Archive for March, 2013

Woodhaven’s Grapevine – Volume # 79

March 28, 2013

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In this issue of The Grapevine:

  • Next Town Hall Meeting is Saturday, April 20th
  • The Forest Park Carousel has Reopened
  • New Committees and Clubs
  • Radio Free Woodhaven
  • Scenes of a Woodhaven Fire
  • Railroaded!
  • J Service Interruptions
  • Graffiti Cleanup
  • Small Business Workshop
  • NYPD Tip of the Week
  • Emanuel Spring Flea Market April 13th
  • Queens on Jeopardy
  • Forest Park Schedule of Events
  • Free Karate Classes for Kids
  • WORKS Little League Parade
  • Free Recycling Event April 28
  • SAFE Disposal Events
  • CPR/AED Training

Holy Week Events

  • Passion Play of Christ En Espanol
  • Holy Week Services at St. Luke’s
  • Christ Tabernacle Easter Egg Events
  • St. Thomas Students – Stations of the Cross
  • Queens Tabernacle Easter Egg Hunt

** Our next Town Hall meeting is scheduled for 1 PM on Saturday, April 20th at the Woodhaven Volunteer Ambulance Corps.  Candidate for Queens Borough President Peter Vallone will be joining us.

** The Forest Park Carousel has reopened for the 2013 Season — we paid them a visit on opening day — click here for a host of closeups and a nice video.  It will be open each day through Sunday — then each weekend until Memorial Day –then it’ll be open every day.  Click here for the Carousel’s schedule and more information.  (NY1 visited the Carousel – click here for their report — available to TWC Customers only).

** New Committees and Clubs.  At the March Town Hall meeting of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, the formation of a few new committees and clubs were announced.  We are looking for members to fill out the rosters of these groups –  email us at info@woodhaven-nyc.org or call 718-296-3735 and leave a message.  These groups and clubs will meet separately from the WRBA, but will be affiliated with the organization and will report back to the Board of Directors.  Click here for more information.

** Radio Free Woodhaven is back on the air Friday after a 1-week hiatus.  Click here to listen – we’ll be talking about a host of issues including unfair tickets from Sanitation.  Have your own Sanitation nightmare story to share?  Call us Friday Night at (646) 378-1612 to speak your mind.  Note:  Starting April 5th and for the next few consecutive Fridays, we will be joined by candidates for Queens Borough President — Tony Avella will be our guest on April 5th.  Peter Vallone will be calling in on April 12th.  Jose Peralta will be on the line with us on April 19th.  And Melinda Katz has confirmed an appearance (date to be announced).  We hope to have all the candidates on board soon.

** Scenes of a Woodhaven Fire – March 23rd – 78th Street and 90th Avenue.  Click here.

** Proponents of LIRR branch reactivation are trying to railroad us, rather than addressing our concerns.  Click here for more info.

** Here is a press release about some upcoming suspension of service (overnights) on the J Train – if you ride the J late at night in Manhattan you may be impacted.  Click here.

** After cleaning up the graffiti last summer, more than half the mailboxes in Woodhaven are tagged again.  Click here for more info.  Graffiti clean up schedules will be announced very soon.

** Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez will be holding a workshop on small business and immigration reform where you can learn about valuable resources to help your business and how immigration reform impacts small businesses.  Wednesday, April 3, 2013 from 9 to 11:30 AM at Tropical Restaurant 88-19 Jamaica Avenue.  Click here for more info.

** NYPD Tip of the Week.  Over 3.2 million students are the victim of bullying each year, and teens in grades 6-10 are the most likely to be involved in activities related to bullying.  Bullying victims are between 2 and 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-bullying victims.  Click here for more info.

** Emanuel United Church of Christ will be holding its annual Spring Flea Market on Saturday, April 13th from 10AM to 3 PM.  Click here for more info and a beautiful picture of Emanuel.

** Jeopardy recently devoted an entire category to Queens — unfortunately they didn’t mention Woodhaven (what were they thinking?)  If you’re interested, click here and see how well you would have done.

** Forest Park Schedule of Events.  Each year we are fortunate to have so many great free events in Forest Park and 2013 is no exception.  Click here for a listing of the FREE Events at Forest Park in 2013.

** Free Karate Classes for Kids.  Speaking of free, the Forest & Highland Park Administration is offering free kids Karate Clinics at Oak Ridge.  The FREE Karate classes will be taught by Shorinjiryu Kenryukan Karate School and will teach form, technique, respect, discipline and confidence.  Participants must be at least 7 years old.  Classes will be held April 2nd through May 9th, every Tuesday & Thursday from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM.  REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. SPACE IS LIMITED.  For more information please call 718-235-4100 or email margaret.carrillo-rosas@parks.nyc.gov.  Make sure you tell them that the WRBA sent you!

** WORKS Little League will be holding their Annual Parade on Saturday, April 13th — we will, once again, hold our parade watching party.  Last year, due to the painting of the El, they took a last second detour and we were standing in the street cheering on the normal traffic.  This year, we promise you a parade to cheer for!  There will be bagels and treats — more information to come soon.  Also, we raised $173 at our last meeting to sponsor a team — we are nearly halfway to our goal of $400 to sponsor one team.  Please consider making a small donation at our next meeting (or drop your donation through our mail slot).

