Tenants association president Carol Wilkins discusses the lighting issues at Ravenswood Houses.
Tenants association president Carol Wilkins discusses the lighting issues at Ravenswood Houses.
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Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, NYCHA chair Shola Olatoye and resident of the Ravenswood Houses.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, NYCHA chair Shola Olatoye and resident of the Ravenswood Houses.
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Ravenswood Houses to get a little brighter
by Shane Miller
Apr 23, 2014 | 2 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, NYCHA chair Shola Olatoye and resident of the Ravenswood Houses.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, NYCHA chair Shola Olatoye and resident of the Ravenswood Houses.
slideshow
Tenants association president Carol Wilkins discusses the lighting issues at Ravenswood Houses.
Tenants association president Carol Wilkins discusses the lighting issues at Ravenswood Houses.
slideshow
Residents in the Ravenswood Houses in Astoria will finally see the light. Thanks to $4 million in funding, the entire lighting system in the outdoor areas will be getting upgraded. The project is expected to get underway next spring after work on the exterior of the buildings wraps up. It should take a few months to complete once work begins. “When this project is complete we will have a safer development, which improves not only the quality of life here for the tenants, but for the entire community,” said Shola Olatoye, the new chair of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Ravenswood Houses does have an antiquated lighting system, but rather than replace it piecemeal, NYCHA has decided to replace the entire system. For added security, the housing project is included in the NYPD's VIPER program, so it is under 24-hour video surveillance, but that isn't as effective if the grounds are dark. “People take advantage of the fact that there are no lights,” said Carol Wilkins, president of the Ravenswood Houses Tenants Association. Cruz Lopez has lived at Ravenswood Houses for nearly 20 years. She said the lack of lights has been a problem for a couple of years now. “It's very dangerous,” she said. “When it gets dark, I don't even go outside.” Christina Serna, director of the Hanac Ravenswood Senior Center, agreed with Cruz. “With summer coming, we act as a cooling center for many of the residents that don't have air conditioners,” she said. “But a lot of people will just choose to stay home in the heat rather than walk outside in the dark.” Of the $4 million in funding, $1.5 million was allocated by the City Council. “These new lights are going to make every playground and pathway safer,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents the largest number of constituents in public housing of any City Council member. “This project will enhance security for all residents, families and seniors throughout the development.”
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Newtown Creek Alliance pushes to cleanup Plank Road
by Chase Collum
Apr 23, 2014 | 30 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
plank road
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An environmental activist could barely ask for a tougher beat than an industrial waterway, but that hasn’t stopped the Newtown Creek Alliance from working for the past 12 years to raise awareness and funding in support of a cleaner, more usable creek. In the first week of April, the alliance began work on their latest initiative: The cleanup of Plank Road, a small stretch of rocky, overgrown beachhead near the Department of Sanitation’s District 5 Garage at the end of 58th Road just south of its intersection with 47th Street. “The Maspeth Plank Road was originally part of a toll bridge that crossed Newtown Creek,” said Mitch Waxman as he led a walking tour of Newtown Creek. He explained that the road is named for the pylons that pierce the surface of the water which have been in place since the mid-1800s, when the toll road was still in operation. Newtown Creek, which serves as the dividing line between the westernmost 3.5 miles of Queens and Brooklyn, is often cited for its high pollution levels contributed to by years of industrial dumping and metropolitan neglect. In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency declared the creek a Superfund site, clearing the way for environmental remediation. Willis Elkins, who led a canoe and kayak tour around Newtown Creek to Plank Road, said that plans for the site include general trash cleanup, taming the wild vegetation that have taken over much of the waterfront, and possible installation of landscape features to help make the area more hospitable to visitors and local workers. “As you can see, the rushes have really taken over here, and technically it’s an invasive species, but at Newtown Creek we’re really happy about anything can grow here,” Elkins said. The Newtown Creek Alliance will be undertaking several small restoration and cleanup projects around the erstwhile creek throughout the summer. While the nature of the Superfund status makes the specific future of the waterway a bit murky, Waxman said the group would continue with current projects until they know more. Waxman felt the improvements can be beneficial not just to nature lovers and preservationists, but for local workers, too. “Who says the guys working at the Department of Sanitation wouldn’t want to come out here and have a nice place to smoke a cigar at the end of their shift?” he asked.
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FED UP NOW
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April 23, 2014
The writer of this article, Andrew Schilling, was invited to join residents of 70 St this morning, 4/23 to see for himself the volume of cars, buses,trucks, pedestrians etc.... Without the courtesy of a reply, he was NOT here to see and write in the first person of his experience for an hour or so this morning. Anyone seeing the mayhem here each and every weekday would have to conclude that this street needs to be converted to a one way ASAP ! Way to go Andrew !!!!!!