Archive for January, 2013

Protect Yourself Against Huge Water or Sewer Service Line Repair Bills

January 24, 2013

attention

There is a new city program introduced by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that could save you thousands of dollars.

Did You Know?  With all of the street work that is going on in and around Woodhaven — did you know that you — the homeowner — are responsible for repairing damaged water or sewer service lines that run from your home to the service lines in the street. That means if the city comes down your street, replacing water or sewer lines — and if your lines get damaged in the process — you are on the hook for the costs of repair.

One homeowner at our last meeting told us that the costs for her repairs topped $9000!

Most home insurance policies do not cover these repairs — and if you try to get your insurance company to cover those damages, the premiums can be extremely high.

However, from now until June 30th you can sign up for a special protection program — $3.99 per month for water line protection and $7.99 per month for sewer line protection.  So, for about 12 bucks per month you can protect yourself against these high repair costs.  If you sign up for this, the costs are included in your regular DEP bills.

Sounds to us like a good deal.   Most of us would have trouble affording 9K for repairs — but we can swing 12 bucks per month.  Here is Eric Ulrich speaking about the program at our January Town Hall meeting:

Eric Ulrich Tells WRBA About Protection Plan

Click here for more information.

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Woodhaven’s Grapevine – Volume # 71

January 23, 2013

Note:  If you’d like to get this and other important Woodhaven notices delivered directly to your mailbox, please email us as info@woodhaven-nyc.org and use the Subject “Grapevine.”

In this issue of The Grapevine:

  • Date of our next Town Hall
  • Keeping Woodhaven Whole
  • Our January Town Hall
  • Wanted — help us catch a thief
  • Water and Sewer Service Line Protection Program
  • School Sisters of Notre Dame Mardi Gras celebration
  • St. Luke’s Open House
  • WORKS Little League Registration
  • 102nd Precinct Community Council Meeting
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Community Calendar
**  For our February Town Hall, we will be mixing it up a bit by holding it on a weeknight.  It will occur on Wednesday, February 20, at 8 p.m.  The location will be the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, 78-15 Jamaica Ave.  This Town Hall will focus on the NYPD and the Block Watchers program we’re launching in our neighborhood.  Here is more information about the Block Watchers program.  It’s not too late to become a Block Watcher; here is the application, which you can complete and bring to the next Town Hall.
**  Keeping Woodhaven Whole.  In our last Grapevine, we acknowledged the many Woodhaven residents who came to the hearing on City Council redistricting last week to make clear that our neighborhood’s representation should be united.  The WRBA’s strong showing was apparent to all in attendance.  “Residents of Woodhaven came out in full force,” The Forum reported.  “Residents fight against redistricting division,” the Queens Courier stated.  You can also read more coverage in the Leader-Observer, the Queens Tribune, and the Queens Chronicle.  Thanks again to all who have joined our fight to unite Woodhaven.
**  At our Town Hall this past Saturday, we had excellent turnout and a lot of energy — a great way to kick off 2013.
straw-04
Council Member Eric Ulrich lauded our efforts on redistricting, saying that the WRBA “is the voice of Woodhaven, and when the voice speaks, we listen.”  The Block Association also heard from resident Neil Giannelli, who has started up a group called “No Way QueensWay” to protest the effort — led by those outside Woodhaven — to convert the abandoned railway tracks that run along 98th Street into a much-publicized park.  The Town Hall concluded with a “straw poll” to determine which issues need the most attention.  Here are our results, plus photos and video of the voting.  If you didn’t attend, you missed your chance to vote — but you should still let us know if there’s a problem in your part of the neighborhood that needs attention.  Our contact information is at the bottom of this e-mail.
**  WANTED — The 102nd Precinct is asking for our help and warning us to be careful.  Click here to see a wanted flyer for a young man who has been victimizing women, stealing their pocketbooks and cell phones from the back of his bicycle.  Suspect is described as a male black or possible male black Hispanic.  Possible reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.  Contact NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS or text your tip to TIP577 plus your message to CRIMES (274637).  You can also submit an internet tip by visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.  All information will be kept confidential.  Anyone with information regarding the above subject please notify Det. Ronald Buell at 718-520-9200 or Detective Borough Queens North at 718-520-9200.
**  At Saturday’s Town Hall, Council Member Ulrich described the Water and Sewer Service Line Protection Program, a voluntary program designed to protect New York City homeowners from the unexpected costs of service line repairs.  Here is the video of Ulrich discussing the program at the meeting, and here is more information about the program.
**  The School Sisters of Notre Dame do such good, valuable work.  They are hosting a Mardi Gras Party at Roma View on Crossbay Boulevard on February 6th.  Planning an evening out with some friends?  Why not make it this night?  Have a great time and support a very worthy cause!  Click here for more information and for a link to purchase tickets.
**  St. Luke’s Nursery School and pre-K program will host an open house the week of January 28th through February 1st, 2013, between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.  St. Luke’s is located at 87-34 85th Street.  Visit the school to pre-register for September 2013 classes.  They offer nursery school classes (for children born in 2010); free pre-K classes (for children born in 2009); and Parents and Tots program (for ages 28 months to 3 years old).  Space is limited, so check it out soon!
**  WORKS Little League registration:  Do you have any children in your family who would like to play ball, learn sportsmanship, and make friends?  Registration will be open on Friday nights through February; click here for the flyer.
**  102nd Precinct Community Council Meeting:  The council met a week ago and discussed some issues that matter to Woodhaven.  Click here for a thorough recap of the meeting, courtesy of our president, Ed Wendell.
**  Interested in finding out more about the Boy Scouts of America or how your son can become a scout?  If so, check out beascout.org, the place where parents can find Boy Scouts of America units in their neighborhoods.

