Today’s news:

The Civic Scene: Civics warn neighbors against illegal postings

Several civic association newsletters warn members that the New York City Administrative Code includes the Department of Sanitation’s regulations banning the posting of notices and advertisements on public property. People illegally place job notices, open houses, garage sales, parties, social events, lost animal or even lost adult notices on lamp poles, telephone poles, mailboxes, bus shelters, fire alarm boxes and walls of all kinds. This is all illegal. This action is unsightly.

Some people who want to hire workers for piece work at home print thin Styrofoam signs which attach high up on telephone poles. This is a form of pollution. The paper or cardboard signs look unsightly when hung but hang down after a rain and look ragged. This makes our neighborhoods look bad. People who hang signs up can be fined from $50 to $250.

Some of the civic associations which printed the warning were the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association, the Kew Gardens Homeowners Civic Association, the Auburndale Improvement Association and the Mid-Queens Community Council. Community Board 8 has informed us that inspectors will be out looking for those thin “make money at home” Styrofoam signs hung on lamp poles.

Some people use a gardening rake or hoe or an ice scraper to take those signs off poles. Some are low enough that they can be pulled off by hand. Those paper or cardboard notices are often pulled down by people as they walk around their neighborhood. It is easy for people to remove those unsightly notices but if you want to report them, call Community Board 8 at 591-6000. It is up to the individual people to take care of their neighborhood.

The Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association warns people to protect their charge/credit cards by always signing the signature box, destroying old cards when the new ones come in, always shred or tear into small pieces all pre-approved charge/credit card applications, take only those cards you plan to use when traveling, make sure to get your card and receipt back when you make a purchase, don’t give out your card number or Social Security number to anybody who calls you unsolicited, don’t leave an envelope with a paid bill in your home mail box, never write your PIN number on your card or keep it in your wallet and, finally, always check your charge card statement. These are ways to keep thieves from stealing from you.

Some Little boxes with useful information found in the Kew Gardens Hills Homeowners Civic Association newsletter are: Quality of Life Hot Line, 888-677-LIFE; Building Department Central Complaint Center, 212-227-7000; Recycle...It’s the Law!

Good News of the Week

Beacon School at Ryan JHS has started its February 2002 programs. There are classes for all age groups at different times, including homework/recreation, drama, algebra, arts & craft, teen dance, a garden club plus many other activities. There are Saturday morning programs also. Seniors are welcome. Bill Jenal is the site director. Call after regular school hours at 445-6983. The Web site is WWW.BEACON 216.COM. For counseling call Sam or Felicia. This is a Samuel Field YM & YWHA program.

Bad News of the Week

The talk in Washington, D.C. about federal medicine coverage under Medicare is important. It seems that many of the nation’s largest health insurers which recruited elderly people to Medicare HMOs by offering free prescriptions are now eliminating drug coverage or demanding higher payments. Some are putting a ceiling on prescription payments. Many ill seniors now have a problem: to eat or take medicine.

One has to wonder why medicine costs so much? Yes, I know there are research costs. Why do different companies have similar medicines and then spend so much money to advertise for customers? Are well-paid lobbyists preventing a fair solution? Our government leaders have to find a solution to this problem.

Reach columnist Bob Harris by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 140.

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