2015-06-17 / Front Page

Hartmann Conducts Her Final CB 1 Meeting

By Thomas Cogan

The June Community Board 1 cabinet meeting was the last to be conducted by Lucille Hartmann, who has served as CB 1’s district manager for eight years and been in city government for 36.  Hartmann announced before the meeting that she was retiring, officially in mid-July.  For her final meeting she welcomed an official from Habitat for Humanity and two from the Queensboro Correctional Facility.  The new commander of the 114th Police Precinct, in office for just three weeks, was introduced, read a crime report and inevitably became involved in the general discussion about the late May shooting incident in Queensbridge Houses that left one person dead.

Hartmann asked Frank Hink of Habitat for Humanity to talk about ReStore, Habitat’s home repair stores, one of which is soon to be opened at 62-01 Northern Blvd.  ReStore sells appliances, repair tools and furniture that are either used but in acceptable shape or are factory seconds.  He said the prices of items for sale there can be 50 to 80 percent lower than at standard home building outlets. Habitat is a nationwide outfit that attempts to build new or rehabilitate old housing.  Its rehabilitation projects in the city are currently in south Queens ( in the districts of Community Boards 12 and 13) and in Staten Island.  In those places, HabitatNYC is trying to rescue properties that, for financial reasons, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has been unable to maintain, Hink said.  Sales from ReStore items help cover the local affiliate’s administrative expenses or go toward homebuilding projects.  He said that any tools, furniture or decorative items that homeowners might want to get rid of can be donated to Habitat NYC, which will take them away.  The contact number for HabitatNYC is 212-991-4000, ext. 399.  The email is restore@habitatnyc.org; the Web site is HabitatNYC.org/ReStore.

The Queensboro Correctional Facility, at 47-04 Van Dam St., is used to hold inmates near the end of their sentences, when they are, in Deputy Superintendent Eric Miller’s words, “preparing to go back into the community.”  Miller was accompanied at the meeting by QCF’s Dennis Breslin, a community affairs official and head of its advisory board.  He said he was looking for neighborhood residents to join the advisory board, which meets on a bi-monthly to quarterly basis.  In reply he heard two persons who said they had been members of the Rikers Island advisory board.  One of them said the prison’s professionals paid little attention to them and the other said the turnover was frequent among these professionals, who consequently didn’t have any acquaintance with the advisory board.  She said nevertheless that the board was a good idea and worth reviving. 

In May, Captain Peter M. Fortune succeeded Deputy Inspector Kevin Malony as commander of the 114th Police Precinct.  Capt. Fortune’s background includes public housing policing, most recently in Manhattan.  Upon being introduced he made a crime report.  The 114th Precinct being in Patrol Borough Queens North, the report emphasized crime reduction.  Crime is down 11.5 percent for the year thus far, with burglaries and grand larcenies either flat or in slight decline.  After the hopeful report, however, he had to face general commentary about the shooting of three persons in Queensbridge Houses, early Saturday morning, May 30.  Two of the victims had leg and arm wounds, for which they received medical treatment, but the third, a 23-year-old man, was shot in the back and later died.  A suspect was apprehended in June.   A discussion arose about ad hoc barbecues that break out in Queensbridge Park and often lead to flare-ups among the participants.  Capt. Fortune said that anyone worried about such barbecues should phone 911when one is sighted. 

Frank Fontana of the Department of Environmental Protection reported that the unpleasant odors rising from the Bowery Bay treatment plant and bothering residents living in the vicinity are being addressed and should soon be eliminated.  It was announced that the annual fireworks show in Astoria Park will be staged Tuesday, June 30 and Night Out Against Crime will occur five weeks later, Tuesday, August 4.  

Lucille Hartmann’s farewell to the meeting was brief, being the last item before adjournment.  Her retirement from Community Board 1 is accompanied by the retirement of CB 1’s longtime Board Chairman Vinicio Donato.  The next CB1 cabinet meeting, led by a new district manager, will be Thursday, September 10.



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