** There will be a Free Recycling Event on Sunday, April 28, 2013 from 10 AM – 3 PM sponsored by Senator Joe Addabbo & Assemblyman Mike Miller at the Forest Park Bandshell parking lot.  Clothing & Textiles including clothing, coats, bedding, linens, paired shoes, scarves, belts, hats and handbags; Electronics including computers, monitors, cell phones, servers, fax machines, TV’s, PDA’s, scanners, copiers, printers, batteries, laptops, cameras, power strips, chargers, fans, air conditioners, telephones and VCR tapes.  Click here for more information.

** For items that cannot be disposed at our local recycling event, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) will be holding SAFE Disposal Events nearby to provide NYC residents with a one-stop method to safely dispose of potentially harmful household products.  The acronym SAFE stands for solvents, automotive, flammables, electronics. Materials accepted include common residential items such as auto fluids, batteries, electronics, glues, medications, paint products, and more. When deciding what items to bring, residents should look for products labeled with the following signal words: DANGER, WARNING, or CAUTION. Products labeled DANGER represent the highest hazard level. Please also bring any other materials stored in your home that you know may be harmful.  Saturday, March 30, Queens, Citi Field, Parking Lots E & F (corner of Roosevelt Ave & Shea Rd), cars enter at parking gate 4 on Shea Rd.  Also, Sunday, April 7, Brooklyn, Prospect Park, Park Circle (corner of Parkside Ave & Prospect Park SW) cars approach from Ocean Ave and Lincoln Rd. Both events are from 10 am to 4 pm (rain or shine).  Click here for more information.

** CPR/AED Training — A CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator) class will be offered at the Woodhaven Volunteer Ambulance Corps on Sunday April 7th from 2 to 5 PM.  The cost is $40 (much less than the same class at the Red Cross would cost you).  If interested, call John Bennett at 516-643-6746 or email bennettcpr@aol.com.

Holy Week Events

** Passion Play of Christ En Espanol.  There will be a Passion Play on Friday, March 29th 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM at St, Luke’s – 87-34 85th Street.  A Passion Play is a dramatic presentation depicting the Passion of Jesus Christ: his trial, suffering and death. It is a traditional part of Lent in several Christian denominations, particularly in Catholic tradition.  This presentation will be in Spanish.

** Holy Week Services at St. Luke’s.  Click here for a complete listing of Holy Week Services at St. Luke’s.

** Christ Tabernacle is holding 6 different Easter events for children in the area, including one at Forest Park.  Click here for details.

** The students of St. Thomas the Apostle will be performing a dramatization of the “Stations of the Cross” on Tuesday, March 26th at 12:30 PM in th 88th Street Lunch Room.

** Queens Tabernacle is hosting an Easter Egg Hunt for children on March 30th at 11 AM in Forest Park at Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South.

Until Next Time!

Your friends and neighbors at the

Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association

Scenes of a Woodhaven Fire

March 28, 2013

Here are some pictures and video of a fire on March 23rd at the corner of 78th Street and 90th Avenue.  These are courtesy of Woodhaven resident Mike Martinez —

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As far as we know, no one was hurt — and we do not know the cause.  It underscores the point that we all need to be careful — and this summer when (if) it turns out we need to rally to save a firehouse, we will need your support.

In the meantime, here are a score of helpful fire safety documents from the FDNY.

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Spring Flea Market at Emanuel Church April 13th

March 28, 2013

The Women’s Fellowship of Emanuel United Church of Christ will be holding its annual Spring Flea market on Saturday, April 13th from 10AM to 3 PM.  This is a fun event, there’s always a ton of good vendors and lots of interesting used jewelry and a ton of used books — you always walk away with a good find when you come here.

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Emanuel United Church of Christ is located at the corner of Woodhaven Boulevard and 91st Avenue — we took this beautiful picture of Emanuel late last year after a rain storm —

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Woodhaven’s Grapevine – Volume # 78

March 21, 2013

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In this issue of The Grapevine:

  • Last Week’s Town Hall
  • The Forest Park Carousel Reopens
  • Committees & Clubs
  • The Joe Virgona Photography Club
  • 102nd Precinct Council Recap
  • Mary Whalen Playground to Get 300K Upgrade
  • A Walk in the Park
  • Forest Park – Schedule of Free Events
  • Free Karate Classes
  • HeartShare on 89th Avenue & Woodhaven
  • Free Recycling Event
  • Disposal Events for Dangerous or Hazardous Items
  • Tax Lien Assistance
  • NYPD Tip of the Week – Window Shopping
  • Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in Woodhaven
  • Psychic at Woodhaven Historical Society
  • CPR/AED Training

Holy Week Events

  • Passion Play of Christ En Espanol
  • Holy Week Services at St. Luke’s
  • Christ Tabernacle Easter Egg Events
  • St. Thomas Students – Stations of the Cross
  • Queens Tabernacle Easter Egg Hunt

** We had a nice turnout for last week’s Town Hall meeting, we talked about new committees, blockwatchers, etc.  We also spoke about the city’s slow response to the stink house on 85th Street.

** The Forest Park Carousel opens the 2013 Season this Saturday, March 23rd at 11 AM.  Ami Abramson, of NY Carousel Entertainment, was our guest on Radio Free Woodhaven this past week and we spoke about the Forest Park Carousel, about the work that was done over the winter and about what’s new in 2013 — click here to listen to our conversation about our historic carousel.  A note about Radio Free Woodhaven — there will be no show this week.  The host is taking his wife out on a date.

