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COMET

Newsletter Fall 2012

Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together

No End in Sight to Relieve Dangerous Parking Problem

As a result of NYC Department of Transportations refusal to install a safety barrier, bollards or even a No Parking sign on the LIE 69th Street exit at westbound service road at Mazeau Street, dangerous illegal parking conditions persist. The 104th Precinct has been relentless in their summonsing efforts, but it is difficult for them to get a tow truck big enough to impound these vehicles on a regular basis. The summonses are only the cost of doing business for the truckers and clearly not an incentive for them to park elsewhere.
Photo taken by Linda Daquaro

Illegal Commuter Van Activity Continues to Plague our Area

Photo by D Conlan
After numerous complaints to our elected officials and the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission about commuter vans operating illegally in our area, Comet President Roe Daraio received a call from Assistant Commissioner Jeff Hunt, Taxi and Limousine Commission Enforcement, asking us to provide more detailed information. The information was sent to him and hopefully enforcement will begin shortly and be done frequently. We are pleased the agency will do some enforcement, but remain skeptical as to whether or not it will resolve the problem. Summonses are only a small cost of doing business. We just have to wait and see!

Vehicles Hit Local Businesses

A motorists vehicle went out of control and hit six pedestrians and Connollys Restaurant on Grand Avenue and 72nd Street in late June. There were no serious injuries reported. Luckily it wasnt a school day!

In early July, a motorists vehicle jumped the curb and hit Isabellas Ice Cream Shop across the street from the 69th Street Post Office. There were no injuries and no criminality.

Parking problems and dangerous traffic conditions are a huge problem in our community!
Photos by Linda Daquaro Pg. 2 Fall 2012 COMET

Parking Woes on our Borders


Photos taken in July when school is out

Its bad enough that residents on 67th Street have to contend with dozens of school buses all day at PS 229, but there are times when they impacted with them at night too. A repair shop on 51st Avenue that services school buses has no room on the property to store them. The owner parks them overnight on the street. When the 108th Precinct summonses them on 51st Avenue, they are moved to 67th Street on the 104th Precinct side of the street. When the 104th summonses them, theyre right back on 51st Avenue again. It has become a reoccurring nightmare!

Last but not least, motorists heading down 57th Avenue on the Maspeth/Elmhurst border usually see a couple of school buses parked on the strip. During the school year, school buses line up, leave their engines idling and folks have to breathe in the fumes. I guess we dont get enough from the LIE traffic! Luckily, the 104th, 108th and 110th Precincts work well together and take action when we bring up these problems at our meetings. However, we need a permanent solution that will give residents some peace and free up our precincts to handle other issues!
Photos by Saverio Ricotta, Dick Gundlach and Shirley Warren

What Next?
In June, Maspeth residents had to contend with this trailer parked all weekend on Jay Avenue near Hamilton Place taking up several parking spots. It had Colorado plates. Luckily for us, Captain Cody, 104th Precinct, made arrangements to have it towed. If you see something like this, please report it to 311.
Photo by Mike Fordunski

of each month from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. The new number to call for information is 511. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
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Correction: The Metrocard bus stops on 69th Street and Grand Avenue on the second Thursday

Illegal Dumping

Large House Numbers for Emergencies

Its mind boggling why some folks illegally dump their trash in litter baskets on our corners or just leave it in front of businesses on Grand Avenue instead of just putting it out on their trash and recycling days. An Elmhurst resident took a walk up Grand Avenue to Maspeth one Sunday and spotted this mess. The people who suffer the consequences are our local business owners who may get a fine from Sanitation if they dont clean it up. When corner litter baskets are full, the trash blows in front of our local businesses forcing the store owner to constantly sweep up. We all need to take pride in our community.
Photo by Ivan Mossop, Jr.

You can help medical, fire and police responders get to your home faster by putting large house numbers in a visible location in the front and rear of your home. If the police are chasing a suspect through yards or community driveways, or a fire is in the rear of a home, the address would be helpful. If you walk through our neighborhood youll see many homes dont have an address clearly visible from the street. Actually, some dont even have an address at all! Responders must slow down to find the right address. These numbers are inexpensive and can be purchased at most hardware stores.

Shanty McCondo Removed


Thank you 104th Precinct!

Wed like to thank Captain Michael Cody, 104th Precinct, for personally looking into our concerns about a three-story Shanty McCondo that was constructed by a homeless man on the 53rd Road side of the old Blockbuster site at 74th Street. Comet received a number of complaints from residents stating that he was seen feeding rats in the vicinity of the site. Captain Cody reached out to the property owner and got a commitment it would be removed. Removal was done at the end of June.

Photo by Shirley Warren Pg. 4 Fall 2012 COMET

Diseased Trees
This poor Pin Oak tree on 59th Street in west Maspeth is diseased. The large ball-sized pods are breaking off from the branches and the are hitting folks as they fall to the ground. The homeowner filled up half of a large garbage pail with them! When one species of tree is infected, it passes on to other nearby trees of the same species. In this case there are several oak trees on the block that are starting to become infected. Saving mature trees in our community should be a priority. They help curtail traffic pollution in our area. Unfortunately, theres no City funding available to spray our mature trees that are infected.

Elmhurst Park

Grand Avenue at 69th Street Intersection


In response to Comets request for a turn signal at Grand Avenue at 69th Street, the NYC Department of Transportation stated that they completed their analysis in June. Factors such as peak hour turning movements, accident experience and the availability of gaps in the opposing traffic stream to accommodate turns were all taken into consideration in making their determination. Based upon their evaluation of the data collected, it is their judgment that a special left-turn signal is not recommended for Grand Avenue eastbound. Looks like the intersection of Grand Avenue at 69th Street will see no safety measures at least in the near future. Drive safely!!

