The agenda for the evening consisted of our Annual September 11, 2001 Evening of Remembrance. The first part of our program began with the great Franklin K. Lane H.S. ROTC Color Guard, under the leadership of Master Sergeant Eddie Carr, their commanding officer, and the Pledge of Allegiance. The ROTC cadets now number over 150 members. All were invited to speak in regard to their remembrances of that very sad day.
Our elected officials speaking of their experiences that day were Honorable Joseph P. Addabbo, our N.Y.S. senator, recently re-elected Honorable Michael Miller, our N.Y.S. assemblyman, and Honorable Eric Ulrich, our N.Y.C. councilman.
A poem was recited by an ROTC cadet, our President Stephen R. Esposito, and myself. This September 11, 2001 terrorist attack against our America, our New York City with the loss of close to 3,000 innocent lives including three from Woodhaven, Khamladai Singh, Roshand Singh, beloved brother and sister, and Lt. Robert F. Wallace, firefighter of the FDNY, and the loss of our beautiful Twin Towers will always be in our thoughts.
As stated that evening we should “Never Forget and Commit to Never Again.” Then Fr. John Francis of St. Thomas the Apostle extended blessings to those that perished that day and to those in attendance. This segment of our meeting closed with the dimming of the lights, the glimmer of red, white and blue glow sticks and the singing of “God Bless America.”
It was very poignant and moving. At this time I would encourage everyone homeowner or tenant to fly our American Flag. Let us once again see as many American Flags that flew so prominently after that second Day of Infamy September 11, 2001. Our speakers were thanked for their contributions and we proceeded to our regular open meeting.
Our 102nd Precinct’s new Community Affairs officer, Sgt. Abraham Severino, then spoke to us in regard to the precinct being down in crime and addressed issues brought to their attention. This low crime rate being in spite of having so few police officers at our 102nd Precinct.
The Candidates Night part of our program then commenced - the very first debate between incumbent State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo and candidate Councilman Eric Ulrich, the two candidates for the State Senate. Opening statements were made by each candidate. Then questions were asked by the GWDC board members President Stephen Esposito, Paul Rudolph Walker Funeral Home, and Mark Klimm Allstate.
The question from our president related to state funding and the Resorts World Racino profits, and where this money is being used. This brought up a very important commitment made by Resorts World that they would “give back” 1 percent of their profits to non-profit organizations. This funding, it was stated, would assist all the groups no longer being funded by state.
When the question-and-answer period was concluded, final statements were made by the candidates. Then they were presented with the Annual GWDC “Wish List” of the most important projects for our Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation. They were:
1. The rezoning of Woodhaven – Accomplished.
2. New brighter street lighting along Woodhaven’s Jamaica Avenue from Dexter Court to 100th Street
3. More police officers for our 102nd Precinct.
And the Perennial Wishes of:
1. The painting of our “J” train elevated structure and the repair of the stanchions along Woodhaven’s Jamaica Avenue - Accomplished
2. The landmarking of the Forest Park Carousel so that it will be preserved and eligible for preservation funding in the process. This landmarking is now being considered.
3. The further restoration of the Forest Park Carousel, enclosing the carousel for year-round use, and a restaurant in line with the restaurant in Bryant Park within the enclosure.
The Meeting then concluded. This was an excellent forum.
Now to our 32nd Annual Wonderful Woodhaven Street Festival 2012 on Sunday, October 14, from noon to 6 p.m. on Woodhaven’s Jamaica Avenue from 80th Street to Woodhaven Boulevard. Bring the family for a safe, fun-filled family day.
We will have pony rides, rides and games, antique cars and a variety of vendors with unique products and our great Woodhaven stores with bargains. The entertainment for the festival will be a great country and western band, Mary Lamont, dancing in the streets, rock and mellow music by local bands, some from Woodhaven, including Heartbreak Station, Solid State Band, and Plastic Soul.
This year again the special feature will be The Malaysian Lion Dancers of Chinese New Year’s celebration fame. These thrilling musicians and dancers who were so great in past years will also be part of our entertainment program. Please have some good thoughts for sun for Sunday.
May God bless our leaders, may God bless our armed forces and coalition forces, may God bless our disabled veterans, and may God bless our America.