Woodhaven residents who have been demanding the city demolish a Jamaica Avenue building that partially collapsed a year ago may finally get their wish. The building could come down within a month.
The owner of the building failed to appear in court for a hearing on April 10 — almost a year to the day since the collapse — allowing the judge to give the city the authority to make the next move.
Photos courtesy Maria Thomson
Community Board 9 gaveled into session under new leadership Tuesday night and engaged in a heated debate over a proposal, favored by Mayor de Blasio, to legalize some basement apartments.
The meeting was the first under new Chairman Ralph Gonzalez, who was elected by the board last month.
by Maria A. Thomson
Executive Director GWDC
Assemblyman Mike Miller, center, honored two Woodhaven civic leaders last weekend for their service to the community.
At the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association meeting Saturday at the Emanuel Church of Christ, Miller presented Assembly proclamations to Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Historical Society, who also served as president of the WRBA from 2010 through 2013, and Maria Thomson, executive director of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District and Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation, who also once served as president of the WRBA.
Community Board 9 elected a new slate of leaders on Tuesday night in Ozone Park in what ended up being a rather anticlimactic vote after weeks of rumors of a brawl between incumbent chairman Jim Coccovillo and his opposition on the board.
Coccovillo opted not to seek a second term as chairman, instead nominating Ralph Gonzalez of Ozone Park — whose name had been mentioned by several members as a potential opponent of Coccovillo’s. Gonzalez won the chairmanship unopposed. Raj Rampershad, the board’s executive secretary, was elected first vice chairman unopposed.
Spring is only 10 days away, and daylight savings time has arrived. It is so great to have it lighter later. Also, you can feel the warmth of approaching spring.
Sometime ago in a letter to the editor, a truly eloquent testament was made to the noblest of unselfish giving — being a volunteer. This individual stated “to show support for some kind of worthwhile cause or organization in your area and also that you should contribute your time or talent.” All of the local community organizations do need support and involvement to perpetuate what dedicated individuals have worked for and accomplished over the years.
This has been a “roller coaster” winter with heavy snowstorms, rain and warm, beautiful days as we enjoyed this last weekend. Now the forecast is for more frigid weather and snow this week.
As I stated in my last article in regard to the collapsed building at 78-19 Jamaica Ave. — which is next to the home to the Woodhaven Richmond Hill Ambulance Corps and the Woodhaven Senior Citizen Center — we are thankful that this property has not collapsed further with all the heavy snow. Before it does it should be demolished.
Maria Thomson, executive director of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District and Greater Woodhaven Development Corp., resigned from the board of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association last week.
Woodhaven residents and civic leaders have had enough of the problems caused by a vacant building that collapsed on Jamaica Avenue last April.
It’s been more than 10 months since the structure at 78-19 Jamaica Ave. partially imploded after heavy rains, destroying a minivan and damaging the recently-renovated Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps next door.
Longtime Woodhaven civic leader Maria Thomson announced last week she would be stepping down from the executive board of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, which she has been a member of for four decades and where she once served as president for four years.
Thomson, who serves as executive director of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District and the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation, announced she would step down from the WRBA board last Friday in an email and officially tendered her resignation at Saturday’s monthly meeting where she received a standing ovation from fellow. She said she will continue to serve as a member of the block association.
The snow is back, this time with a vengeance.
The timing of our first snowstorm of the year was right after our Mayor Bill de Blasio, was sworn into office. But, as I stated in my last article, he is fortunate for Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty and “New York’s Strongest” have his back.
What a welcome change, the weather has changed and is now at a tolerable temperature. The deep freeze, snow and ice is now gone, hopefully for good. We have had rain, but that we can handle. During our snowstorms or especially with Sandy, there is one dependable force that we can count on. That is our Sanitation Department. They are always there for us. If there is a monumental clean-up to be done, weather it be monsterous Sandy snowstorm or New Years at Times Square “N.Y’s Strongest” is there, under their phenomenal leader Commissioner John J. Doherty. Woodhaven is so fortunate that we have these Sanitation men and women, many who live among us here, working on our behalf.
