Archive for the ‘Alerts’ Category

Send Us Your Noise Complaints

June 21, 2011

The most common complaint received by the WRBA from residents of Woodhaven is Noise. Please take a few moments to answer one or more of the following questions —

  • How have noise conditions in Woodhaven adversely effected your quality of life?
  • Do you think enough is done to handle noise complaints?
  • Do you feel noise conditions have gotten better or worse over the last 3-5 years?
  • What steps would you like to see taken to improve noise conditions in Woodhaven?

Please send your replies to no later than 5 PM EST THURSDAY JUNE 23rd. If you feel comfortable doing so, please include what street you live on — but it is not necessary.

These statements will be used in testimony in front of the New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection in relation to the noise control code next week, hence the deadline.

Your testimony is important.

Without Your Help – Engine 294 Will Close

May 27, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tell your friends, tell your neighbors.  EMAIL US AT

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

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

Sunday, June 5th at 1 PM.   

El’s Angels – Engine 294

Alert! Roadwork on Jamaica Avenue

April 8, 2011

Be aware that much of Jamaica Avenue is scheduled for Roadwork tomorrow (Saturday).  In many sections there will be no parking on the Avenue.  And not a moment too soon!  The road is horrible — and the potholes are threatening to swallow up people whole!  Look at the size of this hole, west of 80th Street:

And a further alert — and good news — painting of the El Train is slated to begin MONDAY.  They are going to begin at 75th Street and work their way East.

Looking forward to the new look Jamaica Avenue —

Choir Concert at Emanuel Church of Christ April 2nd

March 28, 2011

St. John’s University Voices of Victory, is the official gospel choir of St. John’s University. Composed of some of the most talented singers and instrumentalists at the university, Voices of Victory boasts an international membership from more than seven countries.

The Choir will be giving a concert on Saturday April 2nd at 4 PM at Emanuel United Church of Christ on 91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard.

The Voices of Victory Choir has given concerts around the world, and appeared here in Woodhaven last March. Those who attended the show described it as “fun” and “moving.” This is a wonderful opportunity to see a world-class Choir right here in our community. There is a suggested donation of $10 — a terrific bargain!


Details of Upcoming Track Work

March 18, 2011

Track construction work will be done along the Jamaica Avenue Line at three separate locations commencing March 25, 2011 and ending May 16, 2011 (8 weekends) between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays to Fridays (completion work and prep work). A clip truck and compressor will work along Jamaica Avenue to pre-strip and reinstall track clips and retainers.

Mainline track panel and switch replacement is scheduled from 8 p.m. Fridays to 9 p.m. Sundays (Cranes will be set up and materials staged at each crane site). Street closures will be in effect at each crane location from 8 p.m. on Fridays to 9 p.m. Sundays. Track Construction will maintain one lane for traffic on the side streets when the cranes are not being used.

Location # 1:

Crane Locations:

1) 95th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

2) 96th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

3) 97th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

4) 98th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 91st Avenue

5) 102nd Street between Jamaica Avenue and 91st Avenue

A total of 28 track panels will be installed. Parking will be restricted at each crane location for 150 feet and parking will be restricted on the west and east curb lanes along Jamaica Avenue at each track panel installation location.

Track Construction will maintain 2 lanes for traffic in either direction on Jamaica Avenue. This is middle track replacement and will require detours around the work area (to be determined).

Location # 2:

Crane Locations:

1) 111th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 91st Avenue

2) 114th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 91st Avenue

3) 115th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 86th Avenue

4) 116th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

5) 117th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

A total of 24 Track Panels will be installed. Parking will be restricted at each crane location for 150 feet and parking will be restricted on the west and east curb lanes along Jamaica Avenue at each track panel installation location.

Location # 3:

Crane Locations:

1) 123rd Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

2) 124th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

3) 125th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue

4) 123rd Street between Jamaica Avenue and Hillside Avenue

5) 124th Street between Jamaica Avenue and Hillside Avenue

6) 124th Street between Jamaica Avenue and Hillside Avenue

A total of four switches and a diamond crossover will be installed. Parking will be restricted at each crane location for 150 feet and parking will be restricted on the west and east curb lanes along Jamaica Avenue at each track panel installation location. Track Construction will require Street Closures along Jamaica Avenue between 123rd Street and 125th Street during switch replacement.

Blood Drive on Saturday – Jamaica Avenue

March 17, 2011

There will be a Blood Drive at 79-26 Jamaica Avenue on  this Saturday, March 19th, from 12 PM to 4 PM.  This is the home of Liberty Tax Service and you can call 718-521-1040 for more information.  There will be food and other refreshments and live music —

Some interesting facts about Blood Donations:

  • Only 5 percent of eligible donors across the nation donate blood, but the number of transfusions nationwide increases by 9 percent every year.
  • Each whole blood donation can help as many as three people. One unit is divided into three parts: red blood cells, platelets, and plasma.
  • On average, a hip replacement typically uses one unit of blood, a cardiac bypass 2 units, a heart transplant 2 units, and a liver transplant 10 units!
  • Blood cannot be manufactured. It can only come as a gift from people.
  • Statistics show that 25 percent or more of us will require blood at least once in our lifetime.

The folks that run Liberty Tax Service live in Woodhaven and are involved in helping the community — this Blood Drive is but one example.  We’ll be featuring them  more in the very near future.

