The city Department of Sanitation is now authorized to immediately seize illegitimate clothing donation bins placed throughout the city — a process that previously took more than a month — after the City Council approved new legislation last month and it went unaddressed by Mayor de Blasio.
“While we want to encourage New Yorkers to donate clothing and other materials to those in need, we also want to ensure that organizations collecting these items are doing so responsibly, and this bill will achieve both of those goals,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan, Bronx) said in a written statement.
It may have taken more than 35 years, but the city has finally approved funding for the long-awaited HWQ411B project in the Centreville section of Ozone Park.
According to a Dec. 1 letter from Stephen Malmberg, assistant director for the Office of Management and Budget, close to $50 million will be distributed to several city agencies for the decades in the making road reconstruction project, with about $7 million in contingency funds being pledged.
A vacant plot of land in the Centreville section of Ozone Park will be home to a brand-new elementary school in three years, if the Department of Education’s plans, which were previewed at Community Board 10 last Thursday, come to fruition.
The site — a triangle shape bordered by Albert Road, Raleigh Street and North Conduit Avenue — has always been vacant, often overgrown with tall grass and weeds in one of the few neighborhoods in Queens with space to spare.
Representatives from the city Department of Transportation came to Howard Beach Tuesday for the second of three workshops aimed at getting community input into the expansion of the Jamaica Bay Greenway through the neighborhood.
About two dozen Howard Beach residents attended the meeting at the Old Mill Yacht Club, and their opinions on the proposals to extend the walk and bike trail through the neighborhood ranged from guarded support to complete opposition.
Several sources have confirmed that demolition of Aqueduct Race Track for a new soccer stadium is not off the table.
It was announced last month that Major League Soccer was looking at Aqueduct as a site for a soccer-specific stadium to host the New York City Football Club, an expansion team that will begin playing next year at Yankee Stadium.
The September meeting of Community Board 10, held last Thursday — the first official day of school — in the Knights of Columbus Hall on Lefferts Boulevard in South Ozone Park, buzzed with words of caution concerning traffic safety.
“Please watch where you’re driving,” state Sen. Joe Addabbo. Jr. (D-Howard Beach) said, reminding residents of the five-point penalty for driving past a stopped yellow school bus.
Even though overall crime was down for the latest weekly and monthly periods compared to last year, auto thefts continued to trouble the 106th Precinct communities, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, the precinct’s commander, said at the community council meeting on May 14.
Burglaries and grand larcenies showed double-digit drops, according to NYPD crime statistics for the week ending May 11. However, auto thefts rose 33 percent for the week compared to last year and rose 64 percent for the year. Robberies jumped 75 percent for the week.
Mayor de Blasio’s daring new $41.1 billion plan to create or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade was welcomed by many Queens elected officials earlier this month.
However, Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been’s presentation on the plan wasn’t so warmly embraced at a meeting of the Queens Borough Board on Monday.
CB 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton addresses issues on the Spring Creek Park flooding mitigation project.
Following Queens’ first community aviation roundtable at LaGuardia Airport, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey hosted a similar event last Wednesday near JFK to discuss noise and other problems with community representatives from nearby areas.
Ralph Tragale, assistant director of aviation for the PA, began by assuring the attendees that the agency is hiring staff for a new noise office and doubling the number of portable noise monitors.
While the flooding in Lindenwood was the most heavily discussed topic at last Thursday’s Community Board 10 meeting, another pressing flooding issue was addressed as well.
State Department of Environmental Conservation representative Joanna Field presented the board with an update on the hazard mitigation project at Spring Creek Park, including a rough estimate of when the three phases of work will begin and end.
DOT personnel discuss planned improvements along the Woodhaven-Cross Bay Boulevard corridor with Chairwoman Mary Ann Carey, rear left, and Marie Turley of Community Board 9; and Chairwoman Betty Braton and District Manager Karyn Petersen of CB 10.
Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, is a time when Jews over the world remember the six million Jews who died during World War II. It also honors the survivors, most of them elderly, whose numbers decrease every year.
Their testimony serves as a reminder of what they endured and is an attempt to prevent such atrocities from happening again.
