The recent Anniversary Issue of the TimesLedger Newspapers was very interesting to me, especially the descriptions of the different Indian tribes after which many communities were named. Another plus was the notation that Queens and Brooklyn are really part of Long Island.
It has long been frustrating to hear Queens or Brooklyn residents say, Well be going to Long Island. Before the days of zip codes, many old-timers added L.I. after the community name in their address as a way to speed up incoming mail from out of town. Then all of a sudden it seemed Queens and Brooklyn people chose to become a separate entity. We need to assess the matter again and reclaim our rightful identity.
Doing so might give us the incentive to start a self-improvement campaign. Are we up to the challenge? Surely southeast Queens has many vibrant organizations and as many (or more) willing volunteer workers as Nassau and Suffolk counties. Most of us want to and do love and take pride in the good things our separate and united communities provide for us.
But if you were to take a trip to the North Shore of Long Island, possibly through Garden City, and then on to Manhasset and Roslyn, I think you would be as shocked as I was at the difference in the cleanliness of their communities compared with ours. Their streets and sidewalks are immaculate. I didnt see any double-parking along their shopping areas.
I also didnt see any illegal motorized scooters, dirt bikes or quads, nor did I see anyone doing wheelies. There were bushes and flowers in beds and in pots, and evidently they had been well-established and undisturbed by theft and vandalism. Lunch in an International House of Pancakes on Northern Boulevard was very enjoyable because the patrons, mostly teens and people in their early 20s, sat quietly enjoying their food and the company of their friends.
All that is how southeast Queens should be. Also, like the North Shore, the South Shore of Long Island (our dear southeast Queens in particular) should not be plastered with all the illegal postings people put across traffic signs, on utility posts and anywhere else that has a holding surface (including on private property against the owners wishes).
It is another obnoxious form of graffiti that should be eradicated as quickly as possible. One Friday morning as I walked along Merrick Boulevard in front of the Associated Food Market I noticed a young boy, maybe 6 years old, carrying a cardboard tray from a take-out place. The tray was piled high with the debris from breakfast with his mother. She stood patiently near her car as she watched him make that big deposit in the sidewalk receptacle.
The boy was grinning from ear to ear when he turned to look toward her for approval. I added my thanks to both of them for that good deed and the good training, as did a gentleman who also had been impressed. Id like very much to praise everyone in our communities, and Im sure our readers would as well.
So as a start, let me advise those who are tempted to post signs that the New York City Department of Sanitations Digest of Codes states: It is illegal for any person to post, print, paint or nail any handbill, poster, notice, sign or advertisement on any curb, sidewalk, gutter, flagstone, tree, lamppost, awning post, telegraph pole, telephone pole, public utility pole, public garbage bin, bus shelter, bridge abutment, elevated train structure, highway fence, barrel, box or hydrant or other similar item on any street.
There is a rebuttable presumption that the person whose name, telephone number or other identifying information appears on any handbill poster, notice, sign or advertisement on any item or structure is in violation. Fine: $50-$250.
The Department of Sanitation has many programs such as the Adopt-a-Basket and Volunteer Mall Clean-Up. They have a Clean Community Campaign and Community Clean-ups/Tools and Equipment Loan. Sanitation may be contacted by calling the departments community affairs office at 646-885-4503. More help might be available from the Citizens Committee for New York City, which can be reached at 212-989-0909.
In the meantime, this is my last chance to remind you about National Night Out Against Crime. Please come Aug. 5 (a Tuesday) at Belmont Race Track Gate No. 5, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. No alcohol will be permitted, but there will be lots of food some of it free fun and music. The event will go on, rain or shine.
©2003 Community News Group
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