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Twice in Two Years: Water Main Break Floods Queensbridge Houses

By Daniel Offner

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Last week, a water main burst in Long Island City flooded over a dozen cars in the vicinity of Vernon Boulevard and 41st Road in the area surrounding the Queensbridge Houses.

The break occurred around 2 a.m., leaving about 450 customers in the surrounding area without water service as crews excavated to find and patch the source of the leak.

Repairs were completed later that afternoon and water service was restored. Meanwhile, crews continue to work on repairing the roadway.

This is the second time in two years that the main has burst, flooding the entire block surrounding the NYCHA residences. According to CBS 2 New York, the leak originated from a different location along the same main.

Queensbridge residents are again without water as a water main break flooded our neighborhood five feet,” Senate candidate Kristen Gonzalez said in a statement on Twitter. “Our infrastructure is crumbling in the face of a worsening climate crisis. We are not prepared, and Black and brown New Yorkers are paying the price.”

Gonzalez is currently running in the Democratic primary for the New York State Senate seat which represents Long Island City, Astoria, and Greenpoint, against candidates Nomiki Konst and Elizabeth Crowley.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards also tweeted that the flooding outside Queensbridge was “wholly unacceptable.”

“Today’s water main break outside Queensbridge, just 18 months after last year’s break flooded the same area, exemplifies why we need to make massive investments across Queens to upgrade our underground water and sewer utilities,” Richards said, reminding residents that anyone whose vehicle was damaged by the flood can file a claim with the City Comptroller’s office.

Entertainment: Paying tribute to Queens icon

By Daniel Offner

[email protected]

Prodigy, one-half of the iconic rap group Mobb Deep, died in June 2017 from complications caused by sickle cell anemia, a disease he battled throughout his entire life. Now, five years since his untimely passing, the late emcee’s estate has finally announced the release of his first posthumous single, “You Will See.”

“Five years ago our family suffered an immense loss,” relatives in charge of the late rapper’s estate said in a release. “The music that Prodigy left behind is extremely precious to all of us. We felt the need and responsibility to hold on to it until we had the proper foundation to complete what he was working on and release it to the world. We hope his fans will enjoy and support our efforts as we move forward with this very personal and emotional process. ‘You Will See’ is a treasure of new music from Prodigy, no doubt indeed.”

Artwork for his new single, “You Will See” available now on all streaming platforms and digital music stores.

He and rapper/producer Havoc first became household names in the mid-90s with the release of their sophomore album, “The Infamous,” which is considered one of the most prolific and influential hip-hop albums of all time. Mobb Deep perfectly encapsulated the everyday struggles of life in the Queensbridge Houses through their music. The album achieved instant commercial success, debuting at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 charts in 1995.

“The Infamous” remains an East Coast hip-hop staple thanks to such timeless classics as “Shook Ones (Part II), “Survival of the Fittest,” and “Temperature’s Rising” to name just a few.

Prodigy left behind a great number of recordings, including the next two chapters of his trilogy “The Hegelian Dialectic,” a highly introspective project which began with the first volume, “The Book of Revelation” wherein he revealed his socially conscious and politically driven reflections.

The forthcoming second installment of the project, entitled “The Book of Heroine,” will be released this summer and focuses more on emotional struggles through examples of personal trials and tribulations with drugs, relationships, and the continuous distractions caused by lust.

The new single, “You Will See,” is the first of three upcoming singles to be released in anticipation of the forthcoming full-length album release. It features soulful vocals and production by Berto Rich, in conjunction with The North Star group, and is available now on all streaming platforms and digital music stores.

LISTEN: “YOU WILL SEE” BY PRODIGY (RAPPER)

Queensbridge residents sue NYCHA

Residents of Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City filed a lawsuit against the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) this past week.
The suit seeks to force NYCHA to fix hazardous living conditions that plague the public housing complex, including asbestos, lead paint, mold, leaks, and backed-up trash shoots.
Residents argue the conditions became even worse during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent statewide stay-at-home orders. The suit also charges NYCHA with failing to conduct regular COVID-19 cleanings throughout the buildings in the largest public housing project in the Western Hemisphere.
“Any type of repairs that need to be done in my house, I have to wait forever to get them done,” said Marilyn Keller, a 58-year-old resident. “I put the ticket in, then NYCHA calls me back to tell me the date they are coming.
“So I prepare for the appointment, take everything out of the closet and cabinets, and ask for the day off from work but then they never come,” she continued. “They are a bunch of no-shows.”
Many of the tenants suing are older residents, including 72-year-old Pamela Wheeler.
“I am tired of living with mice, roaches, waterbugs, lack of heat, holes in my walls and sink, waterlogged and rotting cabinets, and many more repair issues that are a threat to my health and safety and an affront to my dignity,” Wheeler said. “NYCHA never repairs anything when I file a ticket, and it is so frustrating.”
The residents are working with the Justice For All Coalition, an organization that offers legal assistance to community groups in Astoria, Long Island City, and other parts of western Queens.
Residents then sought legal representation from Queens Legal Services, which filed the lawsuit on their behalf.
“For too long, NYCHA residents have suffered uninhabitable conditions due to neglect and lack of funding,” said Robert Sanderman, senior staff attorney at the Queens Legal Services Tenant Rights Coalition, who is representing the tenants. “There is little incentive for NYCHA to complete the repairs since the city will not record violations or pursue civil penalties against NYCHA for the numerous violations of the housing maintenance code.
“A great number of NYCHA residents are people of color who are also essential workers and are at high risk of health complications due to COVID-19,” he added. “These NYCHA residents are demanding systemic changes in the way they are neglected and ignored on account of their racial, social and economic status.”

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