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Queens Chronicle

CB 6 updated on crime, new subway elevators

Board chairman also informs members on nearby Queens Center Mall project

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Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:21 am, Thu Feb 27, 2014.

The snow keeps falling on the city and slushy corners on local streets continue to be a thorn in the side of Community Board 6, which discussed that and other issues at its monthly meeting on Feb. 12.

“One of my major concerns is the bus stops,” said CB 6 Chair Joseph Hennessy, also noting that snow removal was “not happening” due to the extreme cold.

In his report, Hennessy also indicated that two major issues were addressed at the Queens Borough Board meeting earlier in the week, including one that affected the board.

It was a reference to the planned construction of three restaurants on land between the Queens Center Mall and the Long Island Expressway a block north of the board area’s northern border. Hennessy suggested that “a major problem is traffic and that’s why we’d be affected.” He expressed interest in being in on follow-up planning sessions.

Hennessy next alluded to the other topic covered at the borough board meeting, the Hallets Point Project, a complex to be built on the waterfront south of Astoria Park.

He also expressed concern over what he described as a “possibility” that community boards may soon be required to broadcast their meetings on the web [see separate story].

“Who pays for the cost?” he asked. “Would it intimidate people?”

Captain Thomas Conforti of the 112th Precinct said that there are “some good things and some bad things” going on in the area.

On the negative side, he reported a “persistent burglar” has been entering apartment buildings along Queens Boulevard.

“He victimizes four or five or six apartments at one time,” Conforti reported, admitting, “We don’t have any descriptions.” Conforti promised that the individual, who he said “entered every time through an open fire escape window,” would be apprehended.

Last year saw a record low number of cars stolen in the precinct, according to the captain, who said that, so far, this year’s figures are even better than last year’s.

Conforti reported that a campaign is under way to “educate the public about jaywalking.” Electric delivery scooters have been outlawed, he reminded the board, saying, “It is illegal to ride them on city streets.”

The board received an update on the installation of elevators at the 71st/Continental Avenue subway station.

Joseph Raskin, the MTA’s assistant director of government and community relations, said the three new elevators being installed are “approaching completion” and should be finished by March 31. He added that the surrounding sidewalks are “less restricted.”

District Manager Frank Gulluscio announced that the borough’s budget hearings would begin on Feb. 20. On his top-ten requests list will be funding for the Rego Park branch of the Queens Borough Public Library, which he said is “in dire need of expansion and improvement.”

Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) spoke briefly, indicating her support of the mayor’s universal prekindergarten plan, but saying she is undecided on expanding the city’s living wage law.

Queens Borough Melinda Katz also addressed the meeting and indicated that one of her priorities is the restoration of the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

She praised the mayor for sticking to many of the principles he campaigned about at the Executive Budget meeting.

“He was clear on his agendas and policies,” Katz said.

She also indicated support for universal pre-K and expressed the importance of alleviating overcrowding in the borough’s schools.

The board OK’d seven street activity permits, covering various area events between May and October. An eighth applicant was re-applying but failed to meet the deadline.

The board also approved five renewal applications and one new application for a liquor license.

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