CB 2 calls on mayor to solve film crew issues

CB 2 calls on mayor to solve film crew issues
Photo by Rebecca Henely
By Rebecca Henely

Lights! Camera! Buy local!

Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley announced during the board’s annual meeting last Thursday that he was planning to meet with Mayor Michael Bloomberg to discuss the problems that arise when film crews come to work in CB 2’s district, which includes Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and parts of Maspeth.

“They’ve got to come up with a better system,” Conley said.

The chairman said members of the community have been complaining about the plethora of crews that set up in the neighborhood, saying they take up residential parking spaces with large trucks. Conley said many film permits have been requested for the community, especially on Vernon Boulevard.

He also said that when film crews work, they usually remain isolated from the community and do not shop at local businesses. Conley said while some companies have offered to donate money to the community for the trouble, he would rather they participate.

“I don’t want you to buy the community,” Conley said. “We want you to make a good experience for everybody.”

CB 2 also voted in favor of writing a letter to the city Parks Department, recommending it move forward on Phase 4 of the ongoing renovations of John F. Murray Playground, on 45th Avenue between 11th and 21st streets in Long Island City.

Tom Brown, of the Parks Department, said the playground has been renovated recently with a synthetic turf ball field and new play equipment. The latest phase concerns the eastern area of the playground near 21st Street. The new renovation will include a natural turf central green area, a performance space surrounded by concrete seat walls and a sitting area between the performance space and 21st Street.

These new renovations will be linked together in overlapping circles similar to the overlapping circles that exist in the play area, Brown said.

“These two spaces kind of interact with each other and lean into one another,” Brown said.

The renovations also include putting up a 4-foot, black-painted steel fence similar to the dog run.

Joanne Amagrande, of the Parks Department, said the renovations will be funded with $1.3 million from Borough President Helen Marshall.

“After this phase is complete, we have one little more portion and then we’re done with the park,” Amagrande said.

The board voted in favor of writing a letter approving the plans, but with the caveats that the department look at providing water access in the central green area, providing some electrical access for the performance space as well as considering improvements to the dog run and security in the park.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.