CB 11 considers street renaming

Thomas Fennell (r.) proposes to rename 214th Place in Bayside after Geraldine Cilmi, his late science teacher who died last year of cancer. Photo by Phil Corso
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A Bayside student who wants to honor his late teacher by having a Bayside street renamed in her honor got the nod from Community Board 11 Monday.

In other actions, a Douglaston family intent on improving their landmarked property received the go-ahead at the board’s monthly meeting at MS 158, at 46-35 Oceania St. in Bayside.

A member of the 111th Precinct also provided details on updated crime statistics, which outlined a slight increase in crime.

In a presentation to the community board, seventh-grade Boy Scout Thomas Fennell suggested the renaming of 214th Place in Bayside to “Geraldine Cilmi Lane,” in honor of his late science teacher who died of cancer last year.

Cilmi taught at PS 41 The Crocheron School, at 214-43 35th Ave., and received much praise from both Fennell and his mother, Irene Fennell.

“I loved going to her class because I could be free,” Thomas said. “I’ll always remember her. She loved all of us.”

According to Irene Fennell, the renamed street is adjacent to the school near Crocheron Park and no residents live on the street. She said she helped her son go through appropriate government channels with support from both state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) and City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) to name the street in the former science teacher’s memory.

“She created an environment so conducive to learning and I wish she had a prototype to pass down to future teachers,” Irene Fennell said. “There will be no impact to anyone other than the friends and family of a teacher whose memory will stay with us forever.”

CB 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece said the proposal was moved over to a committee to begin the process of renaming the street.

Attorney Mitchell Ross represented the Schindler family of Douglaston in a proposal to build in the bed of a mapped street on Depew Avenue. According to Ross, the family wanted to improve its 8,900-square-foot house by raising it to street level and adding a second story.

The community board voted unanimously to approve the plan.

Neighbor Joan Rose spoke in support of the Schindler family’s renovation plans, adding that the reconstruction would only improve their neighborhood.

Ross said the renovations would maintain the home’s landmarked front facade.

Similar to every month’s community board meeting, a representative of the 111th Precinct updated the community on the most recent crime statistics. On Monday night, Capt. Tommy Ng said the area saw a slight increase in crime through the first four months of 2012, mostly due to the ongoing issue of criminals breaking into parked and idling cars.

“We urge all residents to not leave any valuables visible in their cars,” Ng said. “All it takes is a few seconds for someone to break into your car and steal your property.”

According to the 111th Precinct, overall crime is up 5 percent so far in 2012.

Monday night’s meeting also included a public session on a special permit for a physical culture establishment at Lucille Roberts, at 41-19 Bell Blvd., and a presentation on plans to reconstruct the path near Oakland Lake.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Posted 12:00 am, May 13, 2012
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