Archive for November, 2009

Woodhaven Needs Your Help!

November 30, 2009

On Friday’s episode of Project Woodhaven On The Air — Woodhaven’s only LIVE Talk Show — Assemblyman Mike Miller asked for our help. 

We have a Senior Center in Woodhaven without a home — currently they need to take a bus all the way down to 118th Street in Richmond Hill.

They have reached a tentative agreement with the Woodhaven Richmond Hill Ambulance Corps to house the Senior Center at 78th Street and Jamaica Avenue.  This is a perfect solution — as it will also benefit the Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

Here’s the problem — the building cannot be rented until some modifications are made.  And for that, they need plans and they need an architect.  The Senior Center and the Vol. Ambulance Corps are strapped for cash, so they’re looking for a kind-hearted architect 🙂

If you are that person — or you know someone who may be interested — please get in touch with Assemblyman Mike Miller at (718) 805-0950.  These are two organizations that are important to Woodhaven — here’s hoping this plea for help is answered!

And Now For Something Completely Not Different

November 24, 2009

How many illegal conversion fire-deaths must occur before our city does something to resolve this decades-long problem?

We heard this week of another three deaths in Woodside, Queens, when a legal two-family home was converted into a five-family dwelling with single-room rentals occupying the basement and second floors. With many structures in Woodside made of wood, similar to those in Woodhaven, the situation is ripe for lost lives. Many of these homes were constructed fifty to one-hundred years ago when the most a family could plug in was a radio or a black and white television. Electric and heating services to these homes are often overburdened and rigged to cover these additional tenants.

The fact that more fires haven’t occurred is more amazing than when one does. My heart hurts for those who lost their lives and the families that lost loved ones. But for those who create these conditions for profit, shame on you! For those who place their families in this harms way, show your love for them by getting out before you become the next victim. Do not be an accomplice to this deadly behavior.

Affordable housing in New York City has been an issue since when the Dutch first landed here close to four-hundred years ago. But if you go back a mere one-hundred years ago communities were serviced by multiple volunteer fire companies. Woodhaven had three in the late 1800’s when our population was a fraction of what it is now. Yet today the city is still threatening to close Engine Companies in vulnerable neighborhoods like Woodhaven while not doing anything to tackle the issue of finding and eliminating these tinderbox illegal conversions.

I challenge our elected officials to hold our legal system and the Department of Buildings accountable for this deadly and political neglect. One more life is one life too many to loose because of this easily resolved issue. We just need to show some leadership now.

Vance B. Barbour
Woodhaven, New York

Vote For Jorge Munoz

November 16, 2009

I just voted for Jorge Munoz as CNN’s Hero of the Year another thirty times. C’mon everyone, vote a few more times.


New Rules!

November 10, 2009


New rules. If you write a column, and it is called Woodhaven Developments, you should make efforts to actually mention developments occurring in Woodhaven. Talking about Halloween is nice. Dinner dances in Howard Beach are also appropriate, as is talking about Daylight Savings Time ending. But when the Police Commissioner of the City of New York decides to visit Woodhaven’s civic organization’s monthly town hall meeting, and you choose to write about his visit to Richmond Hill, we may need to start a contest about renaming the column. Especially when the community’s State Assemblyman and one of its two Council Members consider it important enough to race over from Richmond Hill to attend it.

Vance B. Barbour
Woodhaven, New York

Sen. Addabbo at Woodhaven Library Saturday 11/21

November 9, 2009

The following is a press release from the Office of New York State Senate Member Joseph Addabbo, Jr. 15th District:

In an effort to discuss issues with more constituents and to highlight the importance of libraries, NY State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., will continue to hold weekend office hours on Saturdays in local libraries throughout his district until the end of the year. Following his fall visits to Queens libraries in Maspeth, Middle Village and North Forest Park, his next visit is set for the Queens Library at Woodhaven, 85-41 Forest Parkway; 718-849-1010 (a few blocks north of Jamaica Avenue) on Saturday, November 21, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Addabbo noted, “Many of my constituents might be unable to stop in my district office Monday through Friday. The time I am spending at our local libraries gives them an opportunity to see me in their own communities on the weekend and for me to personally address their concerns. I will also be speaking about the importance of library funding and of its significance in our neighborhoods.”


The senator also noted that his library visits are not to replace his intention of opening a second office in the northern part of his district. Addabbo mentioned that the state is in negotiations with multiple landlords for a number of proposed sites. He is optimistic that this second office would open in November.

For more information on the Senator’s library appearance or the opening of his new office, call his District Office at 718-738-1111.

Woodhaven Town Hall Saturday

November 6, 2009

Here’s a reminder that the next Woodhaven Town Hall will be held this Saturday, November 7th, at 1 PM at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corp – 78-15 Jamaica Avenue.  Do you like the direction the neighborhood is taking?  Do you have problems but don’t know where to turn?   Do you have good ideas but feel like no one is listening?  Then come on down! 

We get a healthy turnout — and the meetings are never dull.  We also get good attendance from our local represetatives.  And sometimes we get a surprise guest, like we did last month when we were visited by New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. 


You are more than welcome to come in, sit down and join the discussion!

NYT Article on Healthcare

November 5, 2009

We often hear all that’s wrong with healthcare in the US but the sucess stories are usually glossed over. I am keeping this posting short just to link you to this quite long article from this coming Sunday’s NYT Magazine. It’s a must read and will hopefully convice folks that we can get good healthcare at a much better price.