Archive for May, 2011

Without Your Help – Engine 294 Will Close

May 27, 2011

** ALERT **  ALERT  ** ALERT **  ALERT  ** ALERT **  ALERT  **

There will be a rally to Save Engine 294, which is definitely on the list of fire companies to close.  The rally will be held on Sunday, June 5th at 1 PM.  Please make every possible effort to attend.  Without a good turnout, we may see the doors of Engine 294 close for good.

We cannot let this happen.  We remember what happened the last time they closed 294.

The WRBA is teaming up with the Richmond Hill Block Association, and working with our elected officials — if you have contacts in any schools or any other organizations in Woodhaven, please put them in touch with us — this issue effects us all.

We are planning to hand out flyers at the steps of train startions — 85th Street, 76th Street, Woodhaven Boulevard, and 95th Street.  Ideally, we’d like to have at least one 2-hour shift at each station one morning next week — and a 2-hour shift in the evening — this way we hit each station twice.

We need volunteers.  Let us know if you are free any mornings next week (specifically 6:30 to 8:30 AM) or any evenings (5:30 to 7:30 PM).

Tell your friends, tell your neighbors.  EMAIL US AT

We will be on the air LIVE tonight at 10, discussing our rally plans — even if you don’t listen, call in at 646-378-1612 and share a brief thought, memory — or even a word of thanks or support for the men and women of Engine 294.  The best audio clips will be used in an upcoming tribute video.

Without your help, Engine 294 will close.  Don’t let that happen.

Sunday, June 5th at 1 PM.   

El’s Angels – Engine 294

Woodhaven and Richmond Hill Residents Join Forces To Save Engine 294

May 24, 2011

The communities of Richmond Hill and Woodhaven are pulling together to stage a public rally to save Engine Company 294 at 1 PM on Sunday, June 5th in front of the firehouse at 101st Street and Jamaica Avenue. Engine 294, which serves both communities, was revealed to be on a list of 20 fire companies that are slated to be closed to balance the city’s budget.

The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA) and the Richmond Hill Block Association (RHBA) are joining forces, along with other local civic groups, organizations, and elected officials to try and ensure that this doesn’t happen.

The National Fire Protection Association says that studies show that once you surpass a 4-minute response to a fire, the risk of civilian death triples. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio released a report this week showing that the closure to Engine 294 will push our response time over that 4-minute threshold. This issue impacts each and every family in our community and all residents are encouraged to attend.

Volunteers will be needed in the days leading up to the rally, to hand out flyers and help spread the word. Contact either the RHBA ( or the WRBA ( for details. There is also a “Save Engine 294” Page on Facebook that residents are using as an online petition and a place to share their thoughts and feelings about this possible closure. This page has attracted nearly 250 fans in its first 24 hours.

Free Unclaimed Funds Seminar May 19

May 8, 2011

NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., is co-sponsoring with the NYS Comptroller’s Office an Unclaimed Funds Event for Thursday, May 19, from 11 AM – 12 PM, at the Woodhaven Richmond Hill Senior Center, located in the Ambulance Corps building at 78-15 Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven.

“Stop in and find out in a one-to-one sitting if you’re entitled to collect any funds from various accounts administered by NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli due to abandoned/forgotten bank accounts, unpaid insurance claims, NYS court funds, and other unclaimed accounts from corporations and brokers/dealers. Interest is paid at current rate of 2% during the first five years on interest-bearing accounts such as savings and CD accounts. There is no fee to reclaim funds, but requirements vary to claim the money based on type of account. A signature, Social Security number, and proof of connection with both the account and address of record are generally required,” Addabbo said.

More than 25 million account records are still unclaimed; $653 million in cash was received by the Comptroller’s office between April 2009 and March 2010. During that same period, some $227 million was paid and more than 360,000 accounts were processed. Private companies are allowed to charge claimants up to a 15% finder’s fee. Companies making claims do not have faster access to funds than individuals who contact the Comptroller’s office directly. An average of 40% of claims are $50 or less, and an average of 60% are $100 or less.

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad — 311 Follow Up

May 6, 2011

In a previous post, we listed 3 different issues that were called in to 311 and said that we would follow up on them.  First, let’s look at the abandoned car that, at last glance had been sitting at the corner of 91st Street and 86th Avenue 3 weeks after being called in to 311.  In fact, the car had been there for over a year — but we were tracking it from the time we called it in.  If you recall, it had been collecting a lot of tickets as well as dust!

Good news!  On Wednesday, May 4th we noticed that the hood was up — and it was getting a boost!

A neighbor had told us that he was told (by the NYPD) that the car was likely a stolen car — and it was from a car rental agency.  Someone must have put 2 and 2 together and, ladies and gentlemen, here it is — something residents of this street were beginning to think they’d never see — this car in motion —

And the empty spot it left behind?  Someone parked there in about 2 minutes 🙂

Okay, so now we turn our attention to the fallen street light —

We called it in to 311 who transferred us to the Department of Transportation and they had it taken care of within 48 hours.  So, Kudos to the DOT for fast action — here it is:

BTW, you can report issues with street lights online:

DOT Repair Request Form

Okay, as for the tree on Jamaica Avenue — the dangerous condition above the train trestle near 98th Street — it’s still there.

So, here’s our updated chart:

We will make a follow-up 311 call and continue tracking the tree.  If you have items you’d like us to publicly track — potholes, dangerous conditions, etc. drop us a line at