Important Notes- Our WBID/GWDC Office has small business low interest loans available please call our Office at (718) 805-0202 or (718) 805-0760 for more information. We will try to work with you to secure a loan for your needs. There are also homeowner low interest loans at two and a half and five
percent interest, please call to find out if you qualify. If you are starting a business call us for information on this as well. Recently on Jamaica Avenue, a movie “Run All Night” with Liam Neeson was filmed inside and outside of Mike’s Pub. The filming also involved our “Sam’s Deli”. It was very exciting and I have heard that it is a very good movie, watch for it to be released later this year and look for Woodhaven and Woodhavenites in some of the scenes.
In 2013, the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation, Woodhaven Business Improvement District and the neighborhood as a whole experienced many changes, the biggest being November’s elections.
The GWDC and Woodhaven BID wish our newly elected officials the very best in their new positions. May they be very successful in their leadership of our city and supportive of Woodhaven. To our electeds leaving office we thank them for their excellent public service, leadership, commitment and their consideration of Woodhaven.
The rain did not dampen the holiday spirit last Friday when Woodhaven residents and elected officials gathered for the tree and menorah lighting in Forest Parkway Plaza.
For the second year in a row an artificial tree was lit in the plaza. The live tree that previously stood on the site was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy.
Had enough of driving to the malls or searching the internet for the best gifts this holiday season? Then take a few minutes, maybe on your way home from work, to shop at your local commercial district this holiday season?
For over a century, Jamaica Avenue has attracted shoppers from Woodhaven and surrounding neighborhoods.
Community Board 9’s internal issues came to a dramatic climax Tuesday night when the board voted not to remove one of its longtime members, leading another to resign and walk out of the meeting, and two others to follow him.
Sam Esposito had been in hot water with the board’s leadership over emails he sent that were considered anti-Semitic by at least three other members. Those members, Wallace Bock, Evelyn Baron and Jan Fenster, had called for Esposito to be expelled from the community board.
Three years after the attraction was shuttered behind a fence with an uncertain and shaky future, the Forest Park Carousel is now a busy city landmark.
The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission gave its approval to the landmarking of the 110-year-old merry-go-round in June and the City Council later certified its status.
The ongoing manhunt for the Forest Park rapist dominated the 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday night in Richmond Hill, along with suggestions on how to improve safety in the park.
Deputy Inspector Hank Sautner, the precinct’s commanding officer, stood next to giant wanted posters featuring the sketch of the suspect and information in English and Spanish.
The month of October is always an unpredictable month weather-wise. It can be warm, sunny, and springlike or it can be cool with falling leaves of many colors which shimmer with shades of autumn.
But it can also be a month for hurricanes and coastal storms that can bring heavy rain or be as destructive as last year’s Hurricane Sandy. This is the reason every year we ask you to have good thoughts for the Wonderful Woodhaven Street Festival. This year the date is Sunday Oct. 20, held along Jamaica Avenue from 80th Street to Woodhaven Boulevard.
The new proposal for charging 10 cents per plastic bag at our groceries and supermarkets is not feasible or fair. I say this for it would be burdensome to our small business owners and costly to our shoppers.
This is a lose-lose proposition, to fix a problem that can be solved by setting up recycling bins in supermarkets as “drop-off” points for used plastic bags. In this way there would be no costs involved to the sellers or buyers. The bins can be maintained as any other part of store operations.
Our consumers and our store owners don’t need another expense to cope with in this difficult economy.
Sen. Mike Gianaris, seen here with Maria Thomson, president of the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation, left, and several residents.
What is a state senator from Astoria — who’s not running for higher office — doing in Woodhaven?
Believe it or not, he represents part of the neighborhood.
Remember those old lever voting machines? They’ll be back for the Sept. 10 primary elections.
Last month, the city Board of Elections decided to use the lever voting machines for the primaries and the runoff that is expected to follow.
Maria Thomson, executive director of the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation, speaks with a neighborhood resident.