Archive for August, 2011

How Dumb Is That?

August 30, 2011

One of our Block Captains reported something unbelievable.  In the wake of Hurricane Irene, residents of 92nd Street, just off 89th Avenue, notice one of the large trees was leaning a bit — and closer inspection revealed that it was coming out of the ground.  Fair enough, we’ve seen a lot of that the past few days.  311 was called and an arborist from the Parks Department arrived to inspect the tree.

After a few minutes inspection he asked the local residents who had done the sidewalk.  The answer was “the city” — this was one of the blocks that had construction done due to water mains — many sidewalks in Woodhaven had been torn up and replaced.  It turns out the guys doing the sidewalk had cut the roots of the tree.

How Dumb Is That?

On top of that, the arborist pointed out that electrical wires had been run through limbs of the tree — here’s one angle of the tree (taken from Google’s street view):

It’s kinda hard to see, but it does look like the wires go in between the limbs — which means when this tree comes down it’s a guarantee that the wires are gonna come down.  How Dumb Is That?

Here’s another angle — we’ll try and get some better pictures later this morning —

As there has been many sidewalks torn up and replaced by the city in Woodhaven — and there are a ton of giant, old trees — the WRBA calls on the city to have the Parks Department inspect every tree on each sidewalk that was replaced in Woodhaven — and they should also check the street wiring, as well.


Damage Report for Woodhaven – Hurricane Irene

August 29, 2011
Here is a final report for the weekend — a listing of the damage caused by Hurricane Irene.  This information was collected by our Block Captains.  If you have any damage on your block that you do not see on this list, it is because your block doesn’t have a Block Captain.
We have been in contact with our elected officials and they are working to resolve all the problems on this list.
Power Outages:
(1)  Luckily we only know of one power outage — live wires in the backyard of a house on Eldert Lane.  A number of houses are without power.
Downed Trees / Dangerous Conditions / Blocked Street – Unresolved as of 5:30 PM – Listed West to East
(2)  81st St between 91st Ave and Atlantic Ave. – A fallen tree is blocking the street.  Seems to have missed the parked cars.  Cordoned off by police tape.
(3)  84th St North of 91st Avenue – telephone pole ready to topple – Click Here For Picture – Street is blocked off and FDNY was on scene at 5:30 PM.
(4)  87th Street North of Atlantic – Downed tree blocking street – Click Here for Picture  – this was still blocking the street as of 5:30 PM
(5)  89th street between 88th and 89th Avenue – Downed Tree.  Click Here for Picture – this was still blocking the street as of 5:30 PM
(6)  92-06 Woodhaven Boulevard (near the bridge that crosses Atlantic) – Sidewalk blocked – dangerous condition as the branches force pedestians to walk out onto the Boulevard.  Click Here for Picture – this was still blocking the sidewalk as of 5:30 PM
(7)  87-20 94th Street – Large Tree leaning against house – dangerous condition.   Click Here for Picture – this was still blocking the sidewalk as of 5:30 PM
(8)  90th Street between 89th and 90th Avenue.  Downed Tree.  This was still blocking the street as of 5:30 PM
Downed Trees / Dangerous Conditions / Blocked Street – Seems OK for Now – Listed West to East
The following incidents of damage appear to be under control for now.  This does not mean they do not require further action.  It just means they do not require immediate action.
(9)  91-40 80th St between 91st Ave and Atlantic Ave – A large broken tree branch is hanging in the tree in front of 91-40.
(10)  88th Ave between 80th St and 85th St. – Click Here For Picture – it was small enough that residents were able to clear a path for vehicles.
(11)  86th st between 91st and Atlantic – A large tree fell and damaged 2 houses and looks like it took down some wires.  Sidewalk is cordoned off.
(12)  On Woodhaven Boulevard, a tree destroyed a garage and a vehicle.  The address of the house is actually 87-64 94th Street.  We saw emergency vehicles there and they secured the scene.
(13)  95th St between Jamaica Ave and 89th Avenue – Click Here For Picture – the residents cleared the street and chopped up the tree themselves.
(14)  83-25 98th Street – Downed tree blocking street, but there’s enough room for a car to get by.  311 Report Number –   # C1-1-678945715

