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The Civic Scene: Civic newsletters show neighborhood power

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Bayside Hills Civic Association President Jerry M. Iannece has announced in the association newsletter, “The Beacon,” that after a follow-up meeting with Borough President Claire Shulman, the city Department of Transportation, the Parks Department and other concerned parties, the long-awaited Oakland Ravine Stormwater Project will begin in September. This shows what a determined civic association can accomplish.

The project will cost over $140 million and will include a waterfall park in the Ravine, contain huge storm pipes over 20 feet in diameter in some areas, contain inflatable dams to capture raw sewage and detour the flow out of Alley Pond Environment Center property, stop the current flooding conditions and create thousands of jobs for union workers. Iannece said the project should be completed in 18 months. It will end the flooding which has plagued the area.

The other officers of the Bayside Hills Civic association are Vice President Diane Cohen, Secretary Lisa Mattaway and Treasurer Daniel Dwyer.

Dr. David Copell, chairman of Housing and Zoning of the Auburndale Improvement Association, wrote in the “Auburndale Voice” that two years ago, after nine years of effort, downtown Flushing was rezoned. The area east of the Flushing River and west of Main Street is about to be changed in appearance and architecture. Copell wrote, “A new modern glass faced building is about to be built which will change the appearance of all of downtown Flushing and spread east along Northern Boulevard. The areas will change from a manufacturing hub into an Internet communications center of the 21st century.”

When the water treatment plant has been built on the river a promenade will be built there and so change the community. The change is taking place slowly and should make the community a better place. Copell explained to the members of the civic how to file a zoning complaint. He told members to notify the association, the community board and the local council person of any zoning or other types of violations. The civic will follow up on any complaints, he said. Members are asked to become involved.

The other officers of the Auburndale Improvement Association are President James J. Rogers, Ist Vice President Terri Pouymari, 2nd Vice President Maryalice Broussard, 3rd Vice President Tim Liston, Recording Secretary Joan Jaworski, Chairman Dr. David Copell, Sergeant-At-Arms Lee Horn, Treasurer Catherine Grdovic , and Computer Consultant Michael Zurik.

GOOD NEWS OF THE WEEK

After a court case which took years, Justice Leland DeGrasse ruled in State Supreme Court in Manhattan that the New York state school formula, calculated in Albany, cheats New York City students by not giving them their fair share of the education budget. While the city has 38 percent of the state’s students it has only been receiving 35 percent of the education money. This is why our schools are in so much need of repair, are so overcrowded, have so many old books, fewer computers and lower salaries for the teachers. Of course, one must hope that the city will not deduct an amount from their education budget equal to the amount of any additional money the state provides for the city (I remember a previous mayor doing just that). And let’s hope Gov. Pataki’s appeal of the decision is not successful. Now, if only politics in Albany doesn’t get in the way of giving New York City the money due it.

BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK

When one government gives, another government takes away. Although they have a surplus the Postal Service has raised first class stamps 1 cent. There have been long lines and a lot of confusion over this. I read that the Service lost $84 million from 1995 to ’97 selling mugs, T-shirts, stickers and other items. I hope they use my extra 1 penny more efficiently.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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