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February 28, 2008

Calling Out Queens Residents!

We Light Up Queens is heading in a slightly new direction. We will now be accepting guest bloggers to cover unique stories, news or issues concerning Queens. If you are interested in contributing a post or a topic you want us to cover, you can contact us at

We are looking forward to providing the readers with primary source information by means of interviews and surveys when possible.


Mike and Dom

February 25, 2008

Toxic Waste In Your Area?

It is pretty scary to know about having such dangerous things in and around your neighborhood. Sometimes I guess you are better off not knowing. Anyways for the curious prepare to get a sinking feeling in your stomach. I'm glad to say that I did not see any waste sites around the schools in Flushing.

Congestion Pricing: Act Now?

Here is a pro-congestion pricing ad. It makes congestion pricing too beneficial, no one will take it seriously. Cleaner air? Additional Subway lines? Less Traffic? Yeah Ok...

My favorite part was the " What if every penny went to improving mass transit." We will never know cause it wouldn't happen. Damn Utopians!

Go here to help the movement. Better Transit

Station Road Civic Association Meeting

The Station Road Civic Association of Auburndale, Queens

Please join us for our March meeting on Wednesday, March 5th at 7:30 PM. We have a great deal to cover so we will begin promptly at 7:30 PM. This will leave time for everyone to enjoy refreshments and socialize after the business portion of the meeting.

Meeting Location:

Lutheran Church of the Messiah 42-15 165th Street (Corner of 165th and Northern Boulevard). Parking is available in the church lot.

February 24, 2008

MyBlogLog - The Blogging Communtiy of Choice

Join My Community at MyBloglog!

If you have a blog and you are looking for some exposure to large audiences? This is probably the place for you. It nearly tripled by average amount of hits since I have joined.

Everyone enjoy your Sunny Sunday and watch all that snow melt (provided you live in or around the Flushing Queens area).

February 23, 2008

Senator Frank Padavan Passes Lawn Litter Law?

I'm not really sure what the law is and what it restricts but here is what the article says:
I know I get a lot of lawn litter on and around my property in Flushing as I live next to a large Public School and the Mr. Softee likes to frequent the area. I hope this legislation does something, but chances are it won't. This sounds like the work of community board 11, if I had to guess.

In order to help homeowners throughout Queens ward off the nuisance of unwanted literature, fliers and advertisements I am offering a free official "Lawn Litter Sign" to place on their property.

You can pick-up your own "Lawn Litter Sign" at my district offices in Bellerose or Whitestone. My Bellerose office is located at 89-39 Gettysburg Street and is opened Monday thru Friday 9am-5pm. My Whitestone office is located at 15-26 14th Avenue and is open from 9am-1pm.

Senator Frank Padavan

If you have any additional information on exactly what is going on feel free to email me at

February 22, 2008

NYPIRG: Expand Recycle Bottle Bill Refund

Students from the New York Public Interest Research Group chapters at Queens College and Queensborough Community College are urging lawmakers to update New York’s Bottle Bill.

Students Urge Lawmakers to Expand Bottle Bill

NYPIRG usually has strong points and make their concerns heard. This suggestion is great because most of the waste you find on todays streets are water bottles, while most cans and glass bottles are recycled. The more benefit people get from recycling the more likely they are to do it. The 5 cents is almost irrelevant I think if they up it to 10 cents we will see much cleaner streets and parks in Queens.

Update: Survey of Beverage Containers

City Shuting Down Star Nissan?

Well my last post suggesting that something should be done about the various parking issues in Queens.

City should shut down Star Nissan: CB 11

Community Board 11 is trying to get Star Nissan ( who does major amounts of sales, evident because of their bumper sticker) shut down because of their lot can not hold that amount of cars the dealership maintains, leaving many cars on surrounding side streets which end up in " No Parking" zones and blocking fire hydrants. The lot has a Certificate of Occupancy for 30 cars but their total nears 70.

The residents around the Clearview Expressway probably could use the parking relief, I know I have had my difficulties parking in that area before.

One step for Bayside in the right direction, one step for Queens!

February 21, 2008

Congestion Pricing = LOL?

I found this over at, it has a contest going for who can make up the best punchline for or against congestion pricing.

One poster wrote:
"Don't Support More Money for Mass Transit! Gas prices are going to drop any day now."
I would write something like:

"When it takes you 5 hours to drive in to work and 10 minutes to drive to the Train Station, you will be taking mass transit anyway."


"Congestion Pricing: Funding a noisy bus route down a street near you!"


"Congestion Pricing: Puting a price cap on that MetroCard"

February 19, 2008

Parking Problems and Possible Solutions

Parking has been an ongoing problem that is increasingly getting worse. When will the congestion of an increasing population affect the ability to park? The question is, how do we fix the problem before it gets out of hand?

1. Make it a requirement for all new buildings with residential housing ( at least 4 stories). Must provide a parking garage or parking lot for its residents. The ratio of provided parking spots to residents must be at least 1.5 to 1. Assuming that there is at east one car per household.

a. However this will create a new problem. Where do we put these parking garages? Preferably
underground. In a worst case scenario a municipal lot could be erected.

b. This will curb the rate of which Queens one family hosing is turned into "McMansions", as it will become more expensive to do so.

