Archive for July, 2011

The Great NYC Ticket Scam Targets Woodhaven

July 31, 2011

Over the past few weeks and months, the residents and merchants of Woodhaven have been reaching out to the Woodhaven Residents Block Association — complaining that the DOT has been taking advantage of local construction to write tickets.  What we have seen has been very discouraging.

The MTA has been working on the El Train along Jamaica Avenue for months.  It has been disruptive to residents and businesses alike — and it has gradually been falling further and further behind schedule.  But the local residents have understood the difficulties, and tried their best to accommodate the work.

In return, they’ve gotten traffic agents taking advantage of the situation, writing as many tickets as they can.  Over the recent heatwave, all of the parking meters had a piece of paper taped on them listing dates that people could not park there.  When work fell behind schedule, a second piece of paper was taped to the meters, extending the regulations.

Some days — there wasn’t a single worker in sight.  It was too hot too work.  Except for the meter maids — they were laying in wait, ready to write tickets.  Jamaica Avenue was laying wide open — there was no one working — and when cars parked at the curb, they were ticketed.


Now, because the heat related downtime is delaying the project even further, the DOT has put up the following signs along Jamaica Avenue:

Okay — so now you know.  NO STANDING ANYTIME.  On Jamaica Avenue.

Now, we’ve heard about a few business owners and, worse, a bunch of customers getting tickets — we’ve heard about tickets up to $120 Dollars.  ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS.

Excuse our French, but it sucks that NYC is trying to make money, ticketing our business owners and residents — the very people who are being inconvenienced and trying to cooperate with the city.

Get this:

We can’t get people ticketed for illegal conversions.  For illegal dumping.  For tearing up their lawns and pouring cement so they can park their cars.  We can’t get people ticketed for parking cars on the street with out of state license plates.  We can’t get people ticketed for blasting noise in their backyards at 4 in the morning.  People can abandon houses and abandon cars and leave them to drug addicts and vagrants without penalty.

But if you pull up and run into Scaturro’s — when NO ONE is working on Jamaica Avenue — you can get ticketed for $120 Dollars.

This comes on top of the ticket fiasco on 88th Street — here is one residents’ description:

Recently, we were advised not to park on our block beginning on May 31st 2011 as per the posters that the NYC Dept of Design and Construction put up on May 20th. However, on the morning of May 25th, these posters were taken down at 7:30AM and replaced with do-not-park posters that specified no parking beginning on May 25th. Police started issuing parking tickets immediately.  Needless to say, the entire block received $60 tickets, because we were not given proper 24 hour notice to move our cars. 

Did you get that?  The laws changed at 7:30 AM — and tickets were being written immediately.   So what happened?

We contested this outrage, and the NYC Dept of Design and Construction graciously admitted they were wrong and contested the fines. The NYC government, however, did not agree, and we are still being asked to pay $40.  Add up all the $40 tickets, and the City makes a nice bundle on law-abiding citizens.

The WRBA is still fighting this outrage — and now we have another one on our hands.  Be very careful parking on Jamaica Avenue — watch out for no parking signs — and let us know if you get any crappy tickets —

Tower Heist Trailer Released

July 29, 2011

Last February, the cast and crew of Tower Heist came to Woodhaven to film scenes at Neir’s Tavern.  They were here in the midst of a gigantic blizzard.  Click here for coverage of their stay here in Woodhaven.  Now, the trailer for the film has been released.  There is a quick glimpse of the scene filmed at Neir’s (at about 0:52 of the trailer).  Here is a still:

Here is a shot of Ben Stiller and Tea Leone getting instructions from Director Brett Ratner for this particular scene:

Here is the trailer for Tower Heist, opening November 4th —

Well, let’s hope for a nice long scene at Neir’s 🙂

Woodhaven Fights Noise Online

July 24, 2011


You’re getting ready for bed, but you know you won’t be getting any sleep because — once again — there’s a huge party on your block. It’s after midnight, they’ve got 3 dozen people in their backyard, they’ve got 6-foot tall speakers, and the music is rattling your window.

You think about calling 311 but you remember what happened the last time you called — you were on hold for 35 minutes before you gave up. And even if you got through, the police aren’t going to respond that evening. But it is very important that you, and your neighbors, make it known who is making life miserable in Woodhaven.

So, here’s some instructions on how you can quickly and easily file the noise complaint online.

Note: This is not going to solve the noise problem in Woodhaven. It will take a number of different approaches. But all roads lead back to having a solid database of chronic noise offenders. If we don’t file noise complaints — and keep track of them — they will never get resolved.

Entering a Noise Complaint Online

1) Click here to access 311’s Night Noise Survey.

2) Enter a description of the noise — and enter the date and time. Then click the arrow to move to the next screen.

3) At the next screen identify the type of location, the borough, the street address and any other pertinent information about the location.  (Note: We have blurred out the address in the image below). It is extremely important that you enter the exact address. Once you are done with this screen, click the arrow.

Once you click the arrow, 311 will verify the street address you entered. This may take a moment or two — be patient.

4) Next, review all of the information that you’ve entered. If you spot a mistake, you can click edit to go back and change it. When finished, you need to look at the letters in the graphic, enter it into the box, and click Submit Form.

The 311 system will display the following while your complaint is being submitted. Please be patient, it will take a moment or two.

5) Last step, the 311 system will display a message that your complaint has been successfully submitted. It will give you a Service Request Number. You Need To Keep This Number and Report It To The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association.

You can e-mail it to the WRBA at Or, you can call the WRBA at 718-296-3735 (if no one answers, leave a message).

Please pass along (1) the street address as well as (2) the Service Request Number.

The WRBA will build a database of chronic noise locations and advocate on your behalf that action be taken. And once increased fines are in place, thanks to Councilman Eric Ulrich’s pending change to the Noise Bill, these locations will be visited.

Here is a brief video showing you how easy it is to enter a noise complaint online:

Pass this link along to your friends and (especially) your neighbors. Let’s start building that database.

Click here for a printable version of these instructions.


If you have any comments, or would like to suggest other projects, drop us a line at or





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Photos by Joey Wendell