** New Committees and Clubs.  At the March Town Hall meeting of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, the formation of a few new committees and clubs were announced.  We are looking for members to fill out the rosters of these groups –  email us at info@woodhaven-nyc.org or call 718-296-3735 and leave a message.  These groups and clubs will meet separately from the WRBA, but will be affiliated with the organization and will report back to the Board of Directors.  Click here for more information.

** One new club has announced their first meeting.  The Joe Virgona Photography Club will hold their first meeting on Thursday, March 28th at 7 PM at the offices of the WRBA, 84-20 Jamaica Avenue.  This club is geared towards amateurs — but all levels of expertise is welcome.  Click here for more information.

** The 102nd Precinct Community Council had their monthly meeting this week — the students from 210 (and their behavior within Woodhaven) was a topic of discussion — click here for a recap of the meeting.  This month’s Cop of the Month was awarded for saving a man’s life — click here to hear in the Captain’s own words what this fine young officer did.

** Mary Whalen Playground will be getting a 300K upgrade (from funds allocated by Elizabeth Crowley) — this article says that no specifics have been decided upon, but that the residents will be consulted.  Click here for more info.  Mary Whalen Playground is the park on Park Lane South between 80th and 76th Streets.

**  We took a walk around Forest Park this weekend, checking out the work being done near the bandshell followed up by a walk through the woods ending up at Strack Pond.  Click here for a nice walk through the park.

** Forest Park Schedule of Events.  Each year we are fortunate to have so many great free events in Forest Park and 2013 is no exception.  Click here for a listing of the FREE Events at Forest Park in 2013.

** Free Karate Classes for Kids.  Speaking of free, the Forest & Highland Park Administration is offering free kids Karate Clinics at Oak Ridge.  The FREE Karate classes will be taught by Shorinjiryu Kenryukan Karate School and will teach form, technique, respect, discipline and confidence.  Participants must be at least 7 years old.  Classes will be held April 2nd through May 9th, every Tuesday & Thursday from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM.  REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. SPACE IS LIMITED.  For more information please call 718-235-4100 or email margaret.carrillo-rosas@parks.nyc.gov.  Make sure you tell them that the WRBA sent you!

** There have been complaints from residents about the condition of the HeartShare property at 89th Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard — click here for more info.

** There will be a Free Recycling Event on Sunday, April 28, 2013 from 10 AM – 3 PM sponsored by Senator Joe Addabbo & Assemblyman Mike Miller at the Forest Park Bandshell parking lot.  Clothing & Textiles including clothing, coats, bedding, linens, paired shoes, scarves, belts, hats and handbags; Electronics including computers, monitors, cell phones, servers, fax machines, TV’s, PDA’s, scanners, copiers, printers, batteries, laptops, cameras, power strips, chargers, fans, air conditioners, telephones and VCR tapes.  Click here for more information.

** For items that cannot be disposed at our local recycling event, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) will be holding SAFE Disposal Events nearby to provide NYC residents with a one-stop method to safely dispose of potentially harmful household products.  The acronym SAFE stands for solvents, automotive, flammables, electronics. Materials accepted include common residential items such as auto fluids, batteries, electronics, glues, medications, paint products, and more. When deciding what items to bring, residents should look for products labeled with the following signal words: DANGER, WARNING, or CAUTION. Products labeled DANGER represent the highest hazard level. Please also bring any other materials stored in your home that you know may be harmful.  Saturday, March 30, Queens, Citi Field, Parking Lots E & F (corner of Roosevelt Ave & Shea Rd), cars enter at parking gate 4 on Shea Rd.  Also, Sunday, April 7, Brooklyn, Prospect Park, Park Circle (corner of Parkside Ave & Prospect Park SW) cars approach from Ocean Ave and Lincoln Rd. Both events are from 10 am to 4 pm (rain or shine).  Click here for more information.

** Tax Lien Assistance.  Joe Addabbo and Mike Miller are hosting an event to discuss eligibility for billing programs, water debt assistance and setting up payment plans with the NYC Department of Finance (DOF), the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).  Wednesday, March 27th at 6 PM at the Ambulance Corps, click here for more information.

** NYPD Tip Of The Week – Window Shopping.  Each year over $1.25 billion in personal items and accessories are stolen from vehicles.  By employing some basic precautions we can attempt to minimize these “window shopping” thefts. Remember, it only takes seconds for a thief to take what they want, so don’t give them the opportunity!  Click here for more information.

** Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in Woodhaven.  With Spring Training underway, here’s an interesting bit of baseball history concerning Dexter Park and a story about a time when Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig came to Woodhaven to play ball.  Click here for details.

** Woodhaven resident, Psychic Viktoria Sema Ballavoski — author of the thriller “Lilith’s Awakening” will be the guest speaker at this month’s Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society meeting, Wednesday March 27th at 1 PM at Emanuel United Church of Christ (91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard).  3 free readings will be performed during the meeting — should be exciting!

** CPR/AED Training — A CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator) class will be offered at the Woodhaven Volunteer Ambulance Corps on Sunday April 7th from 2 to 5 PM.  The cost is $40 (much less than the same class at the Red Cross would cost you).  If interested, call John Bennett at 516-643-6746 or email bennettcpr@aol.com.

