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Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together


Newsletter Summer 2016

Lack of Tree Maintenance

Trip Hazards and Property Damage

If you see something, say something!

Counter Terrorism Hotline
1-888-692-7233 or 1-888-NY-SAFE

If you see something, send something.

Go to the APP Store, type in "see send".
You can attach photos or send information.

Maspeth Earth Day Event April 16th

Sponsored by: Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Maspeth Federal Savings,
104th& 108th Precinct & COMET
We had great weather for the Maspeth Earth Day event! Special thanks to Maspeth Federal Savings for letting us use their parking lot
and getting the shred truck, Council Member Elizabeth Crowley for getting the electronics truck and rain barrels, the 104th and 108th
Precincts for giving folks the opportunity to VIN Etch their vehicles and register their electronics, and our COMET members Geraldine
Walsh, Lucille Winsko, John and Shannon Connors, Richie Polgar and Chammy Liu for helping out.

Photos compliments of
Maspeth Federal Savings

Pg. 2 Summer 2016 COMET

Thanks for Caring!!

Community activist and Comet member Richie Polgar is

always looking to improve the quality of life in our community.
A concrete spill on the sidewalk at 69th Street and Grand
Avenue in Maspeth has been sitting on the sidewalk for a
couple years and it irked him every time he passed by. The
viewing stand for events is set up here and he thought it was
a trip hazard for pedestrians. So what did he do? In early April
he went to the location with his ice chopper and removed
most of the concrete. Great job, Richie!!

Another Sinkhole on
Kneeland Avenue?

On May 7th, Block Captain Howard

Moskowitz noticed what appears
to be another sinkhole forming on
Kneeland Avenue between Hillyer
and Ireland Streets in Elmhurst.
The sinkhole is adjacent to a patch
of roadway that had a water main
break just a couple of months ago.
Ireland Street also had a water
main break in the not too distant

There has been no word back from

the Department of Environmental
Protection yet as to whether or
not a thorough study of the water
mains throughout this area will be conducted. We will continue
to follow this issue closely. Photos by Howard Moskowitz

Drug Bust in Maspeth

On April 21st, members of the 104th Precinct Anti-Crime team

arrested a 37 year old male and a 27 year old female from
upstate New York who were delivering 130 decks of heroin to
the Maspeth/Middle Village area. This arrest was made in the
Vicinity of 56 Street and Flushing Avenue in Maspeth. The total
quantity is 130 Decks of heroin. Great job!

Summer 2016 Pg. 3

Local Business Improves


A utility pole that went on fire.

Photo by Dick Gundlach

Al Paradiso, Vice president of International Tool Manufacturing,

with the help of Preston Rippe and Bryan Markell, turned his
rear yard into an attractive grassy area that has enhanced the
neighborhood. The 34-foot rear yard on a residential block is
an island of green in a sea of concrete and brick. Mr. Paradiso
has always been concerned about the neighborhood and has
urged other businesses to keep their part of the neighborhood
presentable. International Tool Manufacturing, located at 71-08
51st Avenue, is truly a valuable asset to our community.

Neighborhood Eyesores
We all know the wheels of progress turn slowly in
government, but something needs to change quickly
before our neighborhoods deteriorate. Here are some
examples of the issues we have been working on.
84-52 Grand Avenue, Elmhurst

This building has been slowly deteriorating for at least two
decades. Residents have been turning it in to the Department
of Buildings as well as the Fire Department over the years and
it was recently turned in to the Department of Health when rats
were spotted.
The building hasnt been maintained and after 20+ years we
can only assume the roof is leaking causing mold and possible
structural issues. Our biggest concern is for the safety and wellbeing of the adjacent business owners and tenants who live
above the stores. Were not structural engineers and have no
idea what would happen to the adjacent buildings if this one
collapses. There are several open complaints that are in default.
One violation was issued for failure to maintain the building wall,
mortar missing and cracks in the brickwork at the second floor
to the roof. The agencies have told us there is nothing more they
can do.
The owner of the property is nowhere around, but we have found
out that someone from the neighborhood is paying enough taxes
on the property to keep it from going to auction. We cannot
understand this logic! We are working closely with Council
Member Dromms office and hope that this can be resolved in
the near future. Photos by Geraldine Walsh
Pg. 4 Summer 2016 COMET