Remember — Woodhaven’s Town Hall is also Saturday, at the Volunteer Ambulance Corps 78-15 Jamaica Avenue — 1 block away.  If you’re coming to the WRBA Meeting, stop by Liberty Tax afterwards and give blood!  Make it a double-feature 🙂


March 17, 2011

A little over 2 weeks ago, the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association was notified about a house on 80th Street that was abandoned, covered with graffiti, and being used by thugs and vagrants as a hangout.

On the other side of the neighborhood, a house that sat vacant for fifteen years (and had been recently used by teens as a hangout) had recently caught fire and spread to the house next door.  It was a tale of two houses, which we covered here — and the WRBA immediately set forth to make sure the same thing didn’t happen again.

It was a group effort, involving a lot of people.  A lot of phone calls, e-mails, and a healthy does of media attention.  Headlines and front pages like this earned a lot of attention:

And we’re very happy to announce that today — the horror house of 80th Street was SEALED SHUT.  Here it is:

It’s just a first step — but in light of the tragic events on 90th Street this past weekend, it’s a very welcome step.   A big thanks to all involved —

We can’t let up — there are other houses to seal — graffiti to clear up — noise issues to deal with.  The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association is a group of residents, just like you — people who are willing to volunteer a few hours a month for their community.

The next open meeting is THIS SATURDAY AT 1 PM — at the Volunteer Ambulance Corps, 78-15 Jamaica Avenue.  Come down and say hello — stick around and tell us what’s on your mind.


Hazardous Condition on Jamaica Avenue

February 25, 2011

There is a hazardous condition on Jamaica Avenue — be very cautious when walking in this area.  Here’s the situation — on the North side of Jamaica Avenue between 98th Street and 100th Street — on top of the train trestle — there is a fallen tree, or branch.  The trunk is a pretty decent size.  It is being propped up by a much smaller tree.

When that smaller tree finally gives, that branch could come crashing down on to the sidewalk.  Keep in mind, this is right around the corner from the Rosa Parks school.  And, it’s right under the El Train — the rumbling from that could also contribute to it falling from the grasp of the smaller tree.  Take a look:
We called 311 — and explained to them where the tree was — up on the trestle, etc. — they took all of the information and then we were transferred to 911.
911 took the same information down — and took our phone number.  We listened in on the scanner and heard them badly explain to the officer what the situation was (they told him it was a fallen tree on Jamaica Avenue).  He called back in and reported it as a false alarm.
We called back to 311 — their computer system was down but we held on and got a manually generated number — XC022411C345603.
We heard an officer dispatched, but haven’t heard anything since.  We will pass by later today to see if they closed the sidewalk, took down the tree, etc.

Be Cautious Who You Let In

February 25, 2011

Be careful who you let into your house to inspect your boiler, heater, or chimney.  There is a company going around using language which leads you to believe they are from your friendly utility company, but they are not.  And the resulting work can cost in the thousands of dollars — and they are working Woodhaven right now.

We have had a few reports of Woodhaven residents getting phone calls from a company telling you that your chimney or heating system is due for an inspection.  The name on the Caller ID may look official — for example, it may say “Brooklyn Union” — but you need to remember that Brooklyn Union Gas no longer exists.

Typically, they will make an appointment, tell you that you need lots of work (totaling thousands of dollars) — and they are hoping that because you believe they’re the utility company, you’ll go along with their prognosis.  These companies prey on the elderly, especially those who are alone.

Do not fall for this — and spread the word to your friends and neighbors!

This sort of thing has been reported on in the media recently (see here and here) but the WRBA feels that it’s very important that we get the word out in Woodhaven.

What can you do to protect yourself?  Never make an appointment right away.  Take the callers information and check with your utility company.  Their number will be on your monthly utility bill.

Again — we are getting calls from residents saying that they are getting these calls now — so we know they are working Woodhaven.

Be very careful who you let into your home to do work — check with your utility company — check for ID — take your time and think about what your doing.  Do not let anyone pressure you into signing anything.

If you do have such an encounter — and you do not feel it was legitimate — please contact the Woodhaven Residents Block Association — E-mail us at or call us at 718-296-3735.  We are talking to our local elected officials and they are talking to the AG’s office to see what can be done.

NYC Sidewalk Snow Removal Policy

January 27, 2011

While snow is falling, the city will not take complaints about snowy or icy sidewalks. After the snow stops falling, property owners must clear a path for pedestrians and remove snow from sidewalks next to bus stops and hydrants as follows:

  • If snowfall ends between 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM, property owners must clear sidewalks within four hours.
  • If snowfall ends between 5:00 PM and 7:00 AM, property owners must clear sidewalks before 11:00 AM.

The City may issue property owners a summons for failure to clear the sidewalks within these time frames.  They could face fines ranging from $100 to $350.

You can make a complaint at any time about snow or ice on sidewalks in front of public property such as a bus stop shelter, a park path, or a school. You can make a complaint about snow or ice on sidewalks in front of private property after property owners have had the appropriate amount of time to clear their sidewalks.


One of the problems in Woodhaven is absentee landlords not getting their properties shoveled.  If you have such a situation on your block, call 311 — make sure you write down the 311 complaint number — and send the information to the WRBA.  We will send a letter to the landlord advising them that their behavior is unacceptable.  Also, we will work with the City Council to ensure that fines are enforced in this case.