Holy Week Events

** Passion Play of Christ En Espanol.  There will be a Passion Play on Friday, March 29th 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM at St, Luke’s – 87-34 85th Street.  A Passion Play is a dramatic presentation depicting the Passion of Jesus Christ: his trial, suffering and death. It is a traditional part of Lent in several Christian denominations, particularly in Catholic tradition.  This presentation will be in Spanish.

** Holy Week Services at St. Luke’s.  Click here for a complete listing of Holy Week Services at St. Luke’s.

** Christ Tabernacle is holding 6 different Easter events for children in the area, including one at Forest Park.  Click here for details.

** The students of St. Thomas the Apostle will be performing a dramatization of the “Stations of the Cross” on Tuesday, March 26th at 12:30 PM in th 88th Street Lunch Room.

** Queens Tabernacle is hosting an Easter Egg Hunt for children on March 30th at 11 AM in Forest Park at Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South.

Until Next Time!

Your friends and neighbors at the

WRBA Announces Formation of Clubs and Committees

March 21, 2013

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At the March Town Hall meeting of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, the formation of a few new committees and clubs were announced.  We are looking for members to fill out the rosters of these groups – email us at info@woodhaven-nyc.org or call 718-296-3735 and leave a message.  These groups and clubs will meet separately from the WRBA, but will be affiliated with the organization and will report back to the Board of Directors.

Here are a list of the committees:

Parks Committee.  This group will meet to discuss issues pertaining to the parks within our community.  This not only includes Forest Park, but also includes the parks and playgrounds in Woodhaven.  A first meeting of the Parks Committee will be announced at the beginning of April.

Traffic & Roads Committee.  This group will tackle the issues involving the safety on the roads within Woodhaven.  With Woodhaven Boulevard being designated the most dangerous road in Queens for pedestrians, and with 2 recent fatalities on our roads, this is a topic that needs attention.  First meeting to be announced – but traffic and safety is on the agenda for the April 20th Town Hall meeting of the WRBA.

Church & Faith Committee.  The initial goal of this group is the foster communications between the many churches and religious organizations within Woodhaven,  and to report back and keep the community up-to-date about their events and activities.  First meeting to be announced.

Schools Committee.  The initial goal of this group is twofold.  (1) to meet to discuss issues pertaining to the parks within our community; and (2) to develop contacts at each school, gather information, and keep the community up-to-date about their events and activities.  First meeting to be announced.

Woodhaven Yard Sale Committee.  The goal of this group is to plan, organize and promote the Great Woodhaven Yard Sale.  First meeting to be announced.

Here are a list of clubs and activities:

Woodhaven Poetry Club.  The stated goal of this club is to “promote the study, use, and enjoyment of poetry.” The Woodhaven Poetry Club has actually been in existence for a while and it meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association: 84-20 Jamaica Avenue from 6:30 PM to 8 PM. The next meeting will be Tuesday April 16th.

Joe Virgona Photography Club.  This club will meet on the last Thursday of each month, at the offices of the WRBA, 84-20 Jamaica Avenue at 7 PM.  The next meeting will be Thursday March 28th.  This club is geared towards amateurs — but all levels of expertise is welcome.  Click here for more information.

Woodhaven Supper Club.  This club will plan regular outings to local restaurants as a group.  A social gathering which gives members a chance to interact outside of our regular meeting environment.  Also gives us a chance to sample some of the many restaurants we have here in Woodhaven.  First gathering to be announced.

Woodhaven Photography Club Launches

March 20, 2013

The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association is launching a photography club, officially named “The Joe Virgona Photography Club” after our beloved and longtime member who passed away last year.  The club will meet once a month, on the last Thursday of each month, at the offices of the WRBA, 84-20 Jamaica Avenue at 7 PM.

Each month we will project everyone’s work on to a screen, and you will leave each month with an assignment.  We will also take an occasional group photography trip (for example, we may all go as a group to the park to take photos), we can compare notes on equipment and techniques, and perhaps we can get an occasional guest speaker.  This club is geared towards amateurs — but all levels of expertise is welcome.

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Together we will try to resurrect the Woodhaven A Picture a Day Blog — where a new picture is posted every day — each photographer will get credit for their work (and get tagged so they can bring up all their posted pictures easily).  If this takes off, perhaps we can put on a photography exhibit.

Again, the first meeting is next Thursday, April 28th at 7 PM at the WRBA – 84-20 Jamaica Avenue.  At this inaugural meeting we will discuss the form that the club will take.  Please bring 15-20 of your favorite pictures on a flash drive or CD.  Please RSVP to info@woodhaven-nyc.org.

About the Club’s Name:  Joe Virgona was a WW2 Vet and an avid photographer.  He rarely attended an event in Woodhaven without his camera and he loved taking pictures in and around his community.