**  Community Calendar:  Remember that we are maintaining a calendar of events happening in our community.  Please e-mail us if you’d like relevant events to be added to it.  The calendar is embedded in the homepage of our website and it is also available here.  And here’s a short, easy-to-remember link to the calendar: bit.ly/WoodhavenCalendar.

Until next time,
Your friends and neighbors at the
Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association
info@woodhaven-nyc.org
718-296-3735

Is This The Same Guy?

January 17, 2013

Update:  On April 1st, a woman in Elmhurst was attacked and raped (click here, scroll down).  The sketch of him is very similar to the Richmond Hill rapist from 2012 — see for yourself and compare:

sameThe 2012 Richmond Hill rapist was described as: “25 to 35 years old, between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-7 and approximately 200 pounds with spiked hair.”

The 2013 Elmhurst rapist was described as: “25 to 30 years old, 150 to175 pounds with black spiked hair.”

****************************************************

On Sunday, 5/27/2012 a man raped a woman on 89th Avenue between 102nd and 104th streets.  Although the story says the rape happened in Woodhaven, it was actually in Richmond Hill.  Click here for story.

On Sunday, 1/13/2013 a man attacked a woman in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Click here for that story.

Last night, on Twitter, someone made a remark about the resemblance between the sketch of the Richmond Hill suspect and surveillance video of the Williamsburg suspect.  Here they are, so you can compare — similar jowls, or jawline.  Big ears.  Spiky hair.  Eyes look similar.  We have passed along the information to the NYPD to see what they think.  But we’d like to hear your opinion — make sure you vote in our poll below.

rapist

102 Precinct Community Council – January 2013

January 16, 2013

The following are some comments from the 102 Precinct Community Council meeting which was held on January 15, 2013 in the basement of the Richmond Hill Library.

Captain Henry “Hank” Sautner states that they suffered a” little bit of a rough end to the year.”  The 102 finished about 4.5 percent up in crime overall, the increase primarily driven by robberies.  He’s worked with his staff and tried a new approach particularly on the “western end” of the community.  Though its way too early to get excited, they are seeing dividends.  Robberies have been down 4 percent since they began the new approach.  Crime down 25% to start the year (compared to prior 4-week averages).

Captain Sautner reiterates that “we do have a robbery issue.”  In particular, a “Pattern 159” which he describes as “Disturbing.”  It’s a late teen to early 20s, male Black or Hispanic riding his bicycle preying upon middle aged to older women, riding up behind them and forcibly removing their purses and cell phones.

coward
The 102 is expending much energy on this and the investigation is moving forward.  “The fact is that we’re going to need help from the community to catch this guy,” Captain Sautner says.  Click here to see the wanted flyer.