Woodhaven Braces for Irene

August 26, 2011

As you’ve no doubt heard, Hurricane Irene is rapidly approaching our area — recent reports suggest that New York City will begin to experience tropical storm or hurricane conditions starting late Saturday Night and continuing all day Sunday, with a potential of 6 to 12 inches of rain and extremely high winds (estimated at 70+ mph).  Woodhaven is currently listed as a Zone C, which states that we are in danger of potential flooding from a Category 3-4  hurricane.  Under these conditions, we could also be at risk of losing electrical power.   Click here to view a map of Hurricane Zones as well as Evacuation Centers.

This is important because you will hear alerts that the Mayor has ordered a mandatory evacuation of all “Zone A” areas as well as the “Zone B” portion of the Rockaway Peninsula.   Woodhaven has NOT been ordered to evacuate.

Governor Cuomo has declared a state of emergency and NYC has already announced plans for shutting down the ENTIRE transit system effective Noon tomorrow.

We will be on the air LIVE TONIGHT AT 10 PM — click here at 10 PM to listen.  We will discuss the latest news about Irene and hurricane precautions.  During the show you can call in and share your opinions — 646-378-1612.

Be Prepared

Needless to say, this all sounds scary — but it’s best to prepare for the worst.  Attention to all our Block Captains, we will be reaching out to you for a report late Sunday, early Monday — you will be getting a follow-up e-mail before the storm hits.  Click here to see a map of all the blocks that have a captain — if your block does not have a Block Captain, please consider signing up.  It’s a way for us to be organized — to quickly gather information about conditions in our community in the event of an emergency (flooding, downed trees, power outages).  E-mail us at or call 718-296-3735 if interested in signing up, or if you have questions.


Here are a few sites you may finds useful:

The Latest Weather for Woodhaven – Click here to see the latest forecast, or click here for a Hurricane Irene tracker.

A Guide to Preparing for an Emergency in NYC – This useful guide provides you with some handy checklists of things to think about in advance.  Are you prepared?

NYC Severe Weather Updates – Click here for the latest updates on Irene from NYC.

Tips and Things to Think About

  • Follow all official instructions for Evacuation and Emergency warnings to stay off the road.  Get out today and get your supplies.  Do not take warnings of dangerous conditions lightly.
  • Gas up your vehicles ahead of time.  Gas stations may close early – head out today and fill up your tank.
  • Make sure any loose items on your porch or in your backyard are secured.  In a hurricane, these items can become lethal objects.
  • Have Cash on hand.  If there’s a power outage, credit cards will not be accepted in most locations.
  • Have batteries and flashlights on hand.  Make sure they work.  Try not to use candles.  The last thing you need is a fire!
  • Make sure you have all of your critical medication on hand, in the house, before Irene hits.
  • Have a 3-day non-perishable food supply on hand.  Have 1 gal water per person per day/plan for 3 day minimum.
  • Have personal documents on hand in dry bag or sealed plastic bag.
  • Have “old electronic” radio on hand (battery or crank).
  • If you have elderly neighbors, please check in on them today and make sure they are okay and that they have your number (or the number of someone they can call for help).
  • Prepare for a few days indoors.  Do not head outdoors during the storm.

Con Edison’s Safety Advice

ConEdison will be on high-alert throughout the storm. Customers can report power interruptions or service problems at or at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).  As a reminder:

  • If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Treat all downed wires as if they are live. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by tree limbs, leaves or water.
  • Report all downed wires to Con Edison and your local police department immediately. If a power line falls on your car while you’re in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.
  • If your power goes out, turn off all lights and appliances to prevent overloaded circuits when power is restored.
  • Check to make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios are in working order.  Also, make sure you have a supply of extra batteries. Weather updates and news on power outages can be heard on most local radio and television stations.
  • In the event that you lose electricity, limit how much you open your freezer or refrigerator.  Most fully loaded freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 36 to 48 hours; half-full freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 24 hours.

