6 THE QUEENS COURIER • APRIL 18, 2013 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.queenscourier.com Flea & Food Market coming to LIC Better air quality coming down the tracks BY MAGGIE HAYES email@example.com Antiquated, high emission train engines have been a great concern for residents in the industrial areas of southwest Queens. But now, an upgrade is on the way. Freight trains passing through areas of Community Board 5 and 9 have been running past residential homes for years, causing the track’s neighbors to question any potential health risks. “This is a quality of life issue,” said Mary Parisen, chair of Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES). CURES has worked feverishly to ensure upgraded locomotive engines for the area, and through work with Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi and a coalition of elected officials, managed to secure $3 million in this year’s legislative budget to upgrade engines. “This is the first win in what will be an ongoing fight to protect the health of countless families in Queens,” Hevesi said. “With New York State’s recognition that outdated trains can be severely damaging to communities they pass through, we have taken the first step toward fixing this problem.” The funds will kick off a pilot project that will upgrade the first of a number of antiquated, high- emission trains. The trains, owned and leased by the LIRR, are currently equipped with “archaic” 1970s engines, and operate throughout the city and Long Island, carrying waste and cargo near residents’ backyards, schools, parks and beaches. However, after the upgrade, there is expected to be an annual reduction in nitrogen oxide, a known byproduct of diesel engines, by up to 76 percent, or 120 tons of emission over 10 years, according to Hevesi’s office. After years of work advocating for modernized engines, Parisen said that she and the other members of CURES are “ecstatic” simply because they no longer need to convince agencies and the government that the upgrade needed to be done. “They all acknowledged that this needs to happen, now it’s just a matter of how Upgraded train engines are coming to Community Boards 5 and 9, mitigating health concerns for rail neighbors. we’re going to do it,” she said. The allocated $3 million is going to the LIRR and the MTA, Parisen said, and they are going to upgrade however many trains they PHOTO COURTESY OF ASSEMBLYMEMBER ANDREW HEVESI’S OFFICE can with the amount. “The locomotives now are doing the most damage to the most densely-populated areas,” she said. “We need to make sure the neighborhood gets the best locomotive possible.” The coalition plans to continue petitioning the state until all necessary fleet upgrades have been completed, said Hevesi’s office. BY ANGY ALTAMIRANO firstname.lastname@example.org A new outdoor market overlooking the Midtown Manhattan skyline will be coming to Long Island City this June, bringing the community the best in food vendors, antiques, collectibles, art, crafts, fashion and much more. Located in a 24,000-squarefoot lot at the corner of 5th Street and 46th Avenue, LIC FLEA & FOOD will operate every Saturday and Sunday on the waterfront. This market will act as an incubator to help promote and foster businesses, as well as be a fun and vibrant weekend spot for the entire family. “The addition of LIC FLEA to Long Island City only adds to the eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, shops and art that are offered here in western Queens,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. “I look forward to seeing Long Island City celebrated every weekend that the market is open because I am sure what we have to offer will not disappoint. Just come out and see for yourself.” LIC FLEA will work as the perfect setting for business owners to grow their businesses and gain prominence, even if they might not be ready to afford a storefront. “LIC Partnership is pleased to support LIC FLEA, which will bring another exciting fun-filled weekend attraction to LIC’S waterfront,” said Gayle Baron, president of LIC Partnership. The market will be within walking distance from the No. 7, E and G trains as well as the LIC East River Ferry stop and there is a parking garage right on 5th Street. “LIC FLEA promises to be a weekend destination this spring. My hope is that residents and visitors from around the city will flock to LIC FLEA and tell their friends about this exciting new market on the Queens side of the East River,” said Borough President Helen Marshall. In addition to the vast amount of activities LIC has to offer its residents and visitors, LIC FLEA will add onto the excitement of a weekend shopping getaway. “Long Island City has so much to offer residents and the addition of the LIC FLEA & FOOD is a wonderful example of the endless perks of living here on the waterfront,” said Sofia Estevez, executive vicepresident of TF Cornerstone. LIC FLEA will also create a new destination for visitors looking to get a taste of the beauty of the LIC waterfront. “We are excited about the LIC FLEA as it will be a fun and attractive destination for one of the communities our ferry serves,” said Paul Samulski, creative and marketing officer at BillyBey Ferry Company. “Not only will it help make the LIC waterfront a premier weekend destination, but it will also offer a platform for local vendors to gain necessary exposure for their products.” LIC FLEA has partnered with The Queens Courier, as co-publisher Joshua Schneps is leading this new venture. The Courier will list every vendor and will recognize a “vendor of the week” in the newspaper and online at queenscourier.com. “This is very exciting news and another great example of the borough being attractive to residents and business owners,” said Seth Bornstein, executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation. Vendors, from the small to the big, can apply to sell at the market at www.LICFLEA. com. Updates will be available through their Facebook and Twitter accounts at Facebook.com/LICFlea and @ LICFlea.
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