|Print this story||Permalink|
When City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) arrived at the corner of 164th Street and 69th Avenue in Fresh Meadows last week, a wall on The Corner Deli was covered in red graffiti. Gennaro put on a pair of gray work gloves and held a spray gun and less than 15 minutes later the graffiti was gone.
“Graffiti is a plague on the community and I’m happy to do my part in removing it,” said Gennaro, who had help Sept. 24 from City Solve employee Raymie Neptune in removing the cartoon-like lettering that did not spell anything recognizable.
“When the vandals decide to tag again, we’ll clean it again, breaking their resolve, each time attacking it as a disease until my district is cured of graffiti,” Gennaro added.
The Fresh Meadows councilman has partnered with City Solve, a group that has worked with officials throughout the borough and city to remove graffiti.
City Solve President Bruce Pienkny said his group plans to power wash or paint over graffiti at four major shopping hubs in Gennaro’s district, including Kissena Boulevard between the Long Island Expressway service road to Union Turnpike, Union Turnpike from Main Street to Francis Lewis Boulevard, 164th Street from Union Turnpike to the Long Island Expressway service road and Parsons Boulevard from Hillside Avenue to Union Turnpike.
“Graffiti negatively affects quality of life,” Pienkny said. “Graffiti begets more graffiti. Graffiti begets other crime. By cleaning the graffiti, we find there’s less vandalism.”
After City Solve removes the graffiti in the shopping areas, group officials will conduct monthly maintenance in the areas to ensure they remain free of graffiti. Pienkny and Gennaro also encouraged residents to call the councilman’s office with information about graffiti in the area. Once a complaint is made, City Solve will tend to the problem site and remove the graffiti.
Peter Au, who works at The Corner Deli at 164th Street and 69th Avenue, said he was relieved Gennaro and City Solve have taken on the fight against graffiti. Au said the deli has repeatedly removed graffiti from its wall, only to have vandals return time and time again.
“As soon as you clean it up, they come right back,” Au said. “I’ve never been able to catch the guys. They do it late at night.”
Pienkny said City Solve also works with police to give them information about graffiti hot spots to help them catch the vandals.
“Police are taking the issue of graffiti much more seriously than they have in the past,” Pienkny said.
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 174.
©2009 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.