentary  Gasland  ( IMDB ). The release of chemicals which naturally occur in hydrocarbon deposits is a potential source of water contamination. These chemicals include  volatile organic compounds which can potentially cause kidney damage and benzene which is a carcinogen . Additionally, there is concern that the chemicals used for fracking might leach into the water table as well. The level of

Hemophilia Cured in Mice

Gene therapy involves substituting or introducing a therapeutic gene to replace or accompany the defective one. Many previous attempts at gene therapy have utilized retroviruses, however the main pitfall of retroviruses is that scientists cannot control where the therapeutic gene will be inserted. This is a huge drawback as the therapeutic gene might be inserted in a potentially useful or necessary part of the genome, which could lead to even more genetic mutation. by ICSident ( CC License)  via Wikimedia Recently, a team of scientists led by Dr Holmes and Dr High used a zinc finger nuclease to repair hemophilia in mice . Zinc finger nucleases don’t actually exist in nature and are engineered from a fusion of a Zinc finger domain and a nuclease. Zinc Finger domains are typically found in transcription factors (proteins which help to control the rate of transcription of RNA from DNA) because they recognize and interact with very specific sections of DNA. Nucleases on the other h