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Elmhurst honors those affected by COVID, cancer

The front facade of Elmhurst Hospital now features 655 lights, each paying tribute to a frontline worker, cancer survivor or someone affected by COVID-19.
Last week, the hospital illuminated the exterior exhibit while remembering and honoring those affected.
“Cancer has touched so many of our lives and, as we all know, so did COVID,” said Elmhurst Hospital CEO Helen Arteaga. “Even in my own family we’ve suffered from both cancer and COVID. Today, we stand just a little bit brighter because we are reminded by these lights that there is always light in sadness.”
The first ten names on the 90-foot long installation are staff members from Elmhurst and Queens hospitals that passed away due to COVID-19. Integrated into the exhibit are photos of the community and hospital workers.
Paddle for a Cure NYC, a support organization for breast cancer survivors/supporters, and Women in Lighting and Design (WILD), a networking organization for women in the architectural lighting community were integral in creating the exhibit.
Leah Salmorin, CEO of Paddle for a Cure NYC, expressed her gratitude to Elmhurst Hospital workers who comforted her during her own treatment for breast cancer and COVID-19.
“By coming together, we share our emotional support for each other,” she said. “Be a light to others and be a light to yourselves. The brighter we shine the better the world will become.”
WILD President Kelly Roberts said the exhibit creates a place for people who have been affected by the pandemic to be remembered, especially in one of the areas hardest hit by COVID.
“We decided to use light to bring joy back to the Elmhurst community,” she said. “This connection and interaction with the installation is exactly what we hoped and envisioned for the community.”
Lights are still available to be purchased in tribute of a loved one or friend, to remember those lost or to celebrate those who survived from all cancers or COVID, or to thank a frontline worker. Visit pfcnyc.org/lightforlife

State should approve Ravenswood project

Rise Light & Power, the company that owns and operates Ravenswood Generating Station in Long Island City, the largest in New York City, announced a plan last week to convert at least some of the plant’s operating capacity to renewable energy.
The company would tap into wind and solar energy capacity in upstate New York and bring it to Ravenswood via an underground cable. Batteries at the plant would store the energy to be used by New Yorkers in place of burning polluting fossil fuels.
Once it is fully online, the energy stored at the plant would meet 15 percent of the city’s energy needs.
The plan has to be approved by the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority, but this is still good news for the tens of thousands of people who live in the large public hosing developments on the Long Island City waterfront in the shadow of the tall smokestacks.
The residents of those projects have for decades had to deal with the health issues that arise from living in close proximity to such a massive source of air pollution. This would provide them some much-needed and deserved relief.
The news is also good for upstate residents, as Rise Light & Power is committed to investing in new solar and wind energy projects to meet its demand, helping New York State meet its ambitious carbon emission goals.
According to Rise Light & Power, this is the only project currently submitted to NYSERDA that not only focuses on a shift to clean energy, but also places an emphasis on repurposing aging energy infrastructure in densely populated areas to handle renewable sources.
If successful, this is a model that could be replicated across the five boroughs. Imagine if the city’s hulking smokestacks came down, and those behemoths of the 20th century energy infrastructure instead supplied clean sources of energy to the entire city.

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