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Queens Chronicle

Crew now cleans Briarwood

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Posted: Thursday, August 26, 2010 12:00 am

Ricky Hicks has a motto: “keep it clean like a washing machine.”

From morning to afternoon, Hicks and crew can be found picking up trash and emptying garbage cans along busy Queens thoroughfares. Their work is part of the Doe Fund’s Willing and Able program, which provides jobs and teaches life skills to the formerly homeless.

Monday, however, was special for Hicks, 51, and the three men he works with.

They’ve added Briarwood to their route.

Though blue-uniformed Doe crews had previously tidied up nearby areas, the district just received an additional $27,500 in city funding, Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) said Monday. What this extra cash means: the so-called “men in blue” will upkeep Briarwood’s streets for the next year.

Gennaro announced the appropriation —$82,500 in all — to civic leaders and crew members that had gathered Monday outside the Van Wyck Boulevard-Briarwood subway station.

Seymour Schwartz, the Briarwood Community Association president, said regional leaders are excited about the developments, adding that it’s “very important” to protect public spaces.

— Victoria Bekiempis

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