The Kew Gardens Civic Association last Thursday night held its 96th annual meeting at the Kew Gardens Community Center.
KGCA President Dominick Pistone opened the evening by relaying a bit of well-received news: a verbal agreement has been reached between the U.S. Postal Service and landlord Tulip Management LLC to extend the lease on the property on which the Kew Gardens Station post office is located.
The postal service signed a five-year lease in 2006, and the station was slated to close when the lease expired during the summer of 2011, Pistone said. But a tentative accord was struck to keep the federal agency’s doors open at 83-30 Austin St.
Pistone publically thanked Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn and Queens) and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York) for their efforts in helping to cultivate the deal.
Weiner and Schumer wrote separate letters to U.S. Postmaster General Jack Potter asking that he ensure that the community would keep their post office.
“This is a huge victory for Kew Gardens,” Weiner said in a statement. “No community should be forced to live without such a vital service, and I’m pleased that everyone involved in this process understood that.”
The guest of honor for the evening was attorney and Kew Gardens historian Joseph DeMay Jr., who created and curated the website oldkewgardens.com. Pistone touted the site, which has been turned over to the KGCA, as a bastion where visitors can “relive the past, enjoy the present and look forward to the future.”
DeMay was presented with a certificate of recognition, but used his opportunity to praise the continuing efforts of the civic.
“In the cosmic scheme of things, I probably shouldn’t be the one getting the award tonight,” DeMay said. “As much as I appreciate this, I appreciate more the work you people do.”
Last Thursday was the first KGCA meeting for Captain Armando DeLeon, who has been commanding officer of the 102nd Precinct for the past eight months. DeLeon announced that crime in the precinct is down six percent for the year.
“We lead Patrol Borough Queens South in crime reduction,” DeLeon reported.
City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) lauded the effectiveness of the KGCA as an “active civic.” She also used her time to update the concerned on the mayor’s budget proposal.
“This year, it seems, the mayor is going after seniors and children,” Koslowitz said before blasting Bloomberg for proposing to close senior centers and eliminate some summer jobs.
Warren Gardner, a representative of state Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica), said that despite the state’s noted economic woes, Huntley was able to secure $50,000 for the Kew Gardens Senior Center.
“The bad thing is we’re broke,” Gardner said. “But the good thing is we have a fighter on our side.”