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Woodhaven’s Grapevine – Volume # 77

March 14, 2013

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In this issue of The Grapevine:

  • Town Hall Meeting is THIS Saturday
  • Lost Puppy Alert
  • The Forest Park Carousel Reopens
  • Great Woodhaven Yard Sale 2013
  • Woman Mauled By Dog
  • Radio Free Woodhaven – Fridays at 10 PM
  • Free Recycling Event
  • Disposal Events for Dangerous or Hazardous Items
  • Tax Lien Assistance
  • NYPD Cell Phone Tip
  • Beware the Flat Tire Scam
  • 88th Street Crossing Guard
  • Speed Camera Petition — PLEASE SIGN
  • Overeaters Anonymous
  • The Shamrock Bar Murders
  • Passion Play of Christ En Espanol
  • Stations of the Cross
  • Guest Preacher at Emanuel
  • Woodhaven Poetry Society
  • Psychic at Woodhaven Historical Society
  • Missing Man Update
  • CPR/AED Training
  • Free Sports Clinics & Easter Egg Hunt

** Our monthly Town Hall meeting is Saturday (3/16) — 1 PM at the Ambulance Corps (78-15 Jamaica Avenue).  We will be discussing the recent incidents on Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue that left 2 pedestrians dead.  We will also review the Blockwatcher program — we hope to see you there!

** Please be on the lookout for a small lost puppy last seen at 78th Street and Jamaica Avenue (click here for pictures and details).

** The Forest Park Carousel opens the 2013 Season on Saturday, March 23rd – click here for details.

** Last year, our attempt at holding a neighborhood-wide Yard Sale Event fizzled — mostly because our Board Members were too busy with other projects.  This year, we have started a Woodhaven Yard Sale Committee — it will be a small group that will meet and plan this event, they will design a flyer and a plan to get as many participants as possible.  This is a fun way to get involved with a great project — not too-time consuming — we already have 2 committee members, we need about 4 or 5 more — get in touch with us if interested.

** Woman Mauled By Dog.  Here is a disturbing story about an incident last week — a woman was mauled by 2 dogs at 89th Street and 89th Avenue — still more questions than answers with this story and we’ll try to find out more.

** Radio Free Woodhaven — We’re LIVE every FRIDAY at 10 PM — click here this Friday Night at 10 PM — dial (646) 378-1612 to voice your opinion!  Click here for highlights of last week’s show when we discussed library renovations, safety on the roads of Woodhaven, the stink house of 85th Street and more.

** There will be a Free Recycling Event on Sunday, April 28, 2013 from 10 AM – 3 PM sponsored by Senator Joe Addabbo & Assemblyman Mike Miller at the Forest Park Bandshell parking lot.  Clothing & Textiles including clothing, coats, bedding, linens, paired shoes, scarves, belts, hats and handbags; Electronics including computers, monitors, cell phones, servers, fax machines, TV’s, PDA’s, scanners, copiers, printers, batteries, laptops, cameras, power strips, chargers, fans, air conditioners, telephones and VCR tapes.  Click here for more information.

** For items that cannot be disposed at our local recycling event, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) will be holding SAFE Disposal Events nearby to provide NYC residents with a one-stop method to safely dispose of potentially harmful household products.  The acronym SAFE stands for solvents, automotive, flammables, electronics. Materials accepted include common residential items such as auto fluids, batteries, electronics, glues, medications, paint products, and more. When deciding what items to bring, residents should look for products labeled with the following signal words: DANGER, WARNING, or CAUTION. Products labeled DANGER represent the highest hazard level. Please also bring any other materials stored in your home that you know may be harmful.  Saturday, March 30, Queens, Citi Field, Parking Lots E & F (corner of Roosevelt Ave & Shea Rd), cars enter at parking gate 4 on Shea Rd.  Also, Sunday, April 7, Brooklyn, Prospect Park, Park Circle (corner of Parkside Ave & Prospect Park SW) cars approach from Ocean Ave and Lincoln Rd. Both events are from 10 am to 4 pm (rain or shine).  Click here for more information.

** Tax Lien Assistance.  Joe Addabbo and Mike Miller are hosting an event to discuss eligibility for billing programs, water debt assistance and setting up payment plans with the NYC Department of Finance (DOF), the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).  Wednesday, March 27th at 6 PM at the Ambulance Corps, click here for more information.

** NYPD Cell Phone Tip.  For those of you with cell phones and mobile devices here is a good tip from the NYPD — it is important to know your phone’s unique IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) or MEID (Mobile Equipment Identity) number.  You should take a few seconds to copy your phone’s IMEI/MEID number down and email it to yourself (or keep it in a safe place). Having the IMEI/MEID number included on a police report in the event of loss or theft helps the police better investigate the incident. (click here for instructions on how to get your phone’s IMEI number).

** Beware the Flat Tire Scam.  The New York City Police Department is advising motorists of a scam in which suspects distract victims by falsely informing them that their vehicle has a flat tire. While the victims inspect the purported damage, a suspect removes property from inside the vehicle.  Click here for details.

** 88th Street Crossing Guard.  One of our residents brought it to our attention that there has been no crossing guard at 88th Street and Jamaica Avenue since the one that used to be posted there retired late last year.  We checked with the 102 and they said that they are in the process of hiring new School Crossing Guards and 88th Street is a priority post.

** Speed Camera Petition — PLEASE SIGN — With Woodhaven Boulevard being designated the most dangerous road in Queens, perhaps it is time to review various alternatives to make us safer.  There are some who believe that installing speed cameras at strategic locations would help cut down on speeding drivers — Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn recently announced her support for this.  But if we want them installed, we need your help — take a few seconds to fill out this petition — and please note that the people behind this petition (Transportation Alternatives) will be giving a presentation of ideas on making our roads safer at our April Town Hall meeting, details to follow soon.

