What’s going on with the 74th Street sewer project?

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In April, Councilman Holden called for an investigation into how contaminated lead was dumped on the site.

More than two years ago, the city announced it would begin a $22 million project to replace sewers near 74th Street and Penelope Avenue.

That project was slated to end in June 2018. But last November, it was halted because contractors discovered contaminated soil at the site, and then left it uncovered.

A separate project to handle the contaminated lead, an $8 million affair, is still being worked out, Councilman Robert Holden announced last week.

In the meantime, residents are left to deal with the situation. In the last few weeks, New York City has been hit with severe storms, leaving the area flooded.

Keep in mind that Middle Village used to be a swamp. Holden’s office says parts of the neighborhood was also hit with electrical outages as well.

The city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC), which oversees city construction projects, now has a head commissioner. Let’s hope new Commissioner Lorraine Grillo can guide this project to completion.

K-Mart in Middle Village Closing in October

The last K-Mart store in Queens is slated to close its doors in Middle Village in late October of 2018.

FreshPondMetro048The chain store is located at 66-26 Metropolitan Ave above the Metro Mall. K-mart was notified by the Sears Holding Corporation, which owns K-Mart and Sears, that they would not be renewing their lease with Rentar Development, who own the building. The discount retail store’s lease will be up in January of 2019.

Toy R Us closed in the same plaza earlier this year. Rentar Development has not yet signed with any other company or business thus far to occupy the two empty retail spaces.

How green was your state legislator this year?

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The New York League of Conservation Voters released its “Environmental Scorecard,” which grades lawmakers on how they voted on environmental bills.

The green lobby group considered voting records for 13 bills, five of which passed the State Senate and seven of which passed the Assembly.

The legislation ranges on issues from prohibiting offshore drilling and protecting working farms to paint stewardship and single-use carryout bags.

Overall, 16 state senators received a perfect score, while 32 Assembly members got a perfect score.

The Senate Democrats averaged 92%, and the Senate Republicans averaged 60%. Assembly Democrats averaged 83%, while Assembly Republicans averaged 59%.

In Queens specifically, the Assembly members’ average was 77%, while Queens senators averaged 92%.

Here’s how Middle Village State Senator Joseph Addabbo did on the Environmental Scorecard:

  • Paint Stewardship:  Yes
  • Drug Take Back Act: Yes
  • State Transportation Plan: Yes
  • Toxic Show and Tell: Yes
  • Pollinator Friendly Solar: Yes
  • Water Saving Performance Standards: Yes
  • Preservation Fund for Bethlehem: No
  • Elevated Blood Lead Level: Yes
  • Farmland Protection: Yes
  • Carryout Bag Waste Reduction: No
  • Prohibits Offshore Drilling: Yes
  • Harvesting Menhaden With Purse Seines: Yes
  • Working Farm Protection Act: Excused
  • Overall: 83%

Here’s how your Assembly representatives did on the scorecard:

  • Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi: 92%
  • Assemblyman Brian Barnwell: 85%

Lane closure on Metropolitan Ave on July 21

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Heads up, late night drivers.

The Department of Transportation’s Division of Bridges is closing the westbound travel lane of Metropolitan, just east of the intersection with Fresh Pond Road, for a night of overnight work on the bridge deck.

So from midnight to 5 a.m. on July 21 (Friday night into Saturday morning), the lane will be closed.

The eastbound lane will remain open.

What If Your Spouse’s Immigrant Visa (Green Card) is Denied?

For years, Middle Village has been a welcoming community for immigrants from Latin America, Poland, and Ireland due to it’s relatively affordable housing market. Where there is an influx of immigration, it naturally follows their will also be issues pertaining to the denial of a spouse’s immigrant visa Green Card).

If you are married to a non-citizen of the United States, and your husband or wife was refused an immigrant visa or green card that you and your spouse had applied for based on that marriage, you are probably shocked and upset. The sad truth of the matter is, however, that marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident gives an immigrant the right to apply for a U.S. Green Card (lawful permanent residence) — but offers no guarantee that the green card will be granted.

What to do next will depend on the reason for the denial and which U.S. government office was handling your application.

