Archive for March, 2011

Choir Concert at Emanuel Church of Christ April 2nd

March 28, 2011

St. John’s University Voices of Victory, is the official gospel choir of St. John’s University. Composed of some of the most talented singers and instrumentalists at the university, Voices of Victory boasts an international membership from more than seven countries.

The Choir will be giving a concert on Saturday April 2nd at 4 PM at Emanuel United Church of Christ on 91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard.

The Voices of Victory Choir has given concerts around the world, and appeared here in Woodhaven last March. Those who attended the show described it as “fun” and “moving.” This is a wonderful opportunity to see a world-class Choir right here in our community. There is a suggested donation of $10 — a terrific bargain!


Free Self-Defense Class at WRBA Meeting April 16th

March 28, 2011

Self-defense will be one of the topics at the next Town Hall meeting of the Woodhaven Residents Block Association. Sensei Juan and associate Kioshi Victor Mozquera R. of Born 2 Win Martial Arts will be giving a self defense martial arts demonstration for the attendees. The tips you will learn at this meeting are simple and can be used by all.

This demonstration is FREE and has been arranged through the office of our Assemblyman Mike Miller.

The meeting will take place on Saturday, April 16th at 1 PM at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, located at 78-15 Jamaica Avenue. Besides the self-defense program, we will receive updates from our elected officials and hear from the residents about the issues that concern them.

Visit Born2Win Martial Arts on Facebook


Details of Upcoming Track Work

March 18, 2011

Track construction work will be done along the Jamaica Avenue Line at three separate locations commencing March 25, 2011 and ending May 16, 2011 (8 weekends) between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays to Fridays (completion work and prep work). A clip truck and compressor will work along Jamaica Avenue to pre-strip and reinstall track clips and retainers.

Mainline track panel and switch replacement is scheduled from 8 p.m. Fridays to 9 p.m. Sundays (Cranes will be set up and materials staged at each crane site). Street closures will be in effect at each crane location from 8 p.m. on Fridays to 9 p.m. Sundays. Track Construction will maintain one lane for traffic on the side streets when the cranes are not being used.

Location # 1:

Crane Locations:

1) 95th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

2) 96th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

3) 97th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

4) 98th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 91st Avenue

5) 102nd Street between Jamaica Avenue and 91st Avenue

A total of 28 track panels will be installed. Parking will be restricted at each crane location for 150 feet and parking will be restricted on the west and east curb lanes along Jamaica Avenue at each track panel installation location.

Track Construction will maintain 2 lanes for traffic in either direction on Jamaica Avenue. This is middle track replacement and will require detours around the work area (to be determined).

Location # 2:

Crane Locations:

1) 111th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 91st Avenue

2) 114th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 91st Avenue

3) 115th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 86th Avenue

4) 116th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

5) 117th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

A total of 24 Track Panels will be installed. Parking will be restricted at each crane location for 150 feet and parking will be restricted on the west and east curb lanes along Jamaica Avenue at each track panel installation location.

Location # 3:

Crane Locations:

1) 123rd Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

2) 124th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

3) 125th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

4) 123rd Street between Jamaica Avenue and Hillside Avenue

5) 124th Street between Jamaica Avenue and Hillside Avenue

6) 124th Street between Jamaica Avenue and Hillside Avenue

A total of four switches and a diamond crossover will be installed. Parking will be restricted at each crane location for 150 feet and parking will be restricted on the west and east curb lanes along Jamaica Avenue at each track panel installation location. Track Construction will require Street Closures along Jamaica Avenue between 123rd Street and 125th Street during switch replacement.

Woodhaven Town Hall – Saturday at 1 PM

March 17, 2011

The Woodhaven Residents Block Association will be holding their monthly open Town Hall Meeting this Saturday at 1 PM.

It will be held at 78-15 Jamaica Avenue at the Woodhaven Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

We will discuss the recent issues with Abandoned Houses, as well as other issues we have to deal with — some of them related to the issue above (such as graffiti, noise, and crime).

We need to work together to resolve these issues — else it may be a house on your block we’re discussing someday.

Blood Drive on Saturday – Jamaica Avenue

March 17, 2011

There will be a Blood Drive at 79-26 Jamaica Avenue on  this Saturday, March 19th, from 12 PM to 4 PM.  This is the home of Liberty Tax Service and you can call 718-521-1040 for more information.  There will be food and other refreshments and live music —

Some interesting facts about Blood Donations:

  • Only 5 percent of eligible donors across the nation donate blood, but the number of transfusions nationwide increases by 9 percent every year.
  • Each whole blood donation can help as many as three people. One unit is divided into three parts: red blood cells, platelets, and plasma.
  • On average, a hip replacement typically uses one unit of blood, a cardiac bypass 2 units, a heart transplant 2 units, and a liver transplant 10 units!
  • Blood cannot be manufactured. It can only come as a gift from people.
  • Statistics show that 25 percent or more of us will require blood at least once in our lifetime.

