Theres good talk about movin on up in Laurelton. City Councilman James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton) and his staff have moved to new quarters on the second floor of the Social Concern building at 226-18 Merrick Blvd. Sanders phone number remains the same, 718-527-4356. Good luck in your new home.
More good movin up news was noted in the Community Briefs section of the TimesLedgers March 11 edition. My old school, PS 156 (now known as the Laurelton School), at 229-02 137th Ave. was scheduled to receive a $1,000 Pathfinder Award from the Business Council of the State of New York for raising its math scores 84 percent and English scores 90 percent.
The award was scheduled to be presented April 1 at 6 p.m. at the school. A similar award was scheduled to be presented March 4 at 10 a.m. at PS 121 in Ozone Park for improving math scores 37 percent and English scores 78 percent. I still visit PS 156 from time to time, to vote and sometimes to participate in events held there.
Anyone who has attended the shows there or seen some of the creative artwork must be proud of our talented Laurelton students and teachers. We thank all of them. In that same edition of the TimesLedger, the completion of the renovation of the Long Island Rail Road Laurelton station was noted. The cost of the renovation was $500,000.
I can only hope that those who will be frequenting the station will appreciate the improvements enough not to abuse them in any way. The renovations include new public address, lighting and heating systems, a refurbished waiting room including new windows and doors and an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant restroom.
For many years while my sister and I were growing up it was a treat to go to the Laurelton station to pick up visiting relatives and friends. The building was ground level, a quaint little brown edifice with a turning circle in front of it that was both fragrant and beautiful with plantings of laurel, rhododendron, privet hedge and grass. Similar plantings were also on the sides and back of the building.
On nice days while we waited for guests we would watch the lights blink, see the white slat gates with black stripes drop down to notify drivers to stop and then watch the cars line up as they waited for the train to come and release them from the temporary detention. When we greeted our guests, they would remark about our pretty little station until a few disrespectful people made things bad for our entire community, even as some are doing now.
Our fragrant, pretty little Laurelton station was full of graffiti, the wooden seats were gouged and the station, inside and out, became an open cesspool that created a stench that could be smelled more than a block away. That smell had saturated the entire structure of the station that we were once, long ago, proud to visit.
Once the building was demolished, the station was raised for safety reasons and one more bit of country atmosphere disappeared and was written into the memories of some of us and into the pages of history for others. Respect is hard to come by these days, and I hope those who contributed to the stations previous destruction have grown up to be wiser and more considerate or have gone out of town to stay.
Sooner or later we are all asked and sometimes forced to pay for the misdeeds of others. It is my understanding that the Laurelton Local Development Corp. has been working to establish a business improvement district that would impose a levy on property owners to pay for additional sanitation, safety and beautification initiatives from Springfield Boulevard to Laurelton Parkway, according to Robert Butts, executive director of the LLDC.
All that might not have to be a consideration if people obeyed the laws and respected the community and each other.
One more move up for which congratulations are due are to longtime active resident William Jefferson, the new president of the board of trustees of the Queens Borough Public Library, which celebrated its 108th birthday March 19.
©2004 Community News Group
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