2015-11-18 / Front Page

Dutch Kills Civic Association Meets, Crime Report Given

By Thomas Cogan

The Dutch Kills Civic Association’s November meeting was not a forum for large issues but was energetic as usual.  There was a crime report from the 114th Police Precinct, with attendant warnings to protect yourself and your goods from Yuletide criminality; complaints about mail deliveries or lack of them (speaking of Yuletide) out of the Long Island City post office; and more complaints, about motorists sounding their horns at great length on Crescent Street, at the entrance to the Queensboro Bridge.  The Verve Hotel, which has become a shelter for homeless single women, had its first unlawful incident since the women were moved in by the Department of Homeless Services last month.

DKCA President Thea Romano said the 36th Avenue Street Fair, Sunday, October 25, went well, as did the New York Marathon a week later, November 1.  The marathon had 285 local volunteers stationed on either side of Queens Plaza to lend aid and supply water to thousands of runners headed for the Queensboro Bridge.  No complaints there, but other situations could be better.  At Crescent Street and 37th Avenue, the sidewalk is unrepaired and closed off and has been for five years, she said, adding that it’s our sidewalk and we want it back.  She also wanted trash bins on 31st Street, under the elevated Astoria train line, at 36th and 39th Avenues.  She said she’d like the DKCA logo on them and wants City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s office to pay for them.  All right, a few agreed, maybe transport vans to take seniors to the center on Crescent Street will suffice.

Lieutenant Nicholas Morales of the 114th introduced three new officers from the academy and read the police report, which showed the rate of index crime incidents to be down close to 10 percent for the year thus far.  The one offense that has gained lately is grand larceny auto, where two types of vehicle seem to have a symbiotic relationship.  Motorcycles are relatively easy to steal and one of the most convenient ways to steal them is by rolling them into Ford Econoline vans.  Hence, several of those vans get stolen and an increase in motorcycle theft follows.  Someone had a question for Lieut. Morales about drones.  He said that drones alone are not a police problem but drones with cameras in them (available for $87 at Costco, he said) could be a problem.   

The lieutenant had the standard warning for Christmas shoppers and celebrants:  ’tis the season to be wary or, it’s prime time for property crime.  In the home, for instance, gifts around the tree are that might be visible from the street might be noticed by larcenous types.  He also said that there are thieves who  operate post-Christmas, checking trash for boxes and wrappings that reveal what valuable gifts might be available nearby in a burglary.  Before Christmas, drivers who go to several stores in the mall and bring gifts back to their cars in relay fashion might come back one time to find  they’ve been cleaned out and the only gifts they have left are the ones they’re holding.  Be aware of the perilous possibilities and avoid unthinking behavior, he said.

George Stamatiades of the CB 1 board asked the lieutenant, as inevitably someone would, about the assault outside the Verve Hotel, Saturday evening, November 7.  For the past month the Verve, at 40-03 29th St., has been the home for 200 single but otherwise homeless women, moved in there by the Department of Homeless Services, where they are to remain for at least five more months.  Stamatiades wanted to know if the persons involved in the assault had anything to do with any of the women.  He was assured that at least one of them did.  There have been two arrests made, and the incident has had at least one consequence.  The Verve had been conducting its standard hotel trade since the women were moved in October 16, but that has been stopped and reservations on hand have been canceled.

The Long Island City post office on 21st Street has lately been doing a bad job of mail delivery, many residents complain.  Ed Babor, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s community representative, was at the meeting with complaint forms that those in attendance could fill out and he could take back to her.  One woman told the meeting that she has not been getting certain monthly bills.  Creditors have been issuing the usual threats and she has had to plead that the usual traffic for billing has failed her, and others.

The always crowded route along Crescent Street to the Queensboro Bridge entrance is more packed than ever and horn-honking by irritated drivers has become maddening to nearby residents.  Traffic police often have to exercise control there, and when a cop has to delay a line of vehicles that has a green light, the honking can be unbearable.  Another disruption comes from cab drivers who pick up fares on Crescent at Queens Plaza North in the midst of the surging vehicles, since they don’t have a designated taxi stand in the area.

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