By Nathan Duke
Mayor Michael Bloomberg approved the renaming of a Bayside street near the 111th Precinct to honor the late Sol Soskin, a Little Neck community activist who served on the precinct’s community council for more than 50 years and acted as its president for a number of them.
The city renamed a section of 215th Street between 45th Road and Northern Boulevard near the precinct as “Sol Soskin Way.”
Soskin, who died of heart failure at age 92 in September 2008, became president of the 111th Precinct Community Council, which acts as a liaison between the police and the community, in the late 1950s. He served on the council for more than 50 years and spent 35 years as the group’s president, making him the longest-serving precinct council president in the city.
The Little Neck resident, who earned a Purple Heart while serving in World War II, had also been a Community Board 11 member for more than 30 years and worked in a small business assistance program at the Long Island Development Corp.
“He’s done a lot for this community,” said Gary Poggiali, community affairs officer for the 111th Precinct. “It’s a nice gesture. He didn’t get paid for his position. He served for many years because he cared about the Police Department and the community.”
Soskin was succeeded as president by Jack Fried, vice president of the precinct council.
“He was on the community board for many, many years, but no one knew that he was a World War II veteran with honors until after his death,” said Susan Seinfeld, CB 11’s district manager. “He was a very nice man and he did a lot for the community.”
The mayor signed into law the renaming of 70 streets citywide, of which 19 were in Queens, including Sol Soskin Way, a Bayside avenue honoring long-time labor leader Ron Carey and Ghanwatti Boodram Way, which was named after a Floral Park mother killed in a Con Edison explosion earlier this year.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.