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The Civic Scene: Three in Queens awarded scholarships

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The trustees of the Educational and Cultural Fund of the Electrical Industry recently held their 53rd annual Scholarship Award Breakfast in the Electrical Industry Center Auditorium, on Parsons Boulevard in Flushing. Children of members of Local No. 3 are eligible to receive scholarships.

One of the Queens residents who received a scholarship was Marisa Rommeney, receiving the Howard McSpedon Memorial Scholarship. She is a resident of Whitestone who attends Cardozo High School where she is in the Da Vinci Science Program and is in the Drama Program Competition.

Another Queens resident was Anthony C. Santorelli who lives in Bayside and attends Townsend Harris H.S. where he is on the Math Team, is a member of SAAD, is in the chorus and does tutoring. He was awarded the William A. Hogan Memorial Scholarship. He is thinking of attending Cornell.

A third Queens resident who received a scholarship from the Electrical Union was Sabrina Marasia — the John K. Lapham Memorial Scholarship. She lives in Glendale and attends Townsend Harris H.S. where she is a mentor and active in SAAD and SPAA. She is thinking of attending the University of Maryland.

The guest speaker was Denis Hughes, president of the New York State AFL-CIO. Also present were Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Assemblywoman Nettle Mayersohn, Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry, state Senator Toby Stavisky, and other officials. It was a nice breakfast and program with several members of Community Board 8 present.

At another ceremony at City Hall a couple of weeks earlier, Tami Hirsch, president of the Civic Association of Utopia Estates, Fresh Meadows was honored with a New York City Council Annual Women of Achievement Pacesetter Award. She was selected by City Councilman Morton Povman as the person he wanted to honor from his district.

Tami Hirsch, who lives just a few blocks from me, is a member of Community Board 8. She, and her husband Irving, are also concerned about the dilapidated state of nearby Cunningham Park. For decades — I guess it has been decades — Hirsch has battled to maintain the quality of life in her community, be it illegal conversions, disruptive sewer construction, noisy bars, too many buses, airplane noise, pollution, or graffiti. She represents all the civic leaders who volunteer countless hours for their neighborhood.

GOOD NEWS OF THE WEEK

My wife, Edna. just beat a parking ticket. She had gone to the Fame Diner and decided to park across the street on 176th Street north of Union Turnpike. There was a white sign but it was faded so no letters could be read. Does the city specially make signs which will fade so the police can meet their quota of monthly parking tickets? Angry, she went back the next day to take a photo of the faded sign. Interestingly, she had to wait on line because several other people were taking photos of the faded sign.

When she went to contest the ticket the judge said that the one photo of the faded sign was not enough but more photos of the surrounding area was needed to prove the sign was actually the one which caused the ticket. After the ticket was dismissed she called Community Board 8 (591-600) and asked then to have the sign replaced.

BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK

It is spring and swindlers work our communities to bilk older homeowners out of money. The scam is called "predatory lending." People go to a home and offer to repair something which they say needs repairing. The criminal scams the senior citizen into taking out a loan to do repair; the loans are often filled with unnecessary fees which increase the size of the repayment. The repayments are often so high that the homeowners may lose their home.

Since senior often own their homes free and clear, they are a good target for criminals. People should talk to friends and consult a lawyer who should have a clearer view of the situation before they sign any loan papers. Be careful before you give any information to strangers, and be very wary of signing anything.

Posted 7:04 pm, October 10, 2011
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