Next up, the School Bus Strike.  Scheduled for Wednesday.  The city is making contingency plans to make sure our kids get back and forth to school.  There is a big bus depot (Logan) on Atlantic and 97th.  People have the right to assemble there and strike, so the NYPD is already on the scene to make sure it is done safely, with no vandalism, and no one getting hurt.  “The only people that really get hurt here are the children,” the captain said.  Update:  The strike began early Wednesday and the 102 was on the scene:

logan
Captain Sautner goes on today that he’s a big believer in the broken windows theory.  “The idea is to get a handle on the small things, the quality of life things.  If you can keep those in check it keeps the bigger things from spreading.  People may see drinking on the corner or smoking weed as harmless – no, it gives the appearance of disorder and it can lead to bigger things.”

The Captain took time to honor two officers as January’s Cop of the Month for stopping some individuals in the midst of an altercation at 85th Street and 88th Avenue and, in the process, finding a large stash of drugs.  Here is Captain Sautner with the details:

We raised the issue of prostitution that was discussed in this week’s South Forum and we shared a story from a resident — a teacher in a local school who lives nearby and sees them frequently says that some of the girls were as young as 16.  The Captain notes that he has dealt with prostitution throughout his career at various commands – states that it is a crime that preys upon the vulnerable.  However, he hasn’t heard that the women were that young.  He says that he will reach out to his counterparts in Queens Vice and see what they can do.  As far as the location goes, the 102 has made at least 6 arrests at that corner in his brief tenure (12 weeks).  He says that the fact that they keep coming back is unsatisfactory and the 102 will have to up the ante.  Reports that they are young warrants a more detailed look and he would not be opposed to any agency coming in to try and talk to the girls.

A real estate agent on Jamaica Avenue spoke out, reporting a lot of discarded weed bags, loitering on the streets by teens hanging out in storefronts.  He thanks Maria and the BID for her efforts but says its getting out of control.  Captain Sautner noted that he had the holiday post (extra cops), which is now over.  He will try to use the business conditions unit as much as possible with a big focus on west end of Jamaica Avenue.  As for the kids just hanging, he feels that PAL might be able to help.

Captain Sautner goes on to say that some kids are just hanging, getting PAL involved.  Unfair to lump them all into a group; bad teenagers wreaking havoc.  Businesses know that young adults are going to be around and as long as they are around they need to behave like responsible adults.

Meeting ended around 8:30.  Next meeting of the 102 Precinct Community Council is on Tuesday, February 19th at 7 PM in the basement of the Richmond Hill Library.

Woodhaven’s Grapevine – Volume # 70

January 16, 2013

In this issue of the Grapevine:

•    Keeping Woodhaven Whole

•    First Town Hall of 2013
•    WANTED – Help Us Catch This Coward Who Is Stealing From Women
•    School Bus Strike – Latest Information
•    WORKS Little League Registration
•    Quiet Please!
•    Woodhaven Block Watchers
•    Taxi Lost & Found
•    Woodhaven Block Watchers
•    Woodhaven Online
•    Community Calendar

** Keeping Woodhaven Whole.  Many thanks to everyone who came to LaGuardia Community College last night — either to speak out on behalf of Woodhaven, or to show their support.  It can be intimidating, speaking in front of a panel of commissioners and a room packed with people.  But it’s a lot different when your friends and neighbors have your back!  Click here for some pictures and some video of Woodhaven’s testimony.  We hope that we made an impact!

** Our first Town Hall of 2013 is this Saturday, January 19, at 1 p.m., at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps (78-15 Jamaica Avenue).  We will be discussing, then voting upon, the TOP TEN issues we feel that need to be addressed in Woodhaven. These results will be passed along to our Community Board, our elected officials, the NYPD, etc.  If you have an issue that you feel needs more attention you need to show up at this public meeting — make your voice heard — and vote!  (Sorry, no absentee ballots will be accepted).  Click here for more information on how the voting will work.

** WANTED — The 102 Precinct is asking for our help and warning us to be careful.  Click here to see a wanted flyer for a young man who had been victimizing women, stealing their pocketbooks and cell phones from the back of his bicycle.  Suspect is described as a male black or possible male black Hispanic. POSSIBLE REWARD OF UP TO $2,000 FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE ARREST AND CONVICTION OF THE SUSPECT. Contact NYPD Crime
Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS or TEXT your tip to TIP577 plus your message to CRIMES (274637). You can also submit an Internet tip by visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.  All information will be kept confidential.  Anyone with information regarding the above subject please notify Det. Ronald Buell at 718-520-9200 OR Detective Borough Queens North at 718-520-9200.

** Bus Strike!  Unless there’s a last minute deal, there will be a school bus strike starting tomorrow.  To find out how this will impact your child, visit this page set up by the Department of Education.  Information is refreshed daily beginning at 7:00 AM and throughout the day as necessary.

