Petitioning To Create New Canine Run
The proposed creation of a new dog run in Forest Park, a spike in robberies and burglaries and honors for a local group seeking improvements to railroad operations highlighted a joint meeting of the Glendale Property Owners Association (GPOA) and the Glendale/104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) last Thursday night, Apr. 19, at St. Pancras Pfeifer Hall.
Michelle Cook announced that she is circulating a petition to gain supporters for the development of a dog park on the Glendale side of Forest Park in an area off the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and 82nd Street. There is currently a dog run in operation on the Woodhaven side of the park along Park Lane South.
According to Cook, the Glendale location is currently used as an unofficial dog park by local canine owners. It is surrounded by three gates and adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Parkway. The petition, which will be presented to Community Board 5, seeks to have a fourth gate installed to enclose the area and prevent dogs from potentially running out into the street, Cook added.
The concept was welcomed by GPOA President Brian Dooley, who stated that having a contained recreational area for canines would prove to be an asset for the entire neighborhood, as it provides dog owners with a proper place to let their pets exercise and socialize.
“All they’re asking for is fencing. They’re not looking for a huge expenditure,” Dooley said. “It’s not a heavily used area.”
Kathy Masi of the Glendale Civic Association suggested that Cook organize a group of volunteers who would be able to maintain the dog run should it be built. Cook indicated that her petition had already been signed by over 60 residents, many of whom are dog owners who have expressed interest in participating in the upkeep of the location.
Fighting thefts and graffiti
Burglaries and robberies are on the rise around the 104th Precinct, and residents should take steps to protect themselves from becoming victims of these crimes, the force’s commanding officer advised.
Capt. Michael Cody reported that the 104th Precinct is down by 0.5 percent for the year in overall felonies but up 2.8 percent during the last 28-day period which concluded on Apr. 15. Grand larcenies and auto thefts plunged, but he stated that robberies are up 60 percent year-to-date; 77 incidents have been reported so far in 2012, up from 48 during the same timeframe a year ago.
The spike in robberies was largely blamed on the warm weather, which brought out more people and, conversely, more criminals. Cody stated that many of the robberies involved the theft of hand-held electronic devices.
Of the four robberies which occurred in the Glendale area, two of the incidents resulted in arrests of suspects almost immediately after the robberies occurred, the captain said.
Approximately 91 burglaries have also taken place in the 104th Precinct’s confines during the first four months of 2012, up from 88 tallied last year, Cody stated. In many of the incidents, he pointed out, the suspects gained access through unsecured rear windows or doors.
The captain advised residents to always secure their windows and doors when leaving home: “It takes a second or two, but it prevents an opportunity for a burglar.”
Frank Kotnik, 104COP president, later added that the organization is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspected burglar. Posters advertising the reward program are being disseminated around the neighborhood.
In response to the recent spike in break-ins and robberies, the precinct has brought in additional officers and shifted around its Anti-Crime teams to areas where the crimes have been most prevalent, according to Cody. The 104th Precinct’s Mobile Command Unit was also brought to Ridgewood and proved instrumental in the recent arrest of two robbery suspects in the area, he added.
Howard Jaeger, GPOA first vice president, informed the commanding officer that a number of recycling collectors have been spotted walking into private driveways, seemingly to look through garbage cans. Cody stated that, if such individuals are spotted, residents should advise them to leave their property and to call police if their request is ignored.
Several residents also complained about graffiti-scarred locations around the Glendale area. Lt. James Lombardi, the 104th Precinct special operations coordinator, noted that the command has made 160 arrests yearto date for graffiti-related crimes, the highest number in the entire city. The command also regularly tracks prolific vandals or crews known to tag around the area.
“The majority of the crews who do graffiti in Glendale live in the area,” he said. “We know where they are. We’ve stayed on top of them.”
The precinct also cleaned graffiti from over 5,000 locations across its confines last year, Lombardi added. He urged residents to call police if they see graffiti on a property so arrangements could be made to have it cleaned.
Honors for CURES
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Civics United for Railroad and Environmental Solutions (CURES) with its Quality Service Award for their ongoing efforts to alleviate quality of life problems related to freight rail traffic, announced Amanda Kohut of Rep. Bob Turner’s office.
“This is wonderful news,” added CURES Co-Chair Mary Parisen, who noted that the group will accept the recognition at an Apr. 27 ceremony at the EPA’s Manhattan headquarters.
The coalition was also approached by the EPA about applying for an air quality study grant, Parisen said. If approved, the group-in partnership with Board 5, the Queens College Center of Biology and Natural Science and the city Department of Health-would receive $20,000 toward installing air monitoring stations near freight rail lines in Glendale and Middle Village.
Evaluating the air quality and noise pollution near the lines is critical, she stated, as the proposed opening of an expanded Waste Management transfer facility in Long Island City will mean the shipment of more freight cars into the Fresh Pond Yard in Glendale and along the CSX line in Middle Village.
“We’re already seeing three locomotives pulling the hauls because they are so large. That’s three times the emissions,” she said, adding that the exhaust emitted by the old locomotives are “poisoning the community.
“If we get this grant, it’s just so important because” the group will be able to establish a base line of air quality, opening the door for greater reforms along the way, Parisen added.
Remembering a fallen principal
Robert Koslowski, GPOA first vice president, informed residents of the death of Anthony Pranzo, the principal of P.S./I.S. 113, who succumbed after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Dooley noted that Pranzo’s leadership helped make the public school one of the best in the borough. “It’s a school that a lot of people want to send their kids to,” he said. “He was a large part of their quality assurance.”
Masi noted that there is a movement among school members to have the campus renamed as the “Anthony Pranzo School of Excellence.” The school is currently named in honor of Issac Chauncey, a Revolutionary War hero.
Assemblyman Rory Lancman, a candidate for the new Sixth Congressional District in central Queens, stopped by to introduce himself to residents. A resident of Hillcrest, Lancman previously served as a member of Community Board 8 and a vice president of a local civic organization before being elected to the Assembly 5 1/2 years ago.
The legislator vowed to return to the GPOA’s candidates night forum, which will be held at their May 3 meeting.
Lydon Sleeper, chief-of-staff to City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, added that the legislator has provided funding toward the renovation of Evergreen Playground. The Parks Department will visit the GPOA at a future meeting to present detailed plans for the project.
Sleeper added that Crowley has proposed City Council legislation designed to reduce the fees charged to property owners who seek permits to install solar paneling on their roofs as part of a photovoltaic energy system. The cost of the fees, he noted, acts as a disincentive for owners to invest in a solar energy system.
Kotnik thanked 104COP members for their participation in the Good Friday procession between St. Pancras and Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal churches in Glendale and Ridgewood on Apr. 6 and the RGMVM Little League Parade along Myrtle Avenue in Glendale the following day. He also expressed gratitude to those who assisted police in securing the area around a recent standoff involving an armed man at a neighborhood home on Mar. 11.
The Glendale Property Owners Association generally meets on the first Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m., and the Glendale/104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol generally meets on the second Thursday of the month at 8 p.m., at the same location: St. Pancras Pfeifer Hall, located at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and 68th Street.