85-44 54th Avenue, Elmhurst


Little is known about this property

other than it was vacant when it
went on fire. The owners received
violations, one of which was for
After putting an addition on the house
Fire for the purpose of installing a
three-piece bathroom. They are in
default for not paying the fine.

During mid-May we notified the

110th Precinct that the house was
unsecured. DI Manson went to the
location personally and found four homeless males living there
and told them to leave. Since no one knows where the property
owner is to press charges, the men couldnt be arrested for
trespassing. The Building Department was notified and hopefully
resealed the building.
We are working with Councilman Dromms office to find out what
can be done to either tear the house down or force the property
owner, wherever he is, to repair it. Photos by Geraldine Walsh
48-03 72nd Street, Woodside

curious what caused the fire.

We recently spotted this house

which is located across the street
of St. Marys in Winfield. The
house, which is adjacent to the
railroad tracks and was listed for
sale, went on fire and was sealed.
We didnt want to trespass to
check the rear of the house, but
have a concern someone may
break in and live there. Were

Since the building is sealed, there is little more the City can do.
Something needs to change! Photo by Tom Porembski

1 Claremont Terrace, Elmhurst

70-09 52nd Avenue, Woodside

This house, which is right on
Maspeths border, went on fire last
summer or early fall. There was some
damage to the adjacent home and
the repairs were done. Unfortunately,
no one has seen the property owners
of this house nor has there been any
sign or repairs being done.

We recently learned this building, which is located on Claremont

Terrace at Dongan Avenue, has been vacant for years. When
Comet Treasurer Geraldine Walsh called it to our attention we
reached out to the 110th Precinct and asked them to check
to see if anyone was living there. The 110th Precinct found
numerous people there, but at the time did not have the property
owners contact information to see if he would be willing to file a
complaint. Community Affairs Officer David Saponieri was able to
make contact with the owner of the property who said he would
file charges if anyone is caught in the building in the future.
We have been working closely with Sebastian Maguire at
Councilman Dromms office to determine what can be done
to address this eyesore. There is one mystery that needs to be
solved. Sebastian discovered that the access to this property is
through a Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS)
controlled street and we are curious how a building could be
developed when the only way of getting in and out is through
DCAS property. Councilman Dromm and Comet will continue to
look for a resolution.
60-90 Flushing Avenue, Maspeth
This property has been
vacant for years. About five
years ago, around the time
Hurricane Sandy hit New York,
scaffolding was placed around
this property. The scaffolding
is unlit and it is blocking
Residents fear if a fire should
occur, the Fire Department will
have trouble getting to the rear
of their homes. One homeowner wants to clean out his garage
but the truck cant get through. Chief-of-Staff Roman Paprocki at
Council Member Crowleys office reached out to the Department
of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and found out
the contractor that erected the scaffolding sold the company to
another contractor and that accounts for some of the delay. The
good news is that thanks to Romans persistence HPD placed it in
a lien sale in May. The results of the sale will not be released until
June. Well keep you updated.

This is an attached home and it needs

to be repaired as soon as possible.
An eyesore like this detracts from the

other homes on the block. Photo by Tom Porembski

40-40 69th Street

Comet Treasurer Geraldine

Walsh passes this house on
her way to work and took this
photo. Its outside of our area
but we felt something had to
be done and reported it to
the Buildings Department.
Upon inspection, evidence
was found that someone was
living there. The Buildings
Department issued a violation that stated, due to fire damage,
structural stability compromise, all doors and windows are open,
allowing unauthorized access.
If you see something, say something!