** WORKS Little League Registration.  Do you have any children in your family that would like to play ball, learn sportsmanship, make friends?  Registration will be open on Friday nights through February (click here for flyer).

** When the New York Post wanted to hear about residential noise and how to fight it, they came to Woodhaven.  Click here for the whole story.

** Block Watchers:  We are happy to announce that we have signed up 45 Block Watchers — our thanks to all of them for signing up to help protect out neighborhood.  There’s still time to sign up, if interested (click here for the form). We will be accepting applications on Saturday at our Town Hall meeting.  Note:  By now, most of you have seen the article about prostitution on Rockaway & Atlantic (click here if you haven’t).  It’s scary when you hear about things like this — it devalues our community.  We need residents who see something like this to report it to the NYPD and the WRBA.  Joining the Block Watchers will make a difference — we believe this will be an effective program and will be a positive impact in our community.

** Ever lose something in a Yellow Taxi?  Here’s a great online tool to help you recover items lost in one of our city’s taxis.

** Woodhaven Online:  There are some great resources to find out what’s going on in Woodhaven:

le League

** Community Calendar – Remember that we are maintaining a calendar of events happening in our community.  Please e-mail us if you’d like relevant events to be added to it.  The calendar is embedded in the homepage of our website and it is also available here.  And here’s a short, easy-to-remember link to the calendar: bit.ly/WoodhavenCalendar.

Until next time,
Your friends and neighbors at the

Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association
woodhaven-nyc.org
718-296-3735

Woodhaven’s Grapevine – Volume # 69

January 9, 2013

In this issue of the Grapevine:

•    WRBA E-Mail Issues
•    Keeping Woodhaven Whole
•    2012 in Review
•    Possible School Bus Strike

•    First Town Hall of 2013
•    CPR Class at the Ambulance Corps
•    Woodhaven Block Watchers
•    Community Calendar

** WRBA Email Issues.  We experienced some difficulty with our email system over the past few days but we are happy to report that the problem has been resolved.  If you sent an email and it was rejected — or we did not reply — would you kindly re-send it to us?  Our apologies for any inconvenience.

** Keeping Woodhaven Whole.  Click here to find out why redistricting is important to Woodhaven.  At our last meeting, when we asked how many people would be interested in attending the hearing (at 6 p.m. on Monday, January 14th at LaGuardia Community College) and many hands went up.  However, we have had very few people committing to attending.  Please let us know if you will be attending and either (a) can drive and take a passenger or two, or (b) want to go but need a ride.  Just because you attend does not mean you have to speak.  If you do plan to speak, you must pre-register (click here, and list the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association as the organization you represent).

** 2012 was a highly productive year for the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association.  Our Communications Director, Alexander Blenkinsopp, sent out a press release this morning detailing our accomplishments.  Here’s the interesting thing about this press release — Alex released it from China where he is in the midst of a visit!

** Here is a message from School’s Chancellor Dennis Wallcott about the possible school bus strikeClick here for info.

** Our first Town Hall of 2013 will be on Saturday, January 19, 1 p.m., at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps (78-15 Jamaica Avenue).  Come and join us!  Our town halls are a great way to learn what’s going on in your community, meet your neighbors and representatives, and solve problems.  If you don’t regularly attend the WRBA’s town halls, make it your new year’s resolution to do so in 2013.  You won’t regret it!

** Would you like to learn how to perform CPR?  There will be a CPR Class given at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps on Sunday, January 13th from 2 to 5 PM.    The cost is $40 (cash, no checks).  If interested or have any questions, call John Bennett at 516-643-6746, or email at bennettcpr@aol.com.  What you learn at this class could save someone’s life.

** Block Watchers:  We are happy to announce that we have signed up 45 Block Watchers — our thanks to all of them for signing up to help protect out neighborhood.  There’s still time to sign up, if interested (click here for the form). We believe this will be an effective program and will be a positive impact in our community.

** Community Calendar – Remember that we are maintaining a calendar of events happening in our community.  Please e-mail us if you’d like relevant events to be added to it.  The calendar is embedded in the homepage of our website and it is also available here.  And here’s a short, easy-to-remember link to the calendar: bit.ly/WoodhavenCalendar.