** Overeaters Anonymous meets every Tuesday from 7:30 to 9 PM at the Holly Child Jesus Church Outreach at 112-06 86th Avenue in Richmond Hill. For those who have compulsive eating habits and/or disorder and wish to try to alleviate them to live a happier fuller life.  Call 718-564-7027 and ask for Alex for more information.

** A notorious crime from Woodhaven’s past is being played out in the papers as details finally emerge about the slaying of 2 bartenders at the Shamrock Bar on Jamaica Avenue in April 1981.

** Passion Play of Christ En Espanol.  There will be a Passion Play on Friday, March 29th 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM at St, Luke’s – 87-34 85th Street.  A Passion Play is a dramatic presentation depicting the Passion of Jesus Christ: his trial, suffering and death. It is a traditional part of Lent in several Christian denominations, particularly in Catholic tradition.  This presentation will be in Spanish.

** The students of St. Thomas the Apostle will be performing a dramatization of the “Stations of the Cross” on Tuesday, March 26th at 12:30 PM in th 88th Street Lunch Room.

** Dr. Dale T. Irvin, President of New York Theological Seminary, will be the guest preacher at Emanuel Church (91st Avenue & Woodhaven Boulevard) on Sunday, March 17. Dr. Irvin is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and received his Ph.D from Union Theological Seminary in NYC. In addition to authoring numerous books and articles, he serves as Professor of World Christianity at New York Seminary, and is a widely sought-after speaker.

**  Join the Woodhaven Poetry Society and organization that “promotes the study, use, and enjoyment of poetry.” The Poetry Society meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association:  84-20 Jamaica Avenue from 6:30 PM to 8 PM.  The next 3 meetings will be Tuesday — March 19th, April 16th and May 21st.

** Woodhaven resident, Psychic Viktoria Sema Ballavoski — author of the thriller “Lilith’s Awakening” will be the guest speaker at this month’s Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society meeting, Wednesday March 27th at 1 PM at Emanuel United Church of Christ (91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard).  3 free readings will be performed during the meeting — should be exciting!

** Missing Man Last Seen in Woodhaven UPDATE — In our last Grapevine we told you about a 19-year-old Ozone Park man was last seen in front of a business at Jamaica Avenue and Forest Parkway.  Good news to report, he was found safe and sound.

** CPR/AED Training — A CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator) class will be offered at the Woodhaven Volunteer Ambulance Corps on Sunday April 7th from 2 to 5 PM.  The cost is $40 (much less than the same class at the Red Cross would cost you).  If interested, call John Bennett at 516-643-6746 or email bennettcpr@aol.com.

** Queens Tabernacle is sponsoring free soccer and basketball clinics for children from ages 6 to 17 to be held on July 22 – 26 from 10 AM to 4 PM. The Basketball clinics will be held at Thomas Maloney Courts in Forest Park (Park Lane South and Myrtle Ave.) and the Soccer clinics will be held at Victory Field.  Call 718-846-7575 to register for these clinics.  Queens Tabernacle is also hosting an Easter Egg Hunt for children on March 30th at 11 AM in Forest Park at Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South.

Until next time!

Tax Lien Assistance in Woodhaven

March 14, 2013

Tax Lien Assistance  Outreach Event

Sponsored by

NYS Senator Joe Addabbo & NYS Assemblyman Mike Miller

NYS Senator Joe Addabbo and NYS Assembly Member Mike Miller are co-sponsoring a free Tax Lien Assistance Outreach Event later this month. Constituents whose tax liens are on the list to be sold and who are struggling with tax lien issues should come on Wednesday, March 27, to the Woodhaven Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, between 6 – 8 PM. All are welcome. Representatives from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), New York City Department of Finance (DOF) and New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will be there to assist residents individually to discuss eligibility for billing programs, water debt assistance and setting up payment plans. Please call Senator Addabbo’s Howard Beach district office at 718-738-1111 or Assemblyman Mike Miller’s Woodhaven office at 718-805-0950 to RSVP.

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“Both Assemblyman Miller’s and my offices are sending out robo-call invitations to this free session in Woodhaven to those constituents whose tax liens are in danger of being sold. I strongly urge them to come to our outreach event in order to obtain the help they need to avoid the sale, which can have serious consequences in the future,” noted Senator Addabbo.

A tax lien sale is the transfer of the lien to a single authorized buyer who hires a collection agency. It is not a sale of the property, but if the taxes and/or charges are not paid or resolved, the lien holder can begin a foreclosure proceeding in court. A representative from the NYC Department of Finance will be available at the March 27 session to meet one-on-one with homeowners with tax liens to help them avoid the Lien Sale by discussing eligibility for exemptions from the sale or ways of resolving the lien. In order to prevent the sale of a lien on property, the debt must be resolved by May 16, 2013 through one of the following methods: pay your outstanding debt in full; enter into a payment agreement; apply to receive an exemption that will exclude the property from the Lien Sale; dispute the charges by filing a formal dispute with DEP or Finance.A tax lien usually involves real estate, although it can also involve other forms of personal property. A lien is placed on the property when the owner fails to pay, or is delinquent in paying, certain taxes. Less common are tax liens that involve other fees owed to a government agency. In most situations, however, tax liens are issued because a tax lien servicer is not paid.