Photo by Ivan Mossop, Jr.


Comets Assistant Treasurer Ivan Mossop, Jr., exercises and listens to traditional Chinese music in Elmhurst Park daily from 7:15-8:15 am, weather permitting and when the temperature above 40 degrees. He said the exercise is easier than Tai Chi making it a great option for seniors. Everyone is invited to join the group. Its a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and improve your health. Johnny Kong is the exercise leader. There is no charge. You can just show up.

Its cheaper to pay a small fine than obey the law


Some truckers servicing the businesses along 51st Avenue not only double park, they think nothing of parking their tractor trailers in the wrong direction. This is not only illegal but creates a safety hazard for other drivers.
Photo by Dick Gundlach COMET Fall 2012 Pg. 5

We Commend our Local Businesses for Being Good Neighbors

International Tool Manufacturing Corporation


Executive Vice President Al Paradiso of International Tool Manufacturing Corporation on 51st Avenue and 72nd Street in the Winfield section of Woodside was overjoyed their work in keeping the site in good order is recognized. He told Comet Vice President, Dick Gundlach, that they not only immediately painted over the graffiti, but totally repainted the entire building. They did the same thing last year so this isnt a one shot deal!

Photo by Dick Gundlach

Maspeth Press

Glendale Bakery

Photo by Maspeth Press


Anthony Mickalauskas, at Maspeth Press, 66-20 Grand Avenue, takes pride in our community. He took time to mulch around the tree outside his business and added decorative plants. Anthony, who is a member of the Maspeth Chamber of Commerce, actively works to improve our neighborhood. By the way, he and his staff also do a great job on our newsletter too! Thank you.

Photo by Richie Polgar


Anna from Glendale Bakery planted these flowers, and she and her employees make sure theyre watered every day. As you pass by, youll notice how the plants bring some elegance to our community.

Thank You for Caring!


Richie Polgar, Maspeth resident and community activist, can often be seen volunteering for a community project. Last fall he helped us weed all the tree pits along Grand Avenue. In July, instead of complaining about the trash in the tree pits, Richie went from 72nd Street to 64th Street and picked up all the garbage that careless people threw out. He also takes time to report potholes, abandoned or illegally parked vehicles, missing sewer grates and much more. Richie has been a Citizen Tree Pruner since 1979, and is also a Tree Steward. We commend him for caring about our neighborhood and the environment. We hope some folks follow his lead!

Pg. 6 Fall 2012 COMET

Message from Captain Terence OToole, Executive Officer, 108th Precinct


The 911 system is for emergency response of police, fire and emergency medical service. The 311 system is for non-emergency response from the proper City agency. Its important to know which system can best handle the issue at hand. Here are some helpful hints: To report a crime is in progress, call 911. Be prepared to explain to the operator EXACTLY what is happening. Then, retreat to a safe place and standby in case the operator needs to call you back for additional information. Dont make other calls on that phone because the responding officers or a detective may contact you requesting additional information. Remember, you may be the only one who has seen exactly what happened. Crimes are prioritized in the 911 system. For example, a crime in progress would get an immediate police response. Crimes such as robbery, burglary or assault with a weapon would get a much quicker response than crimes of trespass, petit larceny or harassment. Its not that they are less important, but priorities must be assigned.

Priority 911 versus 311

To report an ongoing problem that doesnt require an immediate response, call 311. The operator will route complaints, such as illegal parking, traffic conditions, and excessive noise, to the proper agency. The Police Department will respond to 311 calls as soon as conditions permit. When calling either 911 or 311 try to be clear as possible when talking to the operators. In a city as diverse as New York callers and operators often speak different languages so that inaccurate information could be passed on to units in the field. Numbers could be reversed, streets not clearly named and car makes and models that are incorrect. Such inaccuracies delay police response and this often leaves a perception of no response to the 311 call. Police Department managers review calls and conduct field inspections to ensure that reported conditions have been corrected. Remember, its important to leave your contact information so that police responding to your complaint can contact you to resolve any questions. And, of course, never provide false or misleading information.

Thank You 108th Precinct!


In late July, the 108th Precinct conducted a MARCH operation on the business in Winfield that is parking all those liveries in the vicinity of St. Marys and surrounding area. They were hit with a stack of summonses and violations. Hopefully this business owner gets the message and obtains a parking lot for the vehicles.

Our meetings are held on the first Monday of every month except for January, July and August. The meetings are held at the Bethzatha Church of God, 85-20 57th Avenue. Meetings start at 7:00 pm. Directions to the meeting can be found on our website, www.cometcivic.com. We will hold additional meetings to alert residents about a project or problem in their area and will translate our fliers into different languages, if necessary. Our meetings are open to everyone and we encourage you to attend with friends and neighbors. Meet and speak with representatives of the 104th, 108th and 110th Precincts to hear whats happening in our neighborhood or voice a concern. Michael Fordunski, Roe Daraio, Dick Gundlach, Christina Wilkinson, Michael Harte and Maspeth Press

COMET MEETINGS

Newsletter Committee:

This newsletter is made possible by funding from Council Members Elizabeth Crowley, Karen Koslowitz and Jimmy Van Bramer through the Department of Youth and Community Development.
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Newsletter Fall 2012

Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together

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