From the Daily News:
Peering into the dark streets from her fourth-floor apartment during the July 2006 blackout that affected western Queens, Alyssa Bonilla would never have imagined the debacle would one day lead to the greening of her neighborhood.
But that's exactly what's underway in Sunnyside, Astoria, Woodside and Long Island City, thanks to a group called Western Queens Power for the People.
The group, which Bonilla joined in the first few days after it was formed, sued Con Edison for damages resulting from the blackout that dragged on for nine days during a heat wave. Part of the $63 million settlement included funds for community greening projects.
Power for the People and the North Star Fund, the administrator for the green projects, have scheduled two "visioning" days - the first on Saturday.
The public forums will give the community a chance to learn more about the settlement and discuss ways to use the $7.9 million available for greening projects. Half of that is designated for the planting of street trees.
Solar panels, water catchment systems, green roofs, even windmills, are just some of the ideas that come to mind for the Power for the People members.
Group members said they are also committed to green education and creating green jobs. But they noted the final decision on how to use the funds will come from public discourse.
The first visioning session will be from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, at Sunnyside Community Services, 43-31 39th St., Sunnyside. The second session will be from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 27, at the Greater Astoria Historical Society, 35-20 Broadway, Long Island City.