When a tax lien does involve real estate and the property does exchange hands, this obligation of repayment is said to “run with the land.” That means the new property owner is now responsible for repayment of taxes owed even if the non-payment occurred because of a prior owner. This is one of the reasons a title search and title insurance is so important to new homeowners.

Property owners must bring their water/sewer bills, property taxes and Department of Housing Preservation and Development loan paperwork. In one-on-one sessions, the City will have representatives on hand to offer customer service and will be able to check your eligibility for billing programs, including their Water Debt Assistance Program and provide help with setting up payment plans. The Department of Environmental Protection will provide customer service regarding payment of water and sewer bills, water conservation education and water assistance program; the Department of Finance will cover will cover its exemption programs (if you have a water lien on a property, NYC Finance may be eligible to sell your lien to a private debt collector); the Department of Housing Preservation and Development will provide assistance in preventing foreclosures and predatory lending and assist with securing low-interest loans.

Residents of Senator Addabbo’s and Assemblyman Miller’s districts who have been sent a legal claim against their property for unpaid taxes, or whose property was on a published lien sale list, are encouraged to attend this outreach session to obtain advice and to take the necessary steps to prevent the sale of their lien. The Finance representative will provide assistance in developing payment agreements, resolving billing disputes and helping complete exemptions applications for those who qualify.

 

Date – Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Time – 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Location – Woodhaven Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps

78-15 Jamaica Avenue, Woodhaven

By Bus: Q56 – By Train: J or Z

This is a FREE event.

To RSVP please call Senator Addabbo’s office at 718-738-1111

or Assemblyman Miller’s office at 718-805-0950.

Safety on Jamaica Avenue

March 10, 2013

Although Woodhaven Boulevard was recently designated the most dangerous road for pedestrians in Queens, it should be noted that Jamaica Avenue has seen its fair share of tragedy over the last few years.  In April of 2009, 71-year-old Virginia Montalvo was struck and killed at 98th Street and Jamaica Avenue as she was crossing the street to cash in bottles and cans she had collected. The driver of the dark cargo van that killed Montalvo was never apprehended.

Later that same year, 42-year old You Yuan Zhou, a deliveryman for Woodhaven’s China House Restaurant, was riding his scooter on 80th Street and Jamaica Avenue when he was struck by a car driven by Gus Pappaeliou, 27, of 76th Street.  Zhou was killed instantly. Pappaeliou dragged the scooter for a full block and stopped his vehicle only to dislodge the scooter before taking flight. The impact cracked open the radiator on Pappaeliou’s car, leaving a tell-tale trail of radiator fluid, which led police directly to his door. He was promptly arrested.

And a dark colored SUV struck and killed a 45-year-old man at 85th Street and Jamaica Avenue in September 2010. That driver, too, was never apprehended.

And we are all aware of the tragic incident on Jamaica Avenue 2 weeks ago that resulted in the death of a resident of Woodhaven.  This most recent incident, along with at least one of the previously mentioned incidents, was caused by a drunk driver.  But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look closer at Jamaica Avenue and for ways we can improve safety along this busy stretch of road.

For starters, let’s focus on the stretch of Jamaica Avenue between 85th Street and 80th Street, the scene of 3 of the 4 incidents listed above.  Looking at Woodhaven and Jamaica Avenue on a map, we see that for most of Jamaica Avenue there is a stop list every 0.03 to 0.04 Miles .  These distances were calculated using the distance tool on the NYC Maps Website.  So there is a stop light on Jamaica Avenue about every 160 to 200 feet.  Click Map Below to Enlarge.

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Yet, the distance between stop lights is more than doubled between 85th Street and Forest Parkway (0.09 Miles or 475 feet).  Furthermore, it is a very busy stretch of the Avenue — there are 2 banks nearby, a post office, Duane Reade, Scaturro’s, Gem, and a bunch of other businesses — this leads to a high rate of people crossing between lights, or jaywalking.

The distance between Forest Parkway and 85th Street is about DOUBLE Woodhaven Boulevard.

Perhaps a stop light in the middle of that stretch would give pedestrians a safer place to cross — and might discourage drivers from pickup up too much speed as they head towards the next light — which are busy intersections at both ends.

Further complicating matters is the sun — as it sets each afternoon it becomes a factor, blinding drivers and pedestrians alike.

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Stand at Jamaica Avenue at this stretch around 4:15 in the afternoon and you will see people behaving stupidly — crossing the street, not quite being able to see oncoming eastbound traffic because of the sun — and westbound cars unable to see people crossing.

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Check out the stupidity in this video — jaywalkers and U-turns — proving that it’s both pedestrians and motorists that are disregarding their own safety as well as the safety of others.

To be clear — in the case of a drunk driver, like what happened here 2 weeks ago, the pedestrian was not at fault.  But you would think that just 2 weeks after that horrible incident — not 300 feet from this spot — that people would act a little safer.

Road safety — this section of Woodhaven in particular — has long been a concern for residents.  Here’s an article from April 1974 announcing a new traffic light at Forest Parkway and Jamaica Avenue — 40 years have passed and this area is still a concern.

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This, along with other topics of safety, will be discussed at out next Town Hall meeting, this Saturday, March 16th at 1 PM at the Woodhaven Volunteer Ambulance Corp, 78-15 Jamaica Avenue.  Come out and share your concerns about other areas of concern.

