Residents talk civic issues at Street Fair
by Ed Wendell
Oct 23, 2013 | 1020 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last Sunday, the GWDC presented the annual Wonderful Woodhaven Street Fair, and thousands of residents from Woodhaven and communities from around the city packed Jamaica Avenue, enjoying good food, music and fun.

The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association took advantage of the crowds to sit outside the office, located at 84-20 Jamaica Ave., and sold T-Shirts and met with the residents of our community. Over the course of the day we spoke to dozens of residents who we’ve never met before, and many of them, in turn, had never heard of us.

We encouraged them to fill out a brief survey that asked them to list “the biggest problems facing Woodhaven.” We found that many of the same problems we’ve been talking about are similarly frustrating everyone else.

Garbage in the streets and people not cleaning up after their dogs were two of the top complaints we discussed recently in this column.

Crime was a top complaint, with a few residents also commenting that they felt it was getting progressively worse. One of the things I was grateful to hear was that many of the people we spoke to were more than willing to participate in a Civilian Observation Patrol, something the WRBA is in the process of developing.

Parking was a hot topic on Sunday as people noted that spaces were precious and sometimes hard to come by. Those with driveways complained that they often found them blocked by other people’s cars. Many of these parking issues are a direct result of overcrowding, which is a result of illegal housing.

In fact, many of our problems stem from illegal conversions and overcrowding. Too much noise, too much garbage, too little parking – all of these problems stem from illegal conversions and overcrowding, which also creates a drain on our resources.

It was refreshing to speak to so many new faces and we hope they will become regulars at our meetings.

If you are reading this and you have frustrations about our community, please consider coming to one of our upcoming Town Hall meetings on Monday October 28 at 7:30 and Thursday November 21 at 7:30 p.m. Both meetings are at Emanuel United Church of Christ, located at 91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard.

In one announcement, The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association is participating in the annual Toys for Toys Drive held by the East Coast Car Association for St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside. This is a noble cause. Bringing gifts to children who are not feeling well is the right thing to do.

We are asking our residents to participate by donating new, unwrapped toys (no stuffed animals, please). You can bring them to our next Town Hall Meeting that, in case you hadn’t heard, was rescheduled (again) for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 28 at Emanuel United Church of Christ.

On one last note, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will honor the Forest Park Carousel on Monday, October 28 at 3:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend.

A new plaque, commemorating the Carousel’s new landmark status, will be unveiled. The plaque was paid for by contributions from the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society, the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation and the Woodhaven Business Improvement District.

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