The Civic Scene: Neighborhood civics work to maintain quality of life

The Civic Scene: Neighborhood civics work to maintain quality of life
By Bob Harris

The May newsletter of the Kissena Park Civic Association expressed concern about pigeon droppings as an aesthetic and a sanitation issue. It seems that in some areas of the community there has been a severe increase in pigeon droppings. There is also concern that some dog owners leave their dogs tied up outside barking all night.

There is concern that some person or people is or are feeding the pigeons so they stay in one location and thus make a mess there. If the food source is eliminated, the pigeons will go elsewhere and not be a problem. The civic is working with the community board and the mayor’s office to solve the problems.

The Kissena Park civic has been concerned that a business which claims to remove city violations from people’s properties is filing complaints about neighborhood homeowners. When the complaint appears on the city Department of Buildings website, the company sends a letter to homeowners saying they can remove the violation. The civic has notified the office of the Queens district attorney and this practice is under investigation.

The June and September newsletters of the West Cunningham Park Civic Association have articles concerning problems in Cunningham Park. Groups without a permit occasionally play loud music and party during the night. On July 3, someone texted to friends that they should come to the parking lot on Union Turnpike at 196th Place to party. Hundreds of students descended on the park. They were drinking and became loud. Homeowners and park workers called 911. Eventually the teens were dispersed.

The civic association works closely with the city Parks Department and Community Board 8. They are in contact with the local park manager, borough commissioner and captain of parks enforcement, who have attended civic meetings to discuss these and other issues and work out solutions. If there is a serious situation taking place, call 911 and/or Parks Enforcement at 646-613-1200.

One accomplishment from the contacts and meetings was the establishment of a “quiet zone” for sections of the park along 193rd Street. Signs were made by the Parks Department and should have been installed by now. These signs are a visual reminder that people have to behave in the park.

The April 2010 newsletter of the Holly Civic Association had an article about the Bowne House herb garden. The Bowne House will be under reconstruction for the next few years, but the Bowne House Historic Society will plant 48 herbs in the garden, which date back to colonial days when they were used for medicine.

GOOD NEWS OF THE WEEK: President Barack Obama recently presented the Presidential Citizens Medal to Jorge Nunez, the “Angel of Queens.” Nunez, a school bus driver, has been distributing food every night for six years to people in need under the No. 7 train at Roosevelt and 73rd avenues.

At first, he and his family used their own money to buy food, which his mother cooked. Now that his mission is known, several friends help him and Hispanic restaurants donate food. About 200 day laborers come every night to obtain food.

BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, created in 1906 by President Teddy Roosevelt, has had a reputation as a guardian of food and medicine. Regretfully, recent stories tell of a lack of action by the FDA, which puts us at risk. In its defense, legislators and administrators make policy, so if industries lobby the officials or legislators not to do something, which will cost an industry money, then one cannot blame the workers and scientists at the FDA unless they become whistleblowers which, although protected by law, can be dangerous.

One problem is that tubes used to put medicine or food into patient’s bodies sometimes put food into veins instead of the stomach. Patients sometimes die because the wrong tube is used to put something into the wrong part of the body. For years, advocacy groups have wanted feeding and medicine tubes to be made incompatible because sometimes the wrong tube is attached to the wrong portal.

Decades ago, the United Kingdom had many deaths from salmonella infection spread by infected eggs. Now they have none. They decided to inoculate all chickens to prevent them from being infected by salmonella. The FDA has wasted years saying there is not enough evidence to prove the vaccine is good. What happened to our Congressional oversight committees, or is the money lobbyists give out too tempting for them?

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