|Print this story||Permalink|
In the evening of Oct. 22, 2004, Vasean Philip Alleyne, 11, and a friend Angel Reyes, 12, crossed in the middle of 73rd Avenue between two cars. A boiler repair man, John Wirtha, 56, struck them with the van he was driving, police said. Alleyne died two hours later. Reyes was in a coma for a week but survived. A blood test of Wirtha showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.13 percent - the legal limit is 0.08 percent. The driver lives in Fresh Meadows, not very far from my house.After an investigation, it was determined that the driver had not broken any traffic laws nor had he been driving recklessly so charges can only be limited to driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor which can be punished by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail. The lawyer for the accused commented that "my client had the green light, was driving under 30, and the two children stepped out between two parked cars on a dark street against the green light." Since the state law requires the intoxication to be connected to the cause of the accident for the incident to be serious, the punishment is limited.At the Community Board 8 meeting Alleyne's mother, Monique Dixon, spoke for naming the street after him. She also said that she was going to Albany and would not come home until a stronger DWI law was passed. Community leaders, Queens lawmakers and members of MADD will be with her. This column has written about the issue of DWI after previous deaths. Hopefully the law will now be strengthened. Community Board 8 passed a unanimous resolution asking that the New York State DWI laws be changed.Community Board 8 voted on the request of a homeowner, in Holliswood, to have a variance to relieve the side yard distance for the house and the garage he wants to build on his property. Since Holliswood was downzoned in 2003 to prevent just this sort of overdevelopment, CB 8 unanimously voted against the variance. This is the second such request in less than a year. They both have been voted down.During the public participation part of the CB 8 meeting two residents of Fresh Meadows spoke for a re-zoning of the community from R2 to R2A to prevent the building of those large McMansions. There are several in Jamaica Estates and a big one on 196th Place in the 7500 block and on a few other blocks in Fresh Meadows. Votes on this type of rezoning are currently going on in Bayside and Springfield Gardens. We will report more on these developments in the future. People bought homes in a community with a certain type of home, a certain amount of air and light, more green things, less pollution from more cars and garbage cans and are prone to fight to keep the quality of life they now have.A guest speaker at the CB 8 March meeting was Pat Toro, Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 32. He was responsible for bringing the "Moving Vietnam Wall" to Cunningham Park recently. He was accompanied by several members of Chapter 32. He came to CB 8 to thank them, the Parks Department and the Friends of Cunningham Park for helping have the "Moving Wall" visit Cunningham Park as a tribute to those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Plaques were presented to CB 8 Chairman Alvin Warshaviak and President of the Friends of Cunningham Park Marc A. Haken for their group's assistance.Good and bad news of the weekWe have a very advanced society which has made the automobile a vehicle for commerce and entertainment which has enriched our lives and encouraged people to move here to enjoy our standard of living.One problem is that we have become too dependent on petroleum for energy. We have declining oil reserves and consume too much. Even after the oil crisis of the 1970s we didn't learn our lesson. Like a drunkard we continue to consume oil. Some say the multinational oil companies dominate the world economy too much and make sure that their oil is the energy standard.Some say we have the technology to build hybrid cars which use batteries or ethanol or methanol. Some say the hybrid cars can plug in for electricity at night or have flexible-fuel tanks for a combination of different energy sources and can get 50 miles a gallon currently. Some say that we could get 200 or 300 miles on a gallon of gasoline easily with hybrids.Some say that it would cost $12 billion to switch to a hybrid transportation system, but that is what we spend in Iraq every three months.
©2005 Community Newspaper Group
|Print this story||Permalink|
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.