Today’s news:

The Civic Scene: CB 8 against any plan to close Fort Totten fire base

Community Board 8 District Manager Marie Adam-Ovide has reported that the 107th Precinct, acting with city Parks Department police, have booted and towed tractor-trailers and car carriers that parked overnight in Cunningham Park along 73rd Avenue east of the Clearview Expressway.

Members of the West Cunningham Park Civic Association have worked on this problem. Residents who still see tractor-trailers or car carriers parked in Cunningham Park should call 311.

People are reminded not to leave their pocketbooks in the trunks of their cars when in a park. Criminals watch people who pull into a park parking lot and then jimmy open the trunk.

In the spring people volunteered to clean up our parks. Students from Columbia University repainted benches and did cleanup at Captain Tilly Park. St. John’s University students, Townsend Harris High School students and members of the West Cunningham civic cleaned up Cunningham Park.

Residents along Utopia Parkway from the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association have been concerned about flooding due to heavy rain. The city Department of Environmental Protection were supposed to install flow monitors this summer, but the bids were no good.

The city Department of Design and Construction informed CB 8 there will be sidewalk and curb replacements on Hillside Avenue from 191st Street to Van Wyck Expressway in the fall. You may remember that a rezoning of Hillside Avenue will permit apartment houses up to about 11 stories tall.

The community board recently passed a resolution for the state Legislature, state Department of Environmental Conservation and Gov. David Paterson to prohibit the drilling for natural gas within the state boundaries of the watershed of the city drinking water supply.

It seems the Catskill and Delaware watersheds sit on top of the Marcellus shale formation, which contains large deposits of natural gas. Using hydraulic fracturing means using dangerous chemicals, which could pollute our water. Whereas the city upstate watershed constitutes less than 4 percent of the total land over the Marcellus formation, it is believed there is no need for drilling in this area.

CB 8 voted to object to any plans to close the Queens Fire Marshal Base at Fort Totten. The base is close to highways and bridges so the fire marshals can easily respond to emergencies. CB 8 also asked other community boards to have this item restored to the city budget.

All community boards have cycling and truck route maps that include the five boroughs. To protect yourself from mosquito bites, which might spread diseases, use bug repellents such as Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus and IR3535.

The Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association newsletter reported that Marriott is building two hotels on the north side of the Long Island Expressway, just east of Utopia Parkway. There are plans for 18 two-family attached, privately owned homes to be built on this property.

The May Civic Association of Utopia Estates newsletter said lawn mowers or other noisy landscaping devices can only be used between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays and between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on holidays and weekends. One should call 311 to report problems or obtain more information.

The DEP is moving forward with automatic meter reading technology to improve water metering. Radio transmitters on your meter will send daily readings to rooftop receivers throughout the city. The DEP will be able to issue monthly bills and will not have to send a reader to our homes.

The May 2009 Jamaica Estates Civic Association newsletter commented on a number of items mentioned above plus discussed the possibility of rezoning Jamaica Estates from R1-2 to R1-2A. The new zoning would limit the size of new buildings in the community and keep them in line with the current buildings there. A report was prepared by Joel Miele for the civic about the impact of the new dorm being built for the use of SJU students by a private developer.

The report stated the documents provided by the builder, if followed, would not affect the community as to sewage backups and storm drainage. The report does not comment on the size of the dorm.

GOOD AND BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK: The NYPD has cut down crime, although it still exists, so the city had been cut out of the $1 billion federal COPS stimulus money. But due to complaints, other federal money was found for the NYPD.

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