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111th Pct. gears up for summer follies

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"You do a good job most of the time," EBHA President Frank Skala told 111th Precinct commander Capt. Thomas Pilkington in a meeting June 15 at the precinct house on Northern Boulevard. A handful of local residents were in attendance with Community Board 11 District Manager Susan Seinfeld, and representatives of City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose). Several officers were also present from the 111th Precinct, which covers a large swath of northeast Queens. Kids breaking park curfews, illegal fireworks, increased patronage at Bell Boulevard bars: all these summer issues require constant vigilance from the 111th Precinct in conjunction with the community, Skala said. Lt. Dan Heffernan of the 111th Precinct said in a phone interview that illegal fireworks were confiscated Saturday from a South Huntington, L.I. man who was driving at Northern Boulevard and 207th Street, marking this year's first such seizure. Last summer the 111th Precinct issued 12 summonses, 10 juvenile reports and conducted 13 seizures related to fireworks, according to Heffernan.The sale and purchase of fireworks are illegal in New York City unless you are a professional, according to the Fire Department. At the EBHA meeting, some community members also expressed concern over nearby car dealership Star Toyota, located on Northern Boulevard by the Clearview Expressway, where some residents said they had ongoing problems with the dealership parking its inventory too close to the sidewalk. "Anyone trying to get around the cars, they have to come out into the expressway," said Bayside activist Mandingo Tshaka, who lives just blocks away from the dealership. "The city has to crack down." Pilkington said he sympathized with their concerns, but enforcing sidewalk regulations was up to the city's Department of Buildings and out of the police's scope. "(The Police Department) can write tickets, but the Bureau of Parking Violations won't enforce it," Heffernan said. Others cited worries over the rampant double-parking on many of Bayside's busiest streets, including Northern and Bell boulevards. 111th Precinct officers acknowledged the nuisance but cited the ubiquity and general benignity of the issue. "You guys are too nice, too soft, too easy," Skala told Pilkington. "But the first time an old lady is killed crossing the street, I'm going to come back and say I told you so. "Zap them all," the civic leader added. "Ticket them." Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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