In the meantime — BE CAREFUL.  Do not put yourself at risk just to cross the street a little faster.  Do so at the corners — and wait for the light.  We don’t want you getting hurt.

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Woodhaven’s Grapevine – Volume # 76

March 8, 2013

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In this issue of The Grapevine:

  • Our next Town Hall Meeting: Saturday, March 16th 1 PM
  • Jamaica Avenue Fatality
  • Blockwatchers Update
  • Hazardous Condition Update
  • Woodhaven Library Renovations – Radio Free Woodhaven
  • Woodhaven Profiled
  • The Most Dangerous Road in Queens
  • Woodhaven Poetry Society
  • Psychic Visits the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society
  • Missing Man Last Seen in Woodhaven
  • CPR/AED Training at the Ambulance Corps
  • Ambulance Corps Has a New Website
  • Seeing the Good and the Bad
  • Body Found in Forest Park
  • Previous issues of The Grapevine
  • Woodhaven Calendar

Greetings friends and neighbors.  We have shifted the Grapevine to Thursdays — please forward to all your friends and neighbors.  Here now is what is happening in your community:

** Our Next Town Hall:  1 PM on Saturday, March 16th at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps (78-15 Jamaica Avenue).

**  Jamaica Avenue Fatality:  By now, most of you will have read about last week’s fatality on Jamaica Avenue and 80th Street — one of our residents, Mr. John Eberling of 77th Street, was struck and killed by a drunk driver.  Our condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr. Eberling — we have reached out to them to offer support and will keep everyone up to date as the case against the driver winds its way through the system.  This is a tragedy that should never have happened — and it could have been any one of us.

**  Blockwatchers – Update:  Many thanks to everyone who have signed up.  We have received a few questions regarding this program — we have emailed the NYPD and will be emailing out some clarifications soon.  Also, as soon as we have more training scheduled, we will let you know.

** Hazardous Condition on 85th Street – UPDATE – We are happy to report that this disgusting condition has been resolved.  However, there are many questions which need to be asked and answered.  Why did it take over two months to get action on this issue?  Why was a 311 complaint closed with the reason being that “no repairs were needed”?  Who made that determination?  Was this determination made without even visiting the property?  And many more.  We need to demand better than this.  Click here for pictures and more questions.

** Woodhaven Library Renovations / Radio Free Woodhaven – The Woodhaven Library is closing for much needed renovations — Friday March 8th is the last day.  Click here for details on how long it will be closed and the contingency plans in place.  the Library will be the topic on Friday Night’s edition of Radio Free Woodhaven.  Our special guests will be Jennifer Manley, Director, Government & Community Affairs of the Queens Library and Elizabeth Crowley of the New York City Council, who allocated a ton of money to make this long overdue renovation possible.  The hotline is (646) 378-1612 — call in and speak your mind!  Click here Friday night at 10 PM.

** Woodhaven Profile — Woodhaven and the WRBA was profiled in this week’s Times-Ledger.  Click here for more.

** A new study has determined that Woodhaven Boulevard is the most dangerous road in Queens for pedestrians (see here and here for more information).

**  Join the Woodhaven Poetry Society and organization that “promotes the study, use, and enjoyment of poetry.” The members gather and try to write artistic poetry that can be entered into competitions.  Also, you will learn how to create your own Chapbook for publication or just join to hear local poets read from their own work and the work of historical poets. The Poetry Society meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association:  84-20 Jamaica Avenue from 6:30 PM to 8 PM.  The next 3 meetings will be Tuesday — March 19th, April 16th and May 21st.

** Woodhaven resident, Psychic Viktoria Sema Ballavoski — author of the thriller “Lilith’s Awakening” will be the guest speaker at this month’s Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society meeting, Wednesday March 27th at 1 PM at Emanuel United Church of Christ (91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard).  3 free readings will be performed during the meeting — should be exciting!

** Missing Man Last Seen in Woodhaven — A 19-year-old Ozone Park man was last seen in front of a business at Jamaica Avenue and Forest Parkway wearing black Nike brand sneakers with a red swoosh.  Click here for photo and details.

** CPR/AED Training — A CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator) class will be offered at the Woodhaven Volunteer Ambulance Corps on Sunday April 7th from 2 to 5 PM.  The cost is $40 (much less than the same class at the Red Cross would cost you).  If interested, call John Bennett at 516-643-6746 or email bennettcpr@aol.com.

** The Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps has launched an all-new websiteclick here to check it out!

** Seeing The Good And The Bad — The job of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA) is not to be a mere cheerleader.  Click here for more.

** Body Found in Forest Park – A body was found burning in Forest Park, just off Park Lane South in Richmond Hill.  It appears that the man accidentally set himself on fire while trying to keep warm.  Click here for details.

**  Previous issues of The Grapevine:  If you only recently signed up for The Grapevine, or if you want to look at a previous issue, the last several issues are available on our blog here.

** Community Calendar — We’ve been trying to get a community calendar off the ground for a while and now that we have a bright person dedicated to keeping it up-to-date we expect it to be very successful.  Have an event you wish to publicize?  Drop us a line!  We have it linked on the WRBA Homepage as well as Project Woodhaven and it even has its own easy to remember link:  bit.ly/WoodhavenCalendar

Until next time,

Your friends and neighbors at the


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