Vallone Addresses ACA
On March 6, Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr. joined members of the 114th Precinct, the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau and Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski at the Astoria Civic Association’s monthly meeting at Riccardo’s. Following recent troubling criminal incidents in Astoria, Vallone, who chairs the Council’s Public Safety Committee, with the help of the NYPD, the 114th Civilian Observation Patrol and the New York Anti-Crime Agency, has formed a neighborhood watch program. Vallone and members of the NYPD’s Community Affairs Bureau unveiled the program at the civic meeting, informed members on how to sign up and offered different ways to participate. Astoria residents may sign up to be block watchers, block captains or join the 114th Civ OP. In addition to keeping Astoria safe, civic members were updated on upcoming projects for Queens parks. In the coming year, construction crews will fill the dive pool at Astoria Park with cement and start the process of transforming the long-neglected space into one of the most majestic performance spaces in the city. Nestled between the Hell Gate and RFK/Triborough Bridges- with amphitheater-style seating and views of the East River and the iconic Manhattan skyline at sunset- it will evoke the theater going experience of ancient Greece and Rome. The pool’s signature threelevel diving board will remain and be refurbished. Following nearly three decades of deterioration, Vallone advocated for the diving pool, which is located next to the park’s Olympic-sized swimming pool, to be repurposed as a performance space open to theater groups, schools and community organizations. The councilmember allocated $1 million for the project, which will be used to pour concrete into the pool, remove debris and existing small diving boards, create seating areas, install flooring, create a new perimeter concrete walkway and erect tent canopy shades at the bleachers, among other improvements. Additional funding provided by Vallone will refurbish the roof of the bathhouse, allowing a restaurant-type concession to exist, overlooking the pool. Seen here are:(L. to r.); Lewandowski, former City Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone Sr., Vallone Jr., Astoria Civic President Paul Halvatzis and Commanding Officer of the 114th Precinct Deputy Inspector Stephen Cirabisi.