New light fixtures installed at Ravenswood Houses
by Benjamin Fang
Aug 25, 2016 | 41 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Carol Wilkins, president of the Ravenswood Tenants Association, praises the new light fixtures installed at Ravenswood Houses.
Carol Wilkins, president of the Ravenswood Tenants Association, praises the new light fixtures installed at Ravenswood Houses.
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The buildings and pathways at Ravenswood Houses in Astoria are shining brighter than ever. Thanks to a nearly $4 million investment by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the housing complex has 626 new energy-efficient LED light fixtures throughout the area. Each entrance, walkway and parking area in 31 buildings will have the state-of-the-art lighting. “Every single senior must feel safe in every single building, every single walkway and every single courtyard,” Van Bramer said. “These brand new lights are going a long way to making people feel safer.” Van Bramer allocated $1 million in funding for the $3.7 million project, which will illuminate the space for the 4,380 residents of Ravenswood Houses at 21st Street and 36th Avenue. Carol Wilkins, president of the Ravenswood Tenants Association, said she’s happy now that she can see at night. “We’re all going to be safe, we can see what’s going on,” Wilkins said. “It’s a pleasure when I have to come home late from meetings, I can see who’s ahead of me and who’s passing by. It’s so great.” Van Bramer cited a drop in major crimes as evidence that the lights, which were installed this summer, are already working. There have been no murders or shootings for the past two years. Robberies are down 17 percent, larcenies have decreased 14 percent, and auto theft has gone down nearly 67 percent. “Those are good numbers we’re very proud of,” Van Bramer said. “Feeling safe at home is probably the most important thing that we can do for every single New Yorker. The good people of Ravenswood deserve the very best in every single way.” Gerald Nelson, vice president of Public Safety for NYCHA, said the development was built back in the 1950s, so the previous lights were old. The new lights go on automatically and don’t need regular maintenance, he said. “There’s plenty of lights,” Nelson said. “It’s like Yankee Stadium walking through here.”
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August 25, 2016
Marge WHO?
The Quality Inn located at 53-05 Queens Boulevard.
The Quality Inn located at 53-05 Queens Boulevard.
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Woodside hotel now serving as shelter for homeless
by Patrick Kearns
Aug 24, 2016 | 41 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The 72-room Quality Inn on Queens Boulevard has been sheltering homeless families for at least a month, according to several of the hotel's neighbors and the Office of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. A neighbor, who asked that her name not be used, said she first contacted Van Bramer's office on July 14 wondering why there were no talks or public meetings before the decision, like in nearby Maspeth where the Department of Homeless Services aims to convert a Holiday Inn into a homeless shelter. “When I originally called Van Bramer's office and advised them that this hotel was turned into a homeless shelter, they said they didn't know anything about it and had not been informed,” she said. “In Maspeth, they were informed in advance and had rallies. To my knowledge, many people in this area where unaware of what's going on here.” In the past month, she said there's been a serious problem with litter on her property, and said residents of the hotel smoke marijuana behind the building. “I am forced four or five times a day to pick up litter and debris,” she said. “I'm concerned for my safety.” She was informed by Van Bramer's office that the situation is only temporary, but she fears that the longer it goes on and word spreads fewer people will stay at the hotel, ultimately leaving more rooms for homeless individuals. Not everyone in the immediate vicinity has noticed a difference. One woman who lives on 54th Street and whose backyard was adjacent to the hotel said she's noticed no difference in the quality of life. “That hotel is very quiet,” she said. Van Bramer's office has asked the city for a timeline for scaling back the use of the hotel as a temporary shelter, which is housing mostly single mothers with children.
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