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The Civic Scene: Streets called one-way for a very good reason

This type of activity is dangerous to children, older people and drivers who are following the street signs. Some people actually become angry if you criticize them for these illegal actions. Edna and I have actually stopped our car in front of such a person. Of course, one has to know when to give in unless you really want a bad confrontation. This is a job for the NYPD and it is not just a quality of life issue but a matter of life and limb.The December 2007 newsletter of the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association featured a few suggestions by President Paul Kerzner. He warned homeowners not to use rock salt to remove ice, although it is cheaper than calcium chloride, because it destroys sidewalks and stoops by turning the cement into a cracking, powdery, flaky dust.Other interesting household hints are to put wet newspaper around the plants you put into the soil and then cover with mulch to stop the growth of weeds; use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up small shards of glass that can be hard to see; place a dryer sheet in your pocket to keep away mosquitoes; keep squirrels from eating your plants by sprinkling the plants with cayenne pepper; keep a chalkboard eraser in your glove box to easily clean foggy windshields; fill a small glass half way with apple cider vinegar and two drops of dishwashing liquid to get rid of fruit flies; put out cornmeal to get rid of ants, which expire because they can't digest it; and if you use drier sheets in your clothes drier, wash the lint filter every few months with hot soapy water and a toothbrush, because dryer sheets cause a film which can cause the drier to catch fire.The December 2007 Holliswood Civic News had a paragraph explaining that the city has been overrun by clothing collection bins fraudulently posing as charity collection bins. The City Council has passed Local Law 31 in an effort to control this practice. In November 2007 the department of Sanitation tagged more than 300 bins in the borough of Queens. Notification was sent to the owners of these bins (wherever possible) informing them the bins will be removed after 30 days unless they remove them. One can call 311 or your local community board. CB 8 can be reached at 718-264-7895.The Holliswood newsletter listed a half page of recycling facts. A few interesting bits of information are that you don't recycle plastic toys, plastic cups and plates, deli or yogurt containers, styrofoam items or plastic furniture. Don't recycle electronic equipment, but there are special pickup locations announced every few months. You only recycle plastic bottles or containers with a 1 or 2 inside a small triangle on the bottom. You must recycle refrigerators or air conditions or freezers, but if they are old and contain CFC gas (Freon) you have to call 311 to make an appointment for Sanitation to come with a special truck to remove the Freon gas, which depletes the ozone layer in the atmosphere if it gets loose. After the Freon is remove Sanitation will put a special orange tag on your appliance so the pick up truck will take it away. For questions call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/sanitation.GOOD AND BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK: I found an article in the Sept. 23 City section of The New York Times about a proposal by Fordham University to expand on land it owns near Lincoln Center. The city had sold this grassy patch of land to Fordham in 1950 after acquiring it by eminent domain. Fordham has added so many students, it says it now needs more buildings. It wanted to expand and to build eight new buildings, some 50 to 55 stories tall. It wanted to build two private apartment towers on Amsterdam Avenue to make money to build its other buildings.Fordham also wanted to waive the zoning laws as to height and setbacks (which provide light and air) and build underground parking for 470 cars. Local legislators opposed many of these plans. The university officials said they had to do these things. This sounds like St. John's University, only they just don't answer the community surrounding their expansion plans. I guess we have to add Fordham to NYU (my alma mater), Columbia and St. John's, who, along with gigantic medical centers, keep expanding and expanding and creating gigantic cement and brick and glass monstrosities where once there was grass and trees and comfortable living places.

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