Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WRBA Holds First Meeting of 2011 Snow Tops Concerns by Lisa Fraser - Leader-Observer

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Resident David Quintana asks representative from Congressman Anthony Weiner's office to communicate to the the Congressman that we need to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan wars at WRBA's first meeting of 2011.

The Woodhaven Residents Block Association held their first meeting of 2011 last Saturday, January 8, at the Woodhaven Richmond Hill Ambulance Corps. Topping concerns: the slow snow removal process on many of the blocks in Woodhaven.

Residents complained of uncleared snow on their respective blocks days after the storm, and one, Maria Concolino, said she noticed that some vendors on Jamaica Avenue and along the side streets didn't bother to shovel the snow to make a walkway for pedestrians.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley was on hand to discuss the frustrations residents faced and stated that she would confront the Mayor and sanitation on why the streets were not cleared in a timely fashion.

"When EMS workers cannot get to an emergency because the snow is now plowed, I do not believe that is the fault of the emergency service people," she said.

She informed the residents that a hearing would be held in the borough regarding the snow cleanup at Queens Borough Hall on January 21.

Assemblyman Michael Miller was also present and shared with residents, his experience with the storm – his block in Glendale was not plowed until Wednesday night because of a stuck car that the sanitation crew refused to move.

Edward Wendell, president of the block association, urged residents to become block captains so that they could be the eyes and ears of their block in situations such as the blizzard. Captains will report on to the WRBA what's happening on the block.

"The idea is to prepare ourselves for the next storm, whether it be a snow storm or a rain storm that we had last year ripped down trees," Wendell said. "We need to be able to quickly assess the damage in the neighborhood."

The WRBA would then get in touch with the captain so that in the event that sanitation or a local official contacts them, they know which blocks to hit first, and which trees are down or which blocks are without power. A map outlining the blocks that need a block captain can be found on the association's blog,

Another nuisance that has been bothering a few residents in the recent weeks centered around a food truck vendor parked on 85th Street and Jamaica Avenue next to the J train station.

Vamce Barbour, treasurer of the WRBA, pointed out that he recently saw the vendor selling food at 10 p.m. one night. Another resident also reported seeing the vendor a few nights later. Maria Thomson, financial secretary of the WRBA said that he has no right to be parked on a residential street.

"I was able to get him off of Jamaica Avenue after many months," she said. She contacted Crowley's office in hopes to rid the vendor, who sells Mexican food, because he disrupts business on the avenue. She's now aiming to get him off of the residential block.

The next residents association meeting will be held on February 12. The meetings are held on Saturdays now because it is more convenient for residents to attend on the weekend instead of after work on a winter weeknight.