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BY TONIA N. CIMINO – QNS.com

BY TONIA N. CIMINO

tcimino@queenscourier.com
Ozone Park has a graffiti-free corridor

Ozone Park just got a little cleaner.
On Tuesday, November 18, the Our Neighbors Civic Association of Ozone Park paid for a graffiti clean-up of the garages located at 102-40 88th Street.
Now, Eric Ulrich, Association President, told The Queens Courier happily, “88th Street from Rockaway Boulevard to Liberty Avenue is a graffiti-free corridor. That is a major accomplishment.”
The power washing/paint over was the Association’s last clean-up before the winter. In total, Ulrich said, they removed tags from 10 sites.
“It [graffiti] has been a blight on the community for years,” said Ulrich. “People’s homes were covered, it was disgusting. Now people have their homes back.”
In Queens South, from 2006 to 2007, graffiti complaints to 3-1-1 increased 80 percent, to 864, and there were 259 arrests, a 17 percent increase, according to New York Police Department statistics. Queens North saw an 84 percent rise in complaints, from 904 to 1,662, and arrests climbed 11 percent, from 615 to 680.
“Graffiti vandalism is a crime punishable by a jail term, monetary fine and/or community service,” according to the police. “Any person caught defacing property without the express permission of the owner will be arrested.
Once considered a small problem caused by a handful of teenagers, graffiti has erupted into a nationwide epidemic costing billions of dollars each year,” the police said.
Residents with graffiti on their property should report it to 3-1-1, their local community board or civic group. Also, “Property owners or authorized representatives may submit a waiver to the city to allow authorized personnel to clean graffiti from first or second-story facades,” according to the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit.

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