Messages From Our Elected Officials To Woodhaven Residents

Sen. Joe Addabbo:  If you have any emergencies over the weekend please call my 24 hour hotline at 718-738-1111 so we can start working on your issues immediately.

Assemblyman Mike Miller:   If our office can be of any assistance to you before, during, or after the storm, please feel free to contact us 24/7 at 718-805-0950.  As always we will have someone answering the phone during all hours of the day and night.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley:  If you have any questions or need assistance please do not hesitate to call my office at 718-366-3900. Our office will be open from 9-3 on Saturday and when appropriate on Sunday, so feel free to visit us at 64-77 Dry Harbor Rd. Middle Village.

Councilman Eric Ulrich:  My Ozone Park district office will be OPEN all weekend to assist people who need help. (718) 738-1083

You can also call the WRBA at 718-296-3735 — but you will need to leave a message.  Once again, consider becoming a Block Captain — you’ll be more “plugged in” during an emergency.

Raising Funds to Fight For Woodhaven

August 26, 2011

The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association is holding a fundraiser on Friday, September 23rd at Joe Abbraciamento on Woodhaven Boulevard.  Doors open at 7:00 and festivities begin at 7:30.  Tickets are $65 and if you want to attend, call 718-296-3735 (leave a message), send an email to, or you can purchase them online (click here).

A little background if you’re new to the WRBA — we are a group of Woodhaven residents, all volunteers, we do not get paid a penny.  The organization survives largely on donations and small membership dues.

What is it that we do?  When it looked like the city was going to close our Firehouse, we worked with our elected officials and other organizations and we hit the streets and mobilized people — the result was a strong rally —

This is really nothing new for the WRBA. When they’ve come for our firehouse in the past, the WRBA was there. When they came for our library, the WRBA was there. When they threatened our senior center, we were there. We’ve attended rallies and written letters in support of our local teachers, brought attention to the need to reduce residential noise, fought against illegal conversions, out of state parking. We’ve walked the streets of Woodhaven with paint cans in our hand, covering up graffiti vandalism.

When faced with an abandoned house being used as a drug den, we were told it would take 18 months to get it sealed. The WRBA got it sealed in 18 days!  These accomplishments have been done the old-fashioned way – by rolling up our sleeves and working hard. It is no secret that for the past few years, the WRBA has been neglected financially – we have received very little in the way of funding and have barely scraped by. And that is why we’re reaching out to the residents for help.

Every single dollar raised at this fundraiser goes to the Woodhaven Community.  We run a tight ship and we do not waste a single dollar —

And besides helping your community — you’ll have one heck of a time!  Have you ever eaten at Joe Abbraciamentos?  The food is fantastic — and for your money you get a delicious 4-course meal, you get dessert — beer and wine is included — we’ve got a great DJ, there’s dancing, raffles, prizes —

And, most importantly, come out to celebrate Woodhaven with your friends and neighbors.  And if you don’t know anyone?  Let us know and we’ll take you around and introduce you — and at the end of the night you’ll find that your Community just got a little smaller, and a lot friendlier.

Hope to see you on the 23rd —

Fight For Woodhaven – Town Hall Meeting August 20th 2011

August 11, 2011

The residents of Woodhaven will gather for their monthly Town Hall meeting on Saturday, August 20th at 1 PM.  The meeting will be held at 78-15 Jamaica Avenue (the Volunteer Ambulance Corps).  Here’s a sample of what you can expect at this meeting:

  • Meet our new Community Affairs Officer from the 102 Precinct.
  • A short presentation about how Community Boards serve us by District manager Mary Ann Carey.
  • A report on the recent sexual assault (and arrest) in Woodhaven.  We’ll also solicit ideas regarding cameras, security patrols, etc.
  • A report on the wave of car break-ins near the Forest Park Co-Ops.
  • Planning for our next Graffiti Clean Up.  Interested?  We need volunteers!
  • We’ll also have reports from our elected officials.
  • Hear more about our upcoming fundraiser.

Along the way, we’re sure other topics will be addressed.  Got an issue you want to see addressed?  It won’t get addressed if all you do is sit home and complain about it.  Come down and get involved.  Fight for your investment.  Fight for a better community.