No Place for a Squatter

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A story in this newspaper last week described a woman who has been living in St. Albans Park for the last three years as a “squatter.” It would have been politically incorrect to call this lady a bum, but that is exactly what this person is — a bum who has been allowed to ruin this park for families in southeast Queens.

Former City Councilman Archie Spigner lives nearby and has been pressuring the police and homeless services to remove this lady, who sits in the park with loads of dirty clothes and other possessions.

So far, nothing has happened.

According to Rene Hill, president of the Addisleigh Park Civic Association, the woman has become a major nuisance. “Through the rain, through the snow, through the heat, whatever weather, she lives there,” he said. He said she litters the park and undresses and dresses in public view.

The time has come to show this bum the door. It may be this woman has mental problems and needs to be hospitalized. The city is compassionate and prepared to take care of the homeless. If she is simply homeless, the city Department of Homeless Services can find a shelter where she can live with her food, sanitary and health needs taken care of.

The DHS cannot force anyone to accept its help, but the police can force her to leave and they can take her into custody if they determine she is incapable of caring for herself.

She should not be allowed to camp out in St. Albans Park for even one more day.

Meeks’ $40,000 Oops

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks would like you to believe his failure to report a $40,000 loan from a real estate developer in his district was nothing more than “an oversight.”

To his credit, Meeks told TimesLedger Newspapers, “I take full responsibility for and regret this oversight.” Then he added he “immediately filed amended statements for years 2004 through 2008, and I have implemented processes to guard against such oversights in the future.”

That opens up a whole new kettle of fish. Were there other “oversights” in these statements? Why was the $40,000 oversight not noticed until now?

Updated 6:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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