Last week, we began our review of 2012, we now resume with the November 2012 Election.
This election was for the newly drawn district lines for U.S. Congress, N.Y.S. Senate and N.Y.S. Assembly candidates (the same process of redistricting of City Council lines to take place in 2013). At our GWDC Meeting in October 2012, we held the first Candidates Night Debate between Senate candidates, incumbent State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo and Councilman Eric Ulrich. This evening was attended by over 100 people and proved to be very fair and informative.
The election of November 2012, being a presidential election and coming so soon after the disastrous deadly storm of Sandy, was very chaotic. Our local polling places being strained due to our governor’s edict stating all registered voters could vote outside of their usual voting locations, due to the devastating storm.
Even under the pressure, and with voters still becoming accustomed to the new election voting procedure, our Woodhaven polling places have to be credited for doing their job with excellence and professionalism.
After the Election, we congratulated Honorable Nydia M. Valasquez, U.S. Congresswoman, Honorable Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., New York State Senator,and Honorable Michael G. Miller, New York State Assemblyman on their victories.
Also in 2012, it was deja vu all over again when the old defeated cause of reactivating the Rockaway Beach Railroad line was raised. Twice, many years ago, this 3.5-mile abandoned line had been proposed to be electrified. In both instances these proposals were soundly defeated by a coalition of Rego Park, Forest Hills, Glendale and Woodhaven leaders and residents.
In every proposal, including the recent one, these communities have opposed their backyards being exposed to the dangers of electrification and the disruption to their quality of life. Now also proposed has been a Queensway, a High Line-like park in this area. This Queensway has been given over $400,000 for a “study” by our Governor Cuomo.
At this time, this 3.5-mile area is quiet and if any activity should take place there, it should be its cleaning and its maintenance, for it is part of Forest Park. Again, Woodhaven residents will have to discuss this and also consider an additional proposal made by the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association. This is a discussion that will continue through 2013.
Now to the 2012 Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation/WBID Wish List
1. More Police Officers for our 102nd Precinct –Although we still do not have enough officers, crime is low at our 102nd Precinct. This wish remains on our 2013 list.
2. The rezoning of Woodhaven - Progress on this, the most important project, was accomplished in September 2012. This rezoning of Woodhaven will for prosperity preserve and secure the character of our Woodhaven community, the big Victorian homes being downzoned, so that now they can not be demolished and replaced with small apartment buildings, and the upgrading of Jamaica Avenue zoning. This rezoning has been a seven-year perusal spearheaded by the GWDC President Stephen Esposito with the assistance of the WRBA and President Ed Wendell and the support of the WBID President Mathew Xenakis. This was momentous for our community.
3.New brighter Street Lighting Along Woodhaven’s Jamaica Avenue from Dexter Court to 100th Street - This is still under consideration.
4.More trees on our Woodhaven’s Jamaica Avenue - This will be pursued as six new planters, as well as trees at this time.
5. Benches installed on our Woodhaven’s Jamaica Avenue - This has been proposed to various locations along Jamaica Avenue.
And the Perennial Wishes…
1. Wish Fulfilled! - The painting of our “J” Line Elevated Structure and the
Repair of the stanchions along Woodhaven’s Jamaica Avenue. This wish
commenced in November 2010 and concludes in 2013. A great accomplishment for the GWDC/WBID after 25 years.
2. The Forest Park Carousel - Enclosing the carousel for year-round use and a restaurant in line with the restaurant in Bryant Park or Tavern on the Green. Also, landmarking of the carousel so that it will be preserved and eligible for preservation funding. Thankfully, the Carousel has been restored and was reopened in 2012.
There are many other small challenges that the GWDC and WBID face and overcome on a daily basis which have not been listed or noted. In 2013, through the GWDC, we look forward to working to bring to positive resolution any projects that will affect our stores, businesses, and apartment buildings throughout Woodhaven. And through the WBID, to do the same on Jamaica Avenue from 100th Street to Dexter Court.
Working together with our elected officials and other organizations, our Woodhaven will remain and be preserved as a strong, stable, safe, improving community in which to work, to own businesses and homes, and where families thrive and their children grow with a good quality of life for all. May God bless our leaders, may God bless our armed forces and may God bless our America.