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"I'm very proud of this borough," Marshall told the Douglaston Civic Association, adding that the primary reason why Queens works is because of civic involvement."Civic associations bring something very special," Marshall said to the 60-odd residents gathered at St. Anastasia's Church at 45-05 245th St in Douglaston. "You're probably the concrete that holds our borough together."Moving west to east, Marshall spoke to the civic association about developments and plans for the borough, ranging from the newly revised Olympics bid centered on a new Shea Stadium to the proposed rezoning of Douglaston and Little Neck.While discussing the city's 2012 Olympics bid, with an athletes' village planned for Hunters Point, Marshall said she hopes the developers who would convert the village to apartments after the Games would consider setting aside some units as co-ops to attract younger residents."Young people need to have space," she said. "If we don't make a place for them in the city that they can afford, they're going to leave."While Marshall did not delve deeply into the politics surrounding the city's revised Olympics bid, she expressed satisfaction that the new bid would build the Mets a fresh stadium."We need to build a new Shea Stadium. That's what I told (Mayor Michael Bloomberg) from the beginning," she said. Acknowledging the Olympic plan would greatly affect Willets Point and its numerous auto shops and junk yards, Marshall recalled her experience with the area based on 19 years in state Assembly representing the neighborhood, and spoke bluntly."That area needs to be redone. We have done a lot of raids in that area. Some of it is really bad," she said. But she also said she was not opposed to some local businesses relocating or finding a way around being displaced."If some of those businesses want to stay, I think we should let them," she said.The area around Jamaica's AirTrain station is also undergoing much-needed growth and improvement, she said."We are doing over the old Dutch Reform church and will have open space there for art and music," Marshall said. "We're generally fixing up the whole area."Touching upon another troubled project, the old Flushing Airport, Marshall acknowledged that the previous plans for a Korean wholesale zone at the airport fell through, but she said the wholesale developers had a new, exciting proposal for downtown Jamaica."They have now come back differently. They're planning a tower building (near the AirTrain station)," Marshall said.Turning back to the immediate vicinity, Marshall said she had helped the Little Neck Pines Civic Association beautify the stretch of Northern Boulevard in the community with streetscape improvements, including tree plantings.She also pledged her support to Douglaston Civic and Little Neck Pines Civic associations' joint effort to control overdevelopment in northeast Queens by downzoning."You have a beautiful community," Marshall said. "The whole idea is to keep things the way they are."Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2005 Community Newspaper Group
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