Traffic Ave. Needs Some Tlc, Too

Dear Editor:

Further to your July 24 editorial about the garbage mess on Fresh Pond Road, that is not the only area that is suffering from neglect and filthy conditions.

I took pictures last week on Traffic Avenue on the east side between Woodbine Street and Palmetto Street. These pictures show the head high weeds in the tree pits and along the buildings, along with a lot of garbage and debris in the weeds. The weeds attract and retain any loose garbage and debris and encourage dumping.

There is all sort of stuff in these tree pits, including a traffic sign that should be in front of 66-15 Traffic Ave. that has been lying in these weeds for at least a year.

This condition happens every year and I have been trying to get it cleaned up for many years. Three years ago the Sanitation Department sent crews in, including a six or seven person crew, and it took them three days to clean it up.

All this mess could be avoided if someone-Sanitation Department or property owners/tenants-would apply some weed killer a couple times a years. It seems the ideal solution-a couple of hours of labor and a couple hundred dollars-and no mess and no three-day cleanup for the Sanitation Department.

What the pictures don’t show are the formerly healthy 25 foot high red maples that are dying because ailanthus trees have sprung up in the tree pits with them and are strangling them. I have complained to the community board and they have tried to get Parks or Sanitation interested, to no avail. So another waste of money-healthy trees dying of neglect.

Why aren’t the property owners/tenants being ticketed for failing to clean up this mess? A private homeowner would certainly get a summons if his property was littered with junk and overgrown weeds.

Maybe if you print this letter, the city and the property owners/tenants will be shamed into cleaning up this yearly, but totally avoidable, mess.

Peggy O’Kane

No Transparency Equals No Integrity

Dear Editor:

The New York Post recently followed up with the 15 current and former members of our New York City Council on their pledge to donate their taxpayer funded bonuses to charity by asking for proof.

Out of the 15, only three gladly offered up their receipts and documents showing who they contributed to. The other 12 simply stated that they gave, but failed to show proof that such gifts were, in fact, given.

The article states that my own councilman-Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer-who has received over $60,000 in taxpayer member items has been unable or unwilling to provide proof of his alleged donations since 2010.

This is so wrong on many levels. While the lack of transparency should not sit well with the voters, the biggest problem I have is that we pay city taxes so our elected officials decide who should get our charity. Without knowing exactly where this money is going, your money could have been donated to a non-profit organization that you might not agree with. I have personally requested grants for veterans’ service organizations from the councilman, only to be ignored or given cumbersome applications by a staffer.

My borough’s only elected Republican, Eric Ulrich, appears to be the only Council Member with integrity enough to entrust with our tax dollars. It’s time for our elected officials to be transparent and honest with us.

How about letting us decide what we do with our money and who we give to charity? Start by lowering our taxes and the cost of living in this city so we have more money to give. I try to give to charities every year and would gladly give more if I had more.

It’s time our City Council lower our taxes so we can save more money and make decisions on which organization we choose to support.

Marvin Jeffcoat
Grand Old Party Republican Club

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