2. Instead of creating more spots, possibly taxing the landlord for the amount of spots that its residents take up. To even the balance and make parking more available, some parking meters in the area should be removed. The tax would be the equivalent to the income the city would have received if there were meters at those spots. If you were to calculate the actual income from a metered spot, it works out to $1,560 per spot. Perhaps that is a little high. A $300 to $600, tax per year per spot could make a world of difference. In turn to benefit the residents, they will receive permits to park in a designated area, close to their homes.

Where do we need additional parking? The Long Island Rail Road stops usually have " Park and Ride" commuters taking up many spots. This is evident in Northern Flushing at the Broadway station as well as the Murray Hill Station and the Bayside Station. Of course in most cases there is no room to build such a structure, certainly not in an area that the community boards would approve. The under utilized properties should be selected.

Where could a proposed All Day Muni-Parking complex go?

An example off the top of my head would be the currently vacant property in Flushing on Northern Boulevard not far from 162nd Street where there once was a Movie Theater and then a CVS if my memory serves me correctly. There is an existing good sized lot and if the entire property is utilized it would benefit not only the surrounding residents but also the businesses on and around Northern Boulevard. On Sundays, parishioners of St. Andrew Avelino would benefit from such a lot (free on Sundays).

The DOT have been cracking down on extended driveway openings. The question is, who does this help? Now we must considering that the car which was parked in the removed spot would be moved onto the street, therefore negating and chance that available parking would increase. This does give the neighborhood "parker" for lack of a better word, a slight chance that they could find a spot.

Everyone has a few cars on the block that take up 2 spots or is horrifically crooked or perhaps a "Long Island Park". Then maybe you would like this bumper sticker: I Park Like an Idiot.
But please do not actually go on a sticking rampage, but maybe leaving it under the windshield whipper would be comical. On a side note they really need to make bilingual ones as well.

February 12, 2008

Warning: Dangerous Roadways in Queens

Due to in climate weather, driving conditions are especially bad tonight, I have witnessed many accidents all with short proximity to each other in the Flushing area. I can image the same conditions apply elsewhere. Every please exercise caution while driving.

Get home safe,


February 11, 2008

Queens Forclosure : "We Must Take Action"

New York Comptroller William Thompson makes a speech at York College in Jamaica Queens. I am glad to see that someone is at least talking about doing something about this on going problem. It has become increasingly hard for both the middle, lower middle and urban poor to live in Queens, hopefully this talking gets the ball rolling and fast, before this recession hits.

Queens was hit the hardest of the five boroughs, according to the Web site RealtyTrac. The site recently reported that foreclosures rose 59 percent in 2007, with 11,000 homeowners facing eviction in the borough as compared with the previous year.

“We continue to hear stories of despair, from people who are confronted with the difficult choices of paying bills and affording to put meals on the table for their families,” Thompson said. “We have also heard about the harsh economic consequences that foreclosures can have on neighboring properties and entire communities. We as a city cannot afford to sit on the sidelines, do nothing and think that these challenges will solve themselves. We must take action.”

Read the full story here: Queens Tribune

Hillary Clinton: Valentine's Day Edition

I came across this great blog today, Surberpictures if you follow politics you will get a kick out of it. There are parodies for all political parties.

Happy Monday

February 9, 2008

How to Stay Awake and Focused at Work/School

How to Stay Awake and Focused at Work/School.
Coming from a College student who is doing both.

Staying awake after a sleepless night can be extremely difficult. We have all been there when we are running on Empty. I have found a proven system, that I use frequently to keep myself in "the zone" so to speak.

When people first think about a way to stay awake or stay focused in the morning, they immediately think about a nice hot cup of Coffee. The problem I find with coffee is that it prevents or slows down things that you have to accomplish for the day. It is also very relaxing and routine so it isn't likely to have the same affect on you as it did when you first started drinking it.

Energy Drinks:
An energy drink such as a Redbull or other sugary/tourine product is that is only setting you up for temporary energy, you may be able to fly through the couple of letters you had to send out and the spreadsheets you were working on, but about an hour or so after drinking you are in the same boat if not worse than you started out. Energy drinks are more geared towards exercise and sports more so than to sit in an office. You can easily find yourself shaking and becoming "figity" wasting your energy supply even further.

Caffeinated Gum:
Caffeinated Gum has been my savior the past few semesters because as soon as you start chewing it you gradually absorb the caffeine making yourself more productive and consistent over the time period of its effectiveness. These pieces of gum usually contain something like the amount of caffeine in one cup of coffee. I am not one to condone the use of a drug such as Adenohl, but for similar results that I would say is considerably cheaper and safer a Caffeine Gum such as "Ace it" or "Croc Gum". It is become more and more popular and you will see them in your local stores.

