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The Civic Scene: For civics groups parks big priority in Queens

In the April newsletter of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, Leon Maniace’s article, “Good Parks Vital to Healthy Neighborhoods,” seems to be right on the mark. It explains our subconscious reason for fighting so hard to renovate Fresh Meadow’s Cunningham Park.

Maniace tells of a firefighter last October who commented after a ceremony held honoring the heroes of Sept. 11, “We hope people will not forget us in six months.” He explains that Jackson Heights remembered the police and firefighters at its annual “You Gotta Have Park” celebration in Travers Park May 18. You need well-maintained parks to have these celebrations.

Maniace also says that “people want parks.” Parks attract people who buy homes or rent apartments in a community. Parks are not only for children but for adults who want places for recreation or just to escape into nature. Community Board 3 has set acquiring more park space a priority for Jackson Heights.

We have to make sure that Community Board 8 and councilmen David Weprin and James Gennario, Assemblyman Mark Weprin, Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn, state Sen. Frank Padavan and state Sen. Dan Hevesi help us find the money to repair our very heavily used and worn Cunningham Park.

The April newsletter of the Fresh Meadows Homeowners explained that storing unlicensed vehicles or commercial vehicles on residential property is a violation of the building code. The use of residential property for the sale of vehicles also is a violation. Call the 107th Precinct at 969-5100 and ask for the desk sergeant if there is an abandoned car with license plates. Call the Sanitation Department’s Action Center at 212-727-8734 if the abandoned car does not have plates.

If you have a tattered American flag, the Boy Scouts will retire it for you at a traditional campfire ceremony. Call Jim DeBonet, Founder’s District Unit commissioner, at 718-886-5540, for assistance.

The April newsletter of the Holliswood Civic Association informs its members that a sanitation fine of $50 to $100 can be given out if garbage and recycling is not kept in or adjacent to your property. The receptacles should be put out on the evening prior to pickup, not in the afternoon.

Sanitation starts picking up at about 7 a.m. during the summer so the workers can finish prior to the very hot afternoons. During the winter, some workers are out all night so they can be there in case of sudden ice or snow storms. It is thus important to put your receptacle out the prior evening of your pickup day.

The Kew Forest Neighborhood Association held a meeting on June 20 because someone is converting a house into a rehabilitation center and is reconfiguring the lawn space so it can put 10 parking spaces into property that is 50 feet by 100 feet. After a furious, quick-moving battle a couple of years ago this small neighborhood was rezoned down from R6 to R2 to reflect the one-family homes already there.

A builder had discovered that the area was zoned R6. Now the community sees a house being turned into a community facility with a 10-car parking lot. They are fearful of the impact this facility will have on their quality of life.

This situation could happen to almost any homeowner. This is why the Queens Civic Congress is working with Councilman Tony Avella, chairman of the Zoning Subcommittee, and Councilwoman Melinda Katz, chairwoman of the Land Use Committee, as well as other officials to limit the negative impact of community facilities.

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