Until next time,
Your friends and neighbors at the


Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association

Woodhaven’s Grapevine – Volume # 68

January 1, 2013

In this issue of the Grapevine:

•    Happy New Year from the WRBA!
•   First Town Hall of 2013
•    Christmas Tree Curbside Collection
•    CPR Class at the Ambulance Corps
•    Woodhaven Block Watchers
•    Keeping Woodhaven Whole
•    The Latest on the Abandoned Tracks Along 98th Street
•    Woodhaven Under Moonlight
•    Woodhaven Gets Dusted!
•    Community Calendar
•    Grapevine Schedule
** Happy New Year from the WRBA!  We wish you much health and happiness in 2013!  Click here for a look back at an action-packed 2012 for the WRBA.
** Our first Town Hall of 2013 will be on Saturday, January19, 1 p.m., at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps (78-15 Jamaica Avenue).  Come and join us!  Our town halls are a great way to learn what’s going on in your community, meet your neighbors and representatives, and solve problems.  If you don’t regularly attend the WRBA’s town halls, make it your new year’s resolution to do so in 2013.  You won’t regret it!** The Department of Sanitation will begin its annual Christmas tree curbside collection and recycling program on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013.  The program will run through Saturday, January 12th.  Residents should remove all tree stands, tinsel, lights, and ornaments from trees before they are put out at curbside for removal.  Trees must not be placed into plastic bags.  Clean, non-bagged Christmas trees that are left on the curb between Wednesday, January 2nd and Saturday, January 12th will be collected, chipped, and made into compost.  The compost will be processed and subsequently spread upon parks, ball fields, and community gardens throughout the city.
cpr
** Would you like to learn how to perform CPR?  There will be a CPR Class given at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps on Sunday, January 13th from 2 to 5 PM.    The cost is $40 (cash, no checks).  If interested or have any questions, call John Bennett at 516-643-6746, or email at bennettcpr@aol.com.  What you learn at this class could save someone’s life.** Reminder:  The NYPD is rolling out a Block Watcher program that the residents of Woodhaven would benefit greatly from — read about it here.  We’ve signed up 40 Block Watchers so far — we need more!  If you have not filled out a form yet, you must do so ASAP (click here for the form).  Even if you are already a Block Captain, we need you to fill out this application. We believe this will be an effective program and will be a positive impact in our community.  We are extending the registration period — please do not hestitate if you have not signed up already.  Fun Fact About Block Watching — You are not limited to reporting situations on your block — you can report anything you see in your travels throughout the entire precinct. 

** Keeping Woodhaven Whole.  Here is a nice recap of our last meeting at which the residents made it clear that we do not favor any redistricting plan that leaves Woodhaven divided.  Click here to find out why redistricting is important and what we’ve been doing about it.  There will be a hearing in Queens about redistrictingat 6 p.m. on Monday, January 14th at LaGuardia Community College.  Click here for meeting infoWe would like to get a decent-sized group to go to the hearing; just because you attend does not mean you have to speak.  If you do plan to speak, you must pre-register (click here, and list the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association as the organization you represent).  Please let us know if you will be attending and either (a) can drive and take a passenger or two, or (b) want to go but need a ride.  We will try to accommodate as many people as we can.

** The abandoned railroad tracks along 98th Street are still making news.  In 2012, we held a forum for residents to discuss the fate of the tracks, and then we took a position that reflected our neighbors’ opinions.  Click here to see our work on this issue.  Some who don’t care about Woodhaven residents’ views are trying to push ahead with their own plans for the tracks, but we’re working hard to ensure that our community isn’t shoved to the side.  Click here and here to read the latest.** As 2012 drew to a close, we were treated to the 13th Full Moon of the year, and it was a beauty.  Click here to see some images of the moon from various vantage points around Woodhaven.** As the year ended we received a nice dusting of snow.  Nothing disruptive, nothing that needed shoveling — just enough to make for some real pretty scenes around town.  Click here for some of our favorite Woodhaven views

** Community Calendar – Remember that we are maintaining a calendar of events happening in our community.  Please e-mail us if you’d like relevant events to be added to it.  The calendar is embedded in the homepage of our website and it is also available here.  And here’s a short, easy-to-remember link to the calendar: bit.ly/WoodhavenCalendar.

 

** Grapevine Schedule.  We are striving to make the Grapevine a weekly missive, getting launched once a week, on Tuesday afternoon.  We’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of you health and happiness during this Holiday Season

Until next time,
Your friends and neighbors at the


Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association