Grand Avenue at 69th Place

Last but not least, these old newspaper dispensers are a mess.
They are full of graffiti, no longer used and have been sitting on
the sidewalk outside the former McDonalds for years. There are
more of these dispensers on 69th Street at Grand Avenue. We
are working with Council Member Crowleys office to see what
can be done to have them removed.

Photo by Tom Porembski


Summer 2016 Pg. 5

Lack of Tree Maintenance is

a Cause for Concern
Trees are great for the environment. They help clean our air and
soak up water to help prevent flooding. However, if the trees
are not maintained or the proper species of trees are planted,
they can become a serious problem and cause a trip-hazard, tear
down utility wires or even topple onto someones house or car.

address the problem. Lets hope someone looks at it before a

storm topples it onto the house! Photo by Geraldine Walsh.
70th Street between 52nd Drive
and 53rd Avenue, Maspeth

70th Street between 52nd Drive and 53rd Avenue, Maspeth

Heres another leaning tree. If you look at the pole, which is

standing straight, you can see the angle of the tilt. If there is a
storm, this tree could topple on the property across the street.
This tree, on the same block, was planted last year and died.
Someone finally came and cut down the tree and left a stump.
The homeowner is wondering when the new tree will be planted.
Photos by Tom Porembski.

53rd Avenue between Van Horn and Haspel Streets, Elmhurst

This tree was reported to 311 four years ago and they will
not take another complaint. Nothing has been done and the
condition is getting worse. You can see, the tree routes have
cracked the concrete inside the gate almost to the garage! This
block is a direct route to Grand Avenue and IS 73. Its a matter of
time before someone gets injured. The homeowner has since put
down asphalt to help prevent someone from tripping.
Photos by Tom Porembski

55th Avenue at Haspel

Street, Elmhurst
The homeowner came out of
his house one morning and
noticed the tree in front of
his house shifted overnight
and lifted up the sidewalk. He called 311 and explained his
concern about the tree falling.
He has since found out that the complaint was "closed" and has
no idea if Forestry came out and checked the tree or plans to
Pg. 6 Summer 2016 COMET

This tree has dead branches

ready to fall. The tree is lifting up
the homeowners sidewalk. The
sidewalk is repaired and the roots
lift it up again. The homeowner, a
senior citizen, must get the sewer
line to her house cleaned once
or twice a year because of the
roots. Property owners shouldnt
have to pay for damage to their
property because of a cityowned tree. Photos by Tom Porembski

Woodside Residents
Pleased to See
Illegally Parked School
Buses Towed

In response to community complaints regarding the illegal

storage of school buses in the vicinity of 67th Street and 51st Road
outside of PS 229, Captain Wachter, 104th Precinct, conducted an
investigation into certain companies constantly parking buses for
extended periods of time. This investigation revealed that two
of these buses were illegally registered and being stored with
mismatched plates. The 104th Precinct towed the two buses and
they were impounded. Captain Wachter promised to keep up the

Report Plane Noise


Comet Updates
To get the latest Comet and neighborhood news all in one place, join our Google Group CometUpdates. If you do not already
have a Google account, you can create one at: https://accouncts.google.com and then search and subscribe to CometUpdates
by entering your email address at htts://groups.google.com

Newsletter Committee
Mike Fordunski, Tom Porembski, Geraldine Walsh, Christina Wilkinson, Richie Polgar, Dick Gundlach, Howard Moskowitz,
Roe Daraio and Maspeth Press

Upcoming C.O.M.E.T. Meetings

Check our website www.cometcivic.com in August to find out the date and location of our September meeting.

Special Thank You

This newsletter is made possible by funding from Council Members Elizabeth Crowley, Daniel Dromm and Jimmy Van
Bramer through the Department of Youth and Community Development. State funding was provided by Assembly
Member Marge Markey and is used for graffiti removal and the Maspeth Memorial Day Parade.


Flushing NY
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P.O.Box 780151
Maspeth, NY 11378

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Newsletter Spring 2012

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Have a Great Summer!

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