2016-11-23 / Front Page

Dutch Kills Civic Association Meeting Is Held

By Thomas Cogan
Several officers of the 114th Police Precinct were present at the November meeting of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, including one of the neighborhood cooperation officers (NCOs) of Sector Charlie and his sergeant.  There was a brief crime report.  Nominations for the election of DKCA officers had been made at the October meeting and with no further nominations in November the nominees became officers for the next two years.  A place for Citibike racks may have been found near the 39th Avenue elevated station.  New DKCA President George Stamitiades said a topics and speakers schedule should be created for monthly meetings.   He also hoped that Congresswoman Maloney would secure Dutch Kills a postal substation.  There were complaints about the women’s shelter, formerly the Verve Hotel; big cement mixing trucks damaging the streets; and a million dollar comfort station in a $4 million budget for Dutch Kills Playground.  But wait, there’s good news:  vegetables are growing in the Windmill Garden.

Officer Judge Colman of the 114th said that of the seven index crimes, only one, grand larceny, has been growing.  The season for it is approaching, when lots of unprotected Christmas gifts will be visible in purchasers’ automobiles, waiting to be stolen.  The fight against that and other crimes was no doubt strengthened by the addition of 17 new officers to the command, which Colman announced to great applause.

The October nominees for office went completely unchallenged in November, thus becoming the officers for the next two years.  George Stamitiades is now president; Tony Benetatos, vice president; Gloria Moloney, treasurer; Alexandra Tselepsi, secretary; Marge Pisano, financial secretary; and Jimmie Natalie, sergeant-at-arms.  President Stamitiades said speakers and topics are needed in order to have informational addresses at monthly meetings.  He also called for new committees to be formed, with explanatory names.  They must have members willing to run them also.

Citibikes are coming to Dutch Kills, though site selection has not yet been made.  Stamitiades believes the best site for them would at 39th Avenue and 31st Street, on the Ditmars Boulevard-bound side of the elevated tracks.  He said emphatically that not one parking spot in all of Dutch Kills should be sacrificed to make room for the bicycles.

There is a large apartment complex being built at 39th Avenue and 30th Street.  It extends to 31st Street, across from the site proposed for Citibike, and goes more than two-thirds of the way toward 40th Street.  Many cement trucks are in use at the building site and their presence in the community is proving difficult, according to some meeting attendees.  One woman said whole streets are blocked off during the work day and a lot of cement drips onto the street surface.  Another woman said they are wrecking the sidewalks.  The first woman said she told a cement truck driver honking his horn at the corner of 39th Avenue and 29th Street that he was being discourteous and in return was treated to several discourteous remarks.  The residential project is going up fast but there’s a lot to be done before completion. 

Stamitiates asked Ed Babor, aide to Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, to tell her that Dutch Kills needs a postal substation.  The nearest post office in one direction is on Broadway and 43rd Street. 

The repairs budget for Dutch Kills Playground, bordered by Crescent Street, 36th Avenue, 27th Street and 37th Avenue is $4 million and a quarter of it is allotted to the rebuilding of a comfort station there.  That one-fourth of the entire park budget is being spent on only that has angered many in the community.

Stamitiades said that residents at the former Verve Hotel, 40-03 29th St., now a homeless women’s shelter, have made 835 calls to 911 in the past year.  Many have been false alarms, he said, bringing out police vehicles and fire trucks for nothing.  He called it “an absolute zoo.”

The Windmill Garden on 20th Street between 39th and 40th Avenues is coming along well, according to the DKCA’s Steve Moreno, who works on it often.  He told the meeting that progress is being made but countless cobblestones are needed and installing them would be a lengthy effort.  Even now, though, broccoli rabe, radishes, Swiss chard and other vegetables are being grown there.

When the 114th Precinct officers were present at the meeting, one of the two Neighborhood Cooperation Officers (NCOs) of Sector Charlie and his sergeant were introduced.  They are a vital part of the 114th’s neighborhood policing program, which will eventually be introduced to all the city’s police precincts.  The 114th Precinct’s number of sectors has been reduced from 15 to four, each to have two NCOs and a sergeant in overall supervision.  The Sector Charlie officers, with contact information, are P.O. Borys Bedoya, Boris.Bedoya@nypd.org, 929-920-1904 and P.O. Cole Ferraro, Cole.Ferraro@nypd.org, 917-941-4584.  The sergeant is Sgt. Brian Andruszkiewicz, Brian.Andruszkiewicz@nypd.org, 646-660-4293.  



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