The Civic Scene: CB 8 alerts residents about sanitation regulatrions

By Bob Harris

Community Board 8 has alerted the community that every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant, or any other person in charge of any lot or building must clean ice from sidewalks within four hours after snow stops falling or by 11 a.m. if the snow stopped falling after 9 p.m. the previous evening. The fine is $50 to $100.

While I fully agree with the concept of prompt snow removal, I disagree with the four-hour time frame because some people leave for work early and don't return home until early evening. On the other hand, I know of some teenagers who come home from school about 3 p.m. but couldn't care less about shoveling for their parents.

Community Board 8, which includes the neighborhoods of Hillcrest, Briarwood, Fresh Meadows, Jamaica Estates, Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok and Utopia, also warned residents that sanitation baskets may not be used for disposal of household garbage or sweepings or by shopkeepers. The fine for these infractions is $50 to $100. People can also be fined if they post notices on any pole or bus shelter, box or any other structure.

Diane Cohen, the district manager of CB 8, noted that trucks are illegally parking on 73rd Avenue and 210th Street. Police Officer Arnie Aprea of the 107th Precinct has been notified and they may be summoned if parked overnight. The Pomonok Neighborhood Center is collecting cell phones and distributing them to victims of domestic violence. Call Ms. Fallacara at 591-6060 if you have one to donate.

While Queens has the highest number of fire-related fatalities in New York City, Community Board 8 has none. CB 8 has a brochure on burn prevention information that can be obtained from the board by calling 591-6000.

The district manager's report was mentioned at a meeting at the borough president's office with the Union Turnpike Merchant Association, representatives of the Department of Transportation and Marie DeInnocentis, who is chair of the area committee to discuss proposals to ease and create more parking for customers in the Union Turnpike area. It was decided to enforce the one-hour parking regulation and look for more parking spots for shoppers.

The district manager, Diane Cohen, and Martha Levine attended a hearing on the Pomonok Development's five-year plan. Residents are concerned about conditions at Pomonok and its impact on the entire surrounding community.

Transit Police Captain Castillo of Transit District 20 has reported that most crime is down in the subways, although there is an increase in gang-related crime. Transit has very active truancy, anti-pickpocket, decoy units and train patrols. Last year they picked up 2,300 truants.

Angela Willis of the NYPD Parking Enforcement Department reported that as of November, they had written 1,219 parking summonses. They are focusing on the school areas because of the problem with double parking. Cohen commented that parents put their children in danger by double parking and making illegal U-turns near schools. I wonder why cars still double park along Union Turnpike, going west, or park along the curb lane during the morning rush hour near 188th Street and also near Main Street?

Captain Fischer reported that auto theft is down and urged people to take advantage of the anti-theft efforts in the 107th Precinct. School crossing guards are still needed. The 107th Precinct is looking for youngster to join the Explorers and to participate in youth programs.

GOOD AND BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK: It is good that Albany has decided that all the New York state share of the tobacco settlement of $25 billion over 25 years will go for health care programs. The only problem I see is the proposal to increase the tax of a package of cigarettes 55 cents so the tax will be $1.11, the highest in the nation. Making the tax so high will just stimulate the old industry of smuggling cigarettes up from North Carolina. Albany note: the fewer crime growth industries we create the better off we will be.