Vallone Removes Dangerous Debris From Playground
On December 14, Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr. and his staff removed more than a 1,000 pounds of garbage from Sean’s Place Playground in Astoria. An alley next to the neighborhood park has been a constant target of litterers, and some of the trash has remained there for decades. Among the debris were wooden planks with rusty nails, glass bottles and needles. Located a few blocks away from Steinway Street, the park is frequented by many neighborhood children. Previously, the area behind Sean’s Place was closed off by a fence and could not be accessed to perform a cleanup. However, the Department of Transportation recently replaced the fence with a gate that could be opened and locked with a key, allowing for regular maintenance of the area. The Department of Sanitation also aided with the cleanup by providing tools and picking up the trash afterwards. Sean’s Place was named after police officer Sean McDonald, who was killed in 1994, interrupting a robbery in progress. McDonald, 26 at the time of his death, moved to Astoria from Ireland as a child. He was assigned to the 44th Police Precinct.