Understanding the Reasons for the Denial

You probably have some idea of why the case was denied. It’s uncommon for the immigration authorities to deny a case outright. Usually, they’ll first tell you something like, “It appears that the applicant is inadmissible for health reasons — please go to this doctor for a follow-up exam,” or “We aren’t convinced that your marriage is bona — please provide us with additional documentation indicating that you are in a real, shared marital relationship.”

If you failed to do what was asked, or the follow-up evidence that you supplied either wasn’t enough or actually pointed to a reason for denial, then of course the case will have been denied. Maybe you’ve even come to the conclusion that your spouse is ineligible for the coveted Green Card.

But the possibility also exists that the immigration authorities made a mistake. U.S. immigration law is extremely complicated, and any lawyer can tell you stories about cases that should have been granted and were not — sometimes for inexplicable reasons, or where it appeared that the decision maker just overlooked some of the evidence. Also, laws change — so, for example, you could have been denied because you are in a same-sex marriage before the 2013 Supreme Court decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, but same-sex marriages now qualify non-citizens for immigration benefits (if they are legally recognized in the state or country where they occurred).

In cases where you believe a mistake was made, you’ll probably want to take follow-up measures, as described below.

Denial at the U.S. Consulate

If your spouse applied for an immigrant visa (the entry document used to claim lawful permanent residence) at a U.S. consulate or embassy in his or her home country, and the case was denied, then no direct appeal is available. However, in some cases your lawyer may be able to request an advisory opinion on the case from the State Department’s Visa Office in Washington DC, and then use that to request that the consulate grant the immigrant visa after all.

In many other cases, however, the best bet course of action is to figure out what went wrong the first time and then reapply, making sure to correct the earlier problems.

Denial of Adjustment of Status in the U.S

If your spouse applied for a green card at an office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the United States, then no direct appeal is available. However, your attorney may be able to request that the case be reopened, especially if you can supply new information that is likely to change the earlier decision. Here again, reapplying may also be an option, once you’ve figured out what went wrong the first time and how to correct it.

The situation will be different, however, if your spouse is in the United States without a valid visa. In that case, after the denial, he or she may be placed into removal (deportation) proceedings. There, you will need to present the entire application to an immigration judge, as well as testify and (if you like) call witnesses. Hopefully you will persuade the judge to grant the Green Card after all.

Get Advice From a Lawyer

An experienced Queens Green Card & immigration lawyer can assist you with filling out the requisite paperwork for your spouse and advocate on his or her behalf. If applying for adjustment of status, the attorney can also accompany you and your spouse to the green card interview (the required last step in the process) and help clear up misunderstandings and make sure the USCIS officer isn’t overlooking important information in your application.


Svetlana Prizant of Prizant Law is an award winning Green Card & Immigration attorney in the Middle Village area. She is the Middle Village Blog immigration law contributor. Call her today for help with any naturalization related issues at (718) 407-0871 .

Succesful immigration law deal for Green Card

Roadway restoration in Middle Village on these streets next week

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The combined sewer and water main project on Penelope Avenue has produced many headaches for local residents.

This upcoming week, curbside parking and driveway access will be restricted due to roadway restoration. These following streets will be affected:

  • 77th Street between Juniper Valley Road and Gray Street;
  • 75th Street between 66th Drive and Juniper Valley Road;
  • Gray Street between 66th Drive and Juniper Valley Road;
  • Juniper Valley Road between 77th Street and 75th Street.

DDC advises residents to remove their vehicles from their driveways before 6 a.m.

If your car is towed, call the field office at 718-326-3840 or the 104th Precinct.

Next Community Board meeting scheduled for 7/11

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The next Community Board 5 meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11.

The meeting will take place in the CNL CENTER on the 3rd FL, Door # 10, at Christ the King High School (located at 68-02 Metropolitan Ave. in Middle Village).

The Agenda for this month’s meeting includes the District Manager’s report as well as committee reports from park services, environmental services and transportation & public transit services.

Please enter the building from the rear parking lot through Door #10 – under the first Red Awning – on the back of the building.