Irene Bernstein-Pechmèze is fed up with the nightly recurring loud music from boat passengers that she says is deteriorating the quality-of-life for residents who live along the waterfront in Beechhurst.
“There are a varying number of boats out there and it usually starts at around 6 p.m. and they raft up — many of them with their own jet skis on board — and it’s a flight of the bumble bees for hours,” Pechmèze said. “I understand from the harbor police that that kind of personal watercraft device is illegal after sunset, but they don’t care. You can even hear the loud booming music while the air conditioner is on and it’s mind boggling.”
According to Pechmèze, the nightly rafting of boats on Little Neck Bay opposite of Le Havre Co-ops at 168-01 12th Ave. in Beechhurst have become a public nuisance for residents whose apartments face the Throgs Neck Bridge along the waterfront.
“It’s just a wonderful place to live — until now,” said Pechmèze, who left town for a few days to get some peace and quiet. “The stress of waiting — is it close to 6 p.m. and are the boats out there again? I can’t even sit outside in the evening and read a book because they’re out there.”
Overly frustrated, Pechmèze decided to take action by making phone calls to 311, the US Coast Guard, NYPD 109th Precinct, NYPD Harbor Unit, filing a complaint with the mayor’s office, Senator John Liu and Councilmember Paul Vallone’s office.
“The 311 operator insisted that he needed a ‘street address’ to report the incident,” Pechmèze said. “It was difficult to convince him that the noise in question was not coming from a street location but from the middle of Little Neck Bay.”
Pechmèze’s complaints were also forwarded to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection to no avail, she said.
Although the NYPD 109th Precinct was able to get the Harbor Unit to show up and disperse the boats one night, it didn’t stop the party from returning the following night and every night thereafter, Pechmèze said.
When Pechmèze contacted the precinct’s NCOs yet again, requesting them to contact the Harbor Police to disperse the boats, she was told, “We have no phone number for the Harbor Police.”
“If you google the NYC Harbor Police, the phone number is there… If I can find the phone number, the officer can too,” Pechmèze said.
While Pechmèze has been making phone calls reporting the illegal boating activity, her neighbors have expressed gratitude for her efforts in spearheading the uprising against the matter which has never been the case before, she said.
“The board and residents are appreciative of Irene’s efforts to deal with this,” said Margaret Costello, general manager of Le Havre Owners Corporation. “She has been on this every night because she experiences the noise first hand. She’s been diligent and constantly working and she deserves credit for the time she puts in.”
Though Costello doesn’t live in the building along the waterfront, she has made calls to the precinct as well to help bring some relief to residents.
After numerous phone calls and emails, the precinct contacted Pechmèze and Costello via email informing them that they spoke with NYPD Community Affairs and the Harbor Police. They were told that if they ever heard or observed anything to call the precinct.
A statement sent to QNS from the NYPD’s 109th Precinct said “the NYPD Harbor Unit is aware of the situation and is always on top of it.”
“Every time we get this type of complaint, the 109th Precinct Desk Officer or the officer on Telephone Switchboard will notify our NYPD Harbor Unit (Harbor Sector G) immediately, then their supervisor will dispatch a NYPD boat to the location,” said Officer Ares Huang.
According to Huang, the precinct has received complaints in the past summer about rafting boats.
“As you know, the 109th Precinct patrol unit cannot get into the waterway to stop this type of issue, but we always forwarded complaints to our Harbor Unit,” Huang said.
In the meanwhile, Pechmèze said she has forwarded a letter to the deputy inspector of the Harbor Police and the commanding officer of NYPD Queens North regarding the issue and lack of response by the NCOs.
“I have exhausted every possible avenue to get some attention paid to this and to hopefully find a solution for us,” Pechmèze said. “I’ve always felt privileged to live in a beautiful apartment with this view on the waterfront, but with the partying at night and the shenanigans, someone needs to find out why this particular area has been selected for this kind of public nuisance.”