It doesn’t take too many rush-hour trips up and down the Woodhaven-Cross Bay Boulevard corridor to become an expert on just where the bottlenecks and traffic islands can slow traffic to a crawl; and where service lanes make right-hand turns impossible.
But the city and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority last week proposed alleviating all that with the creation of a Select Bus route, along with bus lanes, new road markings and in some areas reconstruction of lanes, islands and intersections to improve the traffic flow.
Although the rash of burglaries that hit Howard Beach during the week of March 22 has now ended, Deputy Inspector Jeffery Schiff, commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, said the additional police presence continues.
Schiff told the audience at the precinct council meeting on April 9 in Ozone Park that since March 26, when police flooded the community with more than 60 officers and a command post vehicle, there have been no reported burglaries in Howard Beach. Asked by a resident how many police officers are continuing to patrol the area, Schiff would not be pinned down to an exact number, saying only, “It’s a lot,” and includes detectives, community affairs, plainclothes, uniformed and auxiliary police officers.
Litter and trash in South and Southeast Queens has been compared to the weather — many complain but nobody does anything about it.
But government and civic officials are calling a program introduced on Monday a way to manage the problem on a borough-wide basis rather that just as an issue in isolated, individual neighborhoods.
The city has removed 39 Level 2 and 3 sex offenders from the Skyway homeless shelter in South Ozone Park, Councilman Ruben Wills (D-South Jamaica) announced at Community Board 10 last Thursday.
“We have been going back and forth with the Department of Homeless Services for weeks about the issue and they have removed every sex offender from the shelter as of today” the Councilman announced to applause.
There were some changes last week in the executive board of Community Board 10.
The board held its election of officers for the 2014-15 term at its meeting last Thursday night in South Ozone Park. Chairwoman Betty Braton of Howard Beach and Treasurer Isabel Van Putten of South Ozone Park were elected unopposed, but there were competitive races for first and second vice chairpersons and executive secretary.
It has been over 25 years since the city first planned a walking and biking trail around Jamaica Bay and now, with only pieces of it completed, the city Department of Transportation is planning on filling in the gaps and finishing the loop.
One of those gaps is between the greenway along the Belt Parkway and the spur across the Joseph P. Addabbo Bridge into Broad Channel. To connect the two means somehow building the greenway through the neighborhood of Howard Beach — perhaps along residential streets.
A proposal by a city councilman from the Bronx may lead to a whole new way for local community boards to share information and get area residents involved.
But exactly who is going to foot the bill for any incurred costs remains a primary concern.
Community Board 10 elected a new 2nd vice chairman at last Thursday’s meeting.
John Calcagnile was voted into the position by a vote of 19-11 over Donna Gilmartin. The position was left open by the death of Robert Ruffin in December.
Robert Ruffin, second vice chairman of Community Board 10 and a World War II veteran active in Queens veteran groups, passed away Dec. 28 at the age of 94.
The South Ozone Park resident was born in Fort Worth, Texas on March 3, 1919 and spent his childhood and teenage years there.
La Bella Vita catering hall, which closed last month after nearly 30 years in business, had been in financial trouble for some time and filed for bankruptcy in federal court in May. Now, at least two people are saying the company screwed them out of money they had paid for parties slated for December that never occurred.
The facility located at 106-02 Rockaway Blvd. shut down abruptly in mid-December. But documents filed in federal bankruptcy court from May show the catering hall had been in financial straits for some time.
La Bella Vita, the popular Ozone Park catering hall that was the birthplace of the “Pizza Dance,” shut down last month for unknown reasons after almost three decades in business.
Calls to the catering hall’s office and reservation number rang with no response Monday and Tuesday and an email sent to owner Tony Modica through his personal website was undeliverable.
The Lindenwood Alliance will join with the Howard Beach Civic Association on Jan. 1, 2014 with a change of the group’s name to the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic Association, Joann Ariola, president of the Alliance, informed residents who attended Monday’s meeting of the Alliance.
Ariola also said meetings will now be held at 7:30 p.m. on the last Tuesday of the month and the new meeting place will be in the cafeteria of St. Helen School in Howard Beach.