The Civic Scene

October, 2015

The Civic Scene

The Clearview’s logjam needs to be cleared up

During many morning and evening rush hours, 18-wheel trucks going south exit the Clearview Expressway at 73rd Avenue and block this street. Going south on the Clearview Expressway, those trucks find a bottleneck as they try to exit the Clearview to go on the Long Island Expressway. This exit going east is a narrow U-turn road, with an exit speed of about 10 miles an hour, so trucks back up to the north on the Clearview Expressway. Comment.

September, 2015

The Civic Scene

Parents must be assertive when meeting with education officials about their children

Parents of special needs children have to be aware of the needs of their child. They must press school officials aggressively to have these needs addressed. Since special education costs are very high, due to the specialized services each student needs, our school system tries to cut costs. Often programs are only given enough money for some children but not for all. Comments (1).

August, 2015

The Civic Scene

The city must find the correct balance in enforcing quality-of-life crimes

The New York City administration is working to decriminalize some quality-of-life crimes. It is felt by some people that some offenses should not be considered criminal acts. It is felt that tickets given for some petty crimes can escalate into people being put in jail, that even small bail in some cases can keep a person in jail for months until there is a court hearing. A minor infraction can escalate into a criminal record for a person, especially if they forget to go to a court hearing. Comments (2).
The Civic Scene

Too much water is a problem in several parts of Queens

A recent meeting in Fresh Meadows at the Utopia Jewish Center again highlighted the problem of flooding along Utopia Parkway south of the Long Island Expressway. For decades there has been flooding when intense heavy storms hit the area. The city Department of Environmental Protection presented things that could be done to prevent flooding. Comments (1).

July, 2015

The Civic Scene

Small businesses in Queens need help to survive

At the Queens Civic Congress, Inc. general meeting in the Union Nursing Home June 16, it agreed to help sponsor a forum July 29 to discuss the Small Business Survival Act. This act was introduced in the City Council in June 2014. The act is stalled in the Committee on Small Business without the support of the speaker or the mayor. Comments (2).

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The Civic Scene

Civic leaders of Queens continue to write against the Mayor

The mayor’s preliminary plans to change the zoning on property in Queens from R3 upwards are being prepared by his officials, but there is no input permitted from the civic leaders. There was one public hearing in Manhattan, where most people did not get a chance to speak. People were permitted to send in comments, but there have been no public hearings around the five boroughs where people can give their views. Comment.

June, 2015

The Civic Scene

Queens schools accomplish much this year

As the 2014-2015 school year ends, I again print some of the many fine things happening in our high schools. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Many events in Cunningham Park

One of the most popular events in Cunningham Park, which will take place on Tuesday, June 22 at 8 p.m., will be a New York Philharmonic concert. I don’t know why it is a little early this year but we have to be happy we have it, because the Opera does not perform in Cunningham Park any more due to fiscal reasons. We don’t know the program yet but there will be fireworks this year. People usually park for about 3 blocks around the park. Some bring picnics. Comment.

May, 2015

The Civic Scene

Charter schools create an unequal environment

The Civic Scene

Civic associations voice concerns on zoning changes

Using the valid excuse that more affordable housing is needed for the homeless, the city administration is planning sweeping zoning revisions which civic leaders feel will undo years of positive changes they have been working for. Comment.

April, 2015

The Civic Scene

New zoning could imperil quality of life

Using the valid excuse that more affordable housing is needed for the homeless, the city administration is planning sweeping zoning revisions which civic leaders fear will undo years of positive changes they have been working for. Comments (3).
The Civic Scene

Cast your ballot on how to spend $1 million

Many City Council members in Queens have asked their constituents to take part in Participatory Budgeting. This means that people in the district can vote on how to spend the $1 million in member’s money these lawmakers are allocated to spend in their districts. For the past four months volunteers in certain districts have been meeting to decide on wants. The wants have been broken down into categories representing a couple of hundred thousand dollars each. Comments (1).

March, 2015

The Civic Scene

Cyberknife treats prostate cancer

For about 4 decades I have been taking regular annual PSA tests to screen for Prostate Cancer. My father passed with advanced Prostate Cancer in 1976 at the age of 81 and I then began detection using the PSA test. For our adult life Edna and I had been members of HIP but when we retired from teaching and did more traveling we switched to GHI and Medicare. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Legalizing basement apartments poses problems

As this column predicted a couple of months ago, the proposal to somehow legalize those illegal basement apartments or rooms is back in the news. The mayor is looking for ways to provide apartments for the homeless. Now Queens Borough President Melinda Katz says that we need to make the converted illegal basement apartments safe. Comment.

January, 2015

The Civic Scene

Some DOE policies setting up schools for failure

As the year 2015 starts, the Department of Education should correct some of its policies which set up some schools to fail. Comments (2).
The Civic Scene

Civic leaders unhappy with little punishment for building and zoning violators

The punishment for developers and builders who violate the zoning and building laws is miniscule so they are not discouraged from doing illegal building. An illegally built room can endanger the lives of firemen if they go in to put out a fire in such a room or basement where the zoning code has not been followed. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Civics concerned about mayor’s proposal to legalize basement apartments

The May 2014 newsletter of the Bayside Hills Civic Association Inc., “The Beacon,” and the June 2014 North Flushing Civic Association Newsletter both had articles against the proposal of the mayor to legalize basement apartments to create more housing for the homeless. Comments (2).
CNG: Community Newspaper Group