The amount of natural sugar in a piece of fruit to start your day is very beneficial to both your health and productivity in the work place. Fruit juices work good too, Pomegranate in both the fruit and juice form will certainly give you that hop in your step needed to grind out all those things you need to get done.

A light breakfast such as a bowl of cereal or a few eggs is key, Caffeine is only supplemental to the essential building blocks your body needs every day.

February 8, 2008

Queens Approves Congestion Pricing Plan

The state’s Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission voted Thursday to approve a congestion pricing plan. The plan, which passed by a vote of 13 to 2, would charge drivers $8 to bring their vehicles below 60th Street during peak traffic times – 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

It is intended to reduce pollution and generate $491 million a year in revenue that would be directed toward expanding the City’s mass transportation system.

Corey Bearak, a policy advisor for the same organization, said the tax will mostly affect outer borough residents.
“From its very inception, the public faced a stacked Commission who came to their posts hell bent on tolling and taxing New Yorkers while they protected wealthy folks from the suburbs and out of state,” Bearak wrote.
According to Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free, Queens’ Community Boards 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13 have all come out against the congestion pricing.

“Vague promises, intentions – items along those lines simply do not cut it,” McCaffrey said. “The public is far too smart to fall for that kind of foolishness on the part of the commission.”

Well to many non Manhattanites dismay, the congestion pricing plan has been approved. I am still unsure if it will help or just be another drain on commuters, or could possibly flood the Subway system if it deters enough people from driving in.

February 7, 2008

Sweet and Romantic Valentines Day Ideas and Tips Your Girlfriend will Love

We Light Up Queens' Top 15 Ideas and Tips for Valentines Day

Alright so hopefully most of you are realizing that Valentines day is right around the corner. Here is a list of little things and big things that can go a long way.

Remember preparation is key.
Impress your Girlfriend or Wife now, because on March 20th it will be SBJ Day.

Lets Start with Valentines Day gifts that wont cost you a penny!

* Please note that it is not advised to only give her a free gift.

1. Make a slide show of all the pictures you have together, usually putting them in chronological order has the best affect. Throw on some background music that will be meaningful and some love quotes there and there and magically in a 30 minute time span, you have expressed your love without breaking the bank or causing you a huge headache.

2. If the weather is warm enough, take her on a picnic in a scenic park or garden area.

*Not Free but still not so expensive.

3. Chocolates and Flowers

4. In depth Love letter; the longer the better. Sometimes being speechless about your feelings is a good thing but don't be redundant of the sake of length. Throw in some love quotes, use them in moderation this is from you to her not from the author of the quotes.

5. Buy her a little hand bag and put little notes or poems in each of the pockets. If you are really short on the cash you can do it to a bag she uses all the time so she finds them for weeks to come.

6. Pay close attention to recent conversations about things she likes or wishes she had done. Work off the information you collect and surprise the heck out of her when one of her dreams comes true.

* Probe her through general conversation about her favorite foods, deserts, restaurants and color
(something you should already know).

7. Prepare the house for a romantic evening.

Ex: Light a fire in the fireplace
Rose petals over the bed
Candle lit dinner
Soft background music
Red Christmas lights around the house
Roses everywhere
Red Ribbon
"I Love You" helium balloons
Cut out hearts in Valentines Day colors and stick them all over.
Valentines Day Candy ( Custom made ones score points)
Satin Sheets
Bubble Bath
Lingerie and Handcuffs
Romantic Movies

8. Go to a restaurant and make all the arrangements ahead of time such as reservations, limo or taxi, also make sure she is dressed properly for the place.

* Trying out a new restaurant? Go there before hand and find out what they make good, and spend a lunch break there to verify for yourself. Food can make or break the evening, no one wants to head home feeling sick or dissatisfied because that will ruin all your hard work.

* If something goes wrong, stay cool. If you get nervous or upset she will too. Remember the night is about spoiling her, not you scoring points. ( if you can't do both)

9. Have romantic music on a Cd prepared for the ride over to the restaurant.

10. Be a gentleman, open doors, pull out chairs, wear that special cologne that drives her wild.

11. Arrange for the waiter to come and take your picture together.

Send flowers to her workplace, but don't over do it and get her in trouble.

13. Make yourself look and feel like a million bucks, your unusual increase in confidence will really come across to her, and probably help the mood compared to Mr. Insecurity.

Get yourself all set up, The Checklist is as follows:
A. Haircut
B. Clean Shave
C. Extra Deodorant
D. Extra Cologne
E. Contacts if applicable
F. Work out for those extra cuts
G. Wash your car

* Mints and/or Gum is essential, make sure your breath is fresh before going in for a big sloppy kiss. Also offer her a piece before hand, you don't want to be turned down for a kiss because she thinks she has bad breath.

*Utilize bathroom breaks like a woman.
Fix your hair, brush your teeth to assure that there is no spinach in your teeth.
Bring a pocket sized cologne bottle to re-up on your irresistible scent.

14. Special Massage with Aroma therapy.

15. Late Night Themes Coupons ( very over used in the past but still good if your going to do that anyways)