Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Astoria in the News

Perusing the news, I found a few bits on Astoria:

Some people are not happy with Astoria's hookah bars. Personally, I'm not a fan of the smoking (although shisha smoke smells better than cigarette smoke), so I try not put myself in the situation where it's around. As much as I despise smoking, it wouldn't bother me if the hookah bars were exempt from the smoking law, citing a cultural exemption.
"It's not like a cigarette," said Gamal Dewidar, who manages his brother's Elkhaiam cafe and Hookah Palace on Steinway St. "There is a little tobacco and honey mixed in, but it's not dangerous."

Greenway up and running! Funding for a greenway along Queens' East River waterfront has been secured. According to the article, the greenway will run along the river from Newtown Creek up to 20th Avenue (ConEd Land). Nice!
The project, said the Rev. Mitchell Taylor, chairman of the East River Development Alliance, is intended "to build a city for everyone, to bring people together, to create access and opportunity, to create a merge of people that will create a mosaic of opportunity for all of us." A meeting to solicit public comment on the proposal is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m. at the ARROW Recreation Center, 35-30 35th St., Astoria.

Astoria Recyles!
The Restore-Build It Green Warehouse reminds me of Berkeley's Urban Ore, where you can find all sorts of building materials that were once used elsewhere. Particularly memorable about Urban Ore was the "sea of toilets as far as the eye could see." Well, not really but there were a lot. Looks like Build It Green has that in common with Urban Ore. Check it out!
It's 18,000 square feet filled with tons and tons of stuff you've thrown out, like that pink toilet you replaced with a white one, or those cabinets that you thought were too dated.

If Justin Green has his way, all of those home construction items that could be used again, will be used again. Instead of going to a landfill, they'll come to the Restore-Build It Green warehouse in Astoria. It was opened last March by the Community Environmental Center. It's modeled after similar stores in other cities.

But why would you buy a toilet here and not at a store? Because you can get it for $15, and that's a good deal. What's even better is that Build It Green is a not for profit, the money raised here goes to good causes like Habitat for Humanity


Harlan said...

That's completely fantastic about the greenway! Hopefully we'll see some more details soon, and hopefully construction goes smoothly... I used to live in Inwood, and loved the bike path down the Hudson. The bike "routes" in Queens now are a complete disaster, and having a decent bike path to Manhattan or Greenpoint will make commuting by bike, or even just joy-rides, that much more enjoyable. Hooray for progress!

Unknown said...

yay Greenway!

Anonymous said...

RE: Hookah Story....

Sounds like these old farts want to get rid of the Muslims - not the hookah bars.

Anonymous said...

Smoke is smoke, if you live in Wyoming, for example, many people smoke ciggies. Its just part of the culture in the west and south. But they would be arrested if they lit up.

So why do these people think they should be exempt from the rules that apply to everyone else?

Cancer is caused by smoke pure and simple. Do not understand why Vallone rants about cell towers, yet its ok to expose people in his district to hooka smoke.

Agendas anyone?

Anonymous said...

"Cancer is caused by smoke"

Hmm... A bit of faulty logic. Certain types of smoke are much, much, much, lower in cancer causing substances. Cited from wikipedia:

"Research has shown that fewer cancer-causing carcinogens are produced [from hookah smoke] because the tobacco is heated, rather than burned."

Anonymous said...

I feel sooo much better that its 'lower' in cancer causing substances.

Anyone out there that can site this from a medical journal?

I mean, please, wikipedia?

Anonymous said...

I stand to be corrected:

Recently, a review published in the medical journal Pediatrics [1] stated that the concentration of cancer-causing and addictive substances in water-pipes may be equal to those found in cigarettes, with the heat involved being sufficient to generate carcinogenic nitrosamines, and the smoldering charcoal adding some carcinogenic hydrocarbons as well as heavy metals to the smoke. Ironically, use of the hookah may increase the smoker's toxic exposure, in that studies have shown that the typical hookah smoker spends more time per episode of smoking than do other smokers, presumably because the smoke is less immediately harsh or irritating. Thomas Eissenberg, a psychology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University co-authored a hookah study which found that a session of hookah smoking which lasts about 45 minutes, delivers 36 times more tar, 15 times more carbon monoxide and 70% more nicotine than a single cigarette. A study in the Journal of Periodontology found that hookah smokers were five times more likely than non-smokers to have signs of gum disease. Jane Henley, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, found in a June 2004 study, that men who smoked hookahs had five times the risk of lung cancer as non-smokers.[2] This is of concern to doctors in America as 45% of colleges and universities have a hookah lounge near them. A study of Egyptian couples found an association between water-pipe smoking and infertility. However, many objections to the methods used in these studies have been raised. None of the existing studies took into account past tobacco or other drug usage, so it is unclear what ill-effects were directly related to water-pipe smoking, as opposed to past cigarette usage.

Anonymous said...

This all seems ridiculous. If these people succeed in making it illegal to smoke indoors, all of the hookah bar-goers will just bring their hookahs outside thereby causing the smoke to go into these people windows opposed to being locked inside a cafe.

Anonymous said...

"These people?"