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The Civic Scene: Beacon Program offers much for community

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The Beacon Program takes place after the regular school day from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays at Ryan J.H.S., 64-20 175th St. in Fresh Meadows.

The programs are free and are wheelchair-accessible. They are sponsored by the Samuel Field/Bay Terrace YM & YWHA, The NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, Community Board 8, School District 26, the Samuel Field Outreach Program and the Pomonok Neighborhood Senior/lnt­ergenerati­onal Program.

Each weekday Beacon offers Homework/Recreation until 5 p.m. At different times boys and girls can take soccer, break-dancing, mediation/conflict resolution, gymnastics, pre-algebra, garden club, volleyball, basketball, counseling, Tae Kwon Do, "Fun with Books," dance, and arts and crafts. Adults can take classes in parenting skills and computers, and there are adult basketball and volleyball in the evening from 8 to 10.

Seniors can attend free fitness/wellness classes, aerobics, Tai Chi and yoga.

For more information call the Beacon Program at J.H.S. 216 after regular school hours at 445-5983. The Web site is www.beacon216.com.

Sometimes the city giveth and sometimes it taketh away. There is a proposal to hold the 2012 Olympics here in New York City, including at several sites in Queens. NYC 2012, a nonprofit corporation created for the purpose, is spearheading the efforts to bring the Olympic Games her in 2012.

One of the proposed sites, which is drawing a great deal of opposition, is Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The proposal, which was sprung on the civics at a meeting of the Queens Civic Congress, is to turn the two popular lakes in the park into a single Olympic rowing course.

Ben Haber, president of the Civic Association of Kew Gardens Hills, fears this would destroy Willow Lake, a protected wetland and home to small mammals, birds, snapping turtles, and other small wildlife.. Haber was one of the civic leaders who fought the proposal several years ago to build a Grand Prix auto racing track in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association, headed by Patricia Dolan, has also announced its opposition to the plan. She questions the proposal to merge Meadow and Willow lakes and thus upset the ecosystem of the area.

Dolan noted that the plan called for the elimination of Jewel Avenue and replacing it with a bridge.

I wonder how much this proposal would actually benefit the communities. The city should look into the virtually deserted area of Arverne in the Rockaways.

Good and Bad News of the Week

The city certainly quickly tackled the heavy snow, at least in most neighborhoods, it seemed.

The plows were out and the main streets were passable early the next day with the secondary streets gradually plowed. By the fourth day I saw sanitation trucks at bus stops with workers cleaning them so buses could pull closer to the sidewalk. The city deserves an A+ for its response to the heavy snow.

The bad news is that garbage still had not been picked up six days after the start of the storm, although recycling was picked up by the second day.

As much as I want the plows to go through, after I saw the several plows and salt spreaders go down my block, I felt it was a little overkill. A few of these trucks should have been diverted to picking up garbage. I wonder if the sanitation workers were able to cut enough breaks in the piles of snow at the bus stops so people could get to the buses easily?

All in all, kudos to our Sanitation Department.

Now, if the city would only divert more resources to education....

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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