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Queens Chronicle

Graffiti problems plague Maspeth

Holden and Wildcat team up to clean up the neighborhood again

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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2019 10:30 am

Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) and the Wildcat Service Corp. have been working together to clean up an onslaught of graffiti in Maspeth.

“The Wildcat Service Corp. has done an excellent job responding to every complaint regarding graffiti and commercial district cleanups since they began working in our district,” Holden said in an email. “Unfortunately, the industrial areas of Maspeth have long been popular sites for taggers who have counteracted Wildcat’s work almost immediately in a few cases. I will continue to work with Wildcat and the NYPD to crack down on graffiti and those who are responsible for it.”

Recently, Holden had the Andrews Avenue Bridge painted over only to see vandals return and tag the location. There were also buildings marked up at 58th Avenue and Rust Street.

Wildcat, part of The Fedcap Group, began a partnership with Holden in August.

“Holden heard about the neighborhood revitalization work Wildcat was performing in the communities through other elected officials,” Wildcat’s Director of Communications Judith Czelusniak said in an email. “He partnered with Wildcat for services including graffiti removal, power washing, landscaping and snow removal for older people in the district.”

According to Czelusniak, of the 55 calls for graffiti Wildcat’s Neighborhood Improvement Program has responded to throughout the city, 18 were in Holden’s district.

But she says the organization is not annoyed when called back to consistently clean up the same locations.

“For Wildcat’s management and workers, it is not frustrating — rather it’s a point of pride — to be able to take care of these issues,” Czelusniak said. “Our crews are determined to meet repeated instances of graffiti with repeated positive action, helping to maintain the beautification of CM Holden’s District 30.”

Fedcap is a nonprofit organization that provides vocational training and employment resources to those who face barriers to employment.

Maspeth has been dealing with graffiti issues for years. Rust Street has seen its share of tagging over the years.

Some of the incidents have concerned hate speech, as a Maspeth church had anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on it in 2012, and in 2014 there were racial and homophobic slurs spray painted along an overpass stretch on 60th Street.

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