The folks that run Liberty Tax Service live in Woodhaven and are involved in helping the community — this Blood Drive is but one example.  We’ll be featuring them  more in the very near future.

Remember — Woodhaven’s Town Hall is also Saturday, at the Volunteer Ambulance Corps 78-15 Jamaica Avenue — 1 block away.  If you’re coming to the WRBA Meeting, stop by Liberty Tax afterwards and give blood!  Make it a double-feature 🙂


March 17, 2011

A little over 2 weeks ago, the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association was notified about a house on 80th Street that was abandoned, covered with graffiti, and being used by thugs and vagrants as a hangout.

On the other side of the neighborhood, a house that sat vacant for fifteen years (and had been recently used by teens as a hangout) had recently caught fire and spread to the house next door.  It was a tale of two houses, which we covered here — and the WRBA immediately set forth to make sure the same thing didn’t happen again.

It was a group effort, involving a lot of people.  A lot of phone calls, e-mails, and a healthy does of media attention.  Headlines and front pages like this earned a lot of attention:

And we’re very happy to announce that today — the horror house of 80th Street was SEALED SHUT.  Here it is:

It’s just a first step — but in light of the tragic events on 90th Street this past weekend, it’s a very welcome step.   A big thanks to all involved —

We can’t let up — there are other houses to seal — graffiti to clear up — noise issues to deal with.  The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association is a group of residents, just like you — people who are willing to volunteer a few hours a month for their community.

The next open meeting is THIS SATURDAY AT 1 PM — at the Volunteer Ambulance Corps, 78-15 Jamaica Avenue.  Come down and say hello — stick around and tell us what’s on your mind.


Update on 88-32 80th Street

March 10, 2011

The Queens Chronicle ran a nice piece on the abandoned house on 80th Street in the edition that hit the street Thursday.  We’re very grateful that they gave this topic the attention it deserves and put it on the front page.  And we hope the attention pays off — this needs to be resolved quickly.

Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, or perhaps it was due to the attention being shined on the situation, but the house was visited by the Department of Buildings today

The inspector walked through the property and observed the busted window where the thugs and vandals are gaining access.

He looked inside and saw the graffiti — the vandalism — the damage.  It’s clear that the house has been taken over — in fact, as there is evidence of drug use it’s actually a crime scene, no?

So, we go to the Department of Buildings website to check  the status of the latest complaint — and it’s resolved?

The ticket acknowledges that it is a vacant, open and unguarded structure — and it also notes that violations were issued.  But the fact that the ticket is “resolved” is a bit disconcerting.

However, our contact was told that this property will be boarded, and soon — but we can’t let up, not for even a moment.  We’re going to need to keep up the heat.  We can’t do that alone.

Please think about this for a moment — 6 months from now, or a year, we may be standing on your block.  Maybe looking at the house next to yours.  Or across the street.  You will want as much support as you can get from the community, no?  Please consider coming out to our next Town Hall and voicing your opinion — support your neighbors as you would want them support you.

We will meet on Saturday, March 19th at 1 PM at the Volunteer Ambulance Corps (78-15 Jamaica Avenue).   Please make an effort to attend.

Keep Our Senior Centers Open

March 1, 2011

The following editorial was written by Woodhaven’s Assemblyman Mike Miller:

It’s budget season – which means that, once again, vital services are in jeopardy to our most vulnerable citizens. Over the past several weeks I have heard concerns from worried senior citizens that their centers are going to be closing. These senior centers give our seniors a place to go, eat, and socialize with other members of the community. When money is cut from these programs, these services are put in serious jeopardy and are at risk. We needn’t put our seniors in this position every year, and we certainly shouldn’t. There are two sources of funding that can save these services that are not being currently utilized.

First is Title XX funding. Title XX money is a grant given to New York from the federal government. There is mandatory spending ($66 million) on Adult Protective/Domestic Violence Services, and there is discretionary money ($36 million). About $24 million of this discretionary funding is spent on senior centers.  In this year’s budget, Governor Cuomo is attempting to take the discretionary Title XX money and use it to cover other state expenditures unrelated to senior programs. This will cost the seniors of New York City around $24 million in cuts. If we were to mandate that the $24 million must be spent on senior services solely, senior centers across the city could remain open and fully operational.

The second source of funding is through member items. Several years ago, each member of the Assembly was allotted a certain amount of money that they could give to the organizations in their communities. This funding allowed civic organizations to operate, services to be provided to the needy, and senior centers to remain open and fully functional. Last year, this funding was completely cut by the Governor. If this funding was restored, every senior center in the City would have multiple sources of revenue and could keep their doors open.

I hope you will join in me in saying enough is enough. It is time to stop playing games with services to our senior citizens. I ask everyone reading this article to reach out to the Governor and ask him to mandate Title XX money for seniors and restore member item funding so we can finally give our seniors the peace of mind they deserve.