CM Miller Introduces Legislation Regulating Sale of Metallic Balloons

    Councilmember I. Daneek Miller

    City Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens) yesterday introduced a bill – Introduction 1669 – to require that Mylar balloons sold locally be weighted and include warning labels about the risk of fire and electrical outages.

    The measure follows Con Edison testimony during a City Council hearing last February that a December 2018 power outage that occurred in Hollis resulted from a Mylar balloon release. Such outages have also occurred in parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island in recent years.

    Mylar balloons are made of a metallic nylon material that short circuits electrical power lines, causing disruptive power outages. A California utility company reported that Mylar balloon releases caused 1,128 outages in 2018. That state requires all stores and vendors sell properly weighted balloons, and that metallic balloons made in state have a printed warning about the risk of releasing them.

    Introduction 1669 proposes the following regulations:

    • Retailers selling Mylar balloons must attach a label warning about the risk of fire and electrical outages, as well as information identifying the retailer, to each balloon
    • The balloons must be weighted prior to their sale to prevent them from floating away
    • A violation of the law would result in a minimum civil penalty of between $100 and $2,000 for each Mylar balloon sold

    “Mylar balloons pose a demonstrated threat of power outages, such as the one Con Edison identified last December in Hollis,” said Miller. “Our electrical infrastructure is already vulnerable to disruptions, as we saw with last month’s heatwave related outages impacting large parts of Brooklyn and Queens. The release of Mylar balloons exacerbates the strain on these systems. Consumers must be made aware of these risks, and retailers must make provisions to offset this risk as well.”

    Koo To Cut Ribbon On Bowne Playground

    City Council Member Peter Koo

    City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Whitestone) today will join city and community officials in cutting the ribbon on the newly revamped Bowne Playground. 

    This site was selected by community members through an open voting process to receive renovations. Improvements have transformed the park into a more open, accessible and seamless part of the community.

    The new and improved Bowne Playground features new play equipment; basketball and handball courts; a new spray shower; and lowered fences to provide a more welcoming park entrance. The site also features a new seating area, decorative pavements, an open asphalt play area, and much more.

    The $5.8 million project was funded through Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Community Parks Initiative (CPI), which sees investment in the smaller public parks located in the city’s densely populated and growing neighborhoods where there are higher-than-average concentrations of poverty.

    The ribbon-cutting is slated for 11 a.m., today, Aug. 15 at the Bowne Playground, Sanford Avenue and Union Street in Flushing.

    Gianaris Announces !0K in State Funding Queensbridge Library

    State Senator Michael Gianaris

    Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven) yesterday announced $10,000 in state budget funding for materials at the Queensbridge Library. 

    Joining Gianaris for his announcement were Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott and local Queensbridge leaders. 

    “Promoting digital literacy is indispensable as we prepare our community for today’s job market,” said Gianaris. “I am pleased to help our neighbors develop the skills they need to succeed in this economy.”

    Queens Public Library has been a fixture in Queensbridge for 70 years. The library’s digital tech lab has recently expanded to support digital literacy programs in the community. 

    Gianaris successfully advocated for increased funding for community priorities in this year’s state budget, including $58,000 for the Jacob Riis Settlement House, $30,000 for the Gantry Parent Association, $13,000 for Sunnyside Community Services, $13,000 for Hunters Point Middle School, and $20